Spectrum Laboratory is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and film studio headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It was founded by Jason Weissbroad and Garth Herberg in 2015.
The mission statement for Spectrum Laboratory is to provideeducation, entertainment and empowerment for the autistic and neurodiverse communities through the arts. It develops professional skills, building social connections and self esteem while exploring passions and desires!
In 2005,Jason Weissbroad became involved with the autism community over ten years ago through his work with The Miracle Project as their theatre director and lead acting coach. He also worked with programs and organizations such as Tree Academy, The Help Group, Autism On The Seas, and CSUN's Teenage Drama Workshop. Over time many artists on the Autism Spectrum told Jason they wanted to make professional movies, record music and eventually work in the entertainment industry. This inspired Jason and his colleague, Garth Herberg, to create Spectrum Laboratory. Jason and Garth believe that teaming up artists with Autism along with entertainment professionals stimulates everyone’s creativity and talent. Weissbroad says, “Show people what they can do and magic will ensue!” And it has! Jason feels blessed to be able to do what he loves each day and thanks all who support Spec Labs!Weissbrod, the organization’s head of film, and Herberg, head of music, met when both were working at The Miracle Project, the well-known local musical theater program for people on the autism spectrum. The two eventually paired up to focus on their passion for bringing film to the autism community. They now offer a range of classes in film, music and animation. They also offer one-on-one mentoring, and Weissbrod is currently mentoring one student in writing.
Early Success: (2014-2015)
Spectrum Laboratory started producing short films and music videos featuring Atticus Baldwin who was the nephew of Alec Baldwin and the son of Daniel Baldwin who starred in the short film Cookie Cutter, and Lucas Salusky who starred in music videos such as Chicken Bone which they recorded their debut album Jamboree in 2015. Later on Spectrum Laboratory started out in film and music videos which showcased at Spec Fest in June 2015, at the Huffington Center in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter in Los Angeles which was featured in media and news outlets such as ABC7 Los Angeles. In December they released their first holiday album 8 Golden Hits.
Danimation Entertainment and Use Your Imagination (2016-2017)
In April 2016, autistic animator Dani Bowman joined Spectrum Laboratory to produce an animated short called Cholie: An Orphan Story based on Cholie's Grusq's childhood which expanded the studio to create an animation department for making animated productions. On June 3, 2016 Bowman announced that they will be providing Cholie this summer which will appear in San Diego Comic-Con the next year which started the partnership with Danimation Entertainment which trained the animators how to use Toon Boom Animation to produce animated short films which Faith Butterfield created the Perfect Circle which was about an ellipse named Eli who was exiled from the Circle tribe. In September 2016, Spectrum Laboratory filmed a music video for the latest song Use Your Imagination in Los Angeles which had a grant from Oculus VR thatmakers of virtual-reality equipment. The Oculus R for Good program paired 10 filmmakers with 10 nonprofits to champion the nonprofits’ social missions and tell their stories that went into the Sundance Film Festival that was the first vitural reality music video to be produced in 2017. Later on Bowman worked with Weissbroad to produce an animated music video called Be a Friend that took a semester to animate til May. It later premiered at Spec Fest 3 on May 29, 2017 along with the music videos from the album Use Your Imagination.
Animation Department Expansion, TV and Film Production (2017-2018)
In the fall of 2017, Spectrum Laboratory was signed on to begin pre-production with Steve Belgard the director of the upcoming documentary Schtlze: One of Us which they were looking for animators to work on the animated scenes for the film when the artists and animators did character designs, and storyboards til they picked the final design overall. But the project went on hiatus til Belgard raised money on Indiegogo for Schtlize One of Us. Later on that fall, Weissbroad and Herberg worked on their third album My Heart which they produced Big Big Heart, Soulshocka is Born, and Welcome to Dom's World and produced short films like My Heart Dreams. Butterfield worked on a animated short called My Heart Flies which was about a girl named Kira who got bullied in school and later in her dream she meets a bully who terroizes her until Fairy Queen Flutterby saves her for good which later was screened at Spec Fest 3 and Palm Springs International Film Festival in August of 2018.
In the fall of 2018, Spectrum Laboratory went to produce their first late night talk show Sitting Down with Atticus inspired by The Tonight Show, Larry King Live, Late Night (TV series), Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show (1992 TV series), and Conan (talk show). Bowman was assigned to work on the opening sequence which was originally going to be rotoscoped but Baldwin was not feeling well which production on Sitting Down with Atticus was put on hiatus to focus on other animated projects. Currently, Spectrum Laboratory teaches character design, animation with Dani Bowman, improv, film acting, and music with artist Amy Fagin along Jack London and Voice Acting with Nina Herzong til she resigned in 2019.
The animation department is currently in production with Boys Don't Wear Dresses an live-action animated short film based on Steven Felder's real life as transgender man with autism and Schltize One of Us.
- Danimation Entertainment
- Art Department
- Music Department
- Spec Lab Records
- "Mission Statement". Spectrum Laboratory. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
- "Our Team". Spectrum Laboratory. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
- Elston, Christine (January 31, 2017). "Film, Music and Autism Come Together In This Lab". LA Parents.
- Elstron, Christina (January 31, 2017). "Film, Music and Autism Come Together In This Lab". LA Parents. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
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