Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2015 - Page 59

ally ogic d L sur Ab Inside Asper Scoop to ger’s Are Us Docum entar y n& natha by jo urphy m jodi We love a good laugh! And we appreciate the people in our lives—family, friends, professional comics—who can make us do a lot of it. Nothing can relieve stress or tension better than a good old belly laugh. When we found out that there’s a comedy troupe of four dudes with Asperger’s doing “spectrum” humor, we just had to find out more. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to interview Alex Lehmann, a filmmaker based in Los Angeles who is doing a documentary of their story. Alex has worked for over 10 years as a cinematographer and producer, mostly on narrative films and TV comedies. Asperger’s Are Us – A True Story is his directorial debut and first feature documentary. Tell us about Jack, Noah, Ethan and New Michael, the Asperger’s Are Us comedy troupe. All four of these guys are comedians in their own right. Their skills complement each other nicely; each guy has his strength. New Michael comes up with great concepts, Jack has brilliant deadpan humor, Ethan does characters the best, and Noah is excellent at fine tuning a sketch to get it to where it needs to be. They met at a camp almost 10 years ago, and they’re all on the spectrum. How did you meet them, and what made you decide to make a documentary of their lives? I found them online. The concept of a comedy troupe with Asperger’s got my attention. When I found out that they were actually really funny, then and only then, I knew it was a documentary worth making. Give us a synopsis of the film. Asperger’s Are Us - A True Story documentary film poster featuring Jack, Noah, Ethan and New Michael, the Aspergers’s Are Us comedy troupe. Photo By Alex Lehmann The guys were all growing up and moving on with their lives in one way or another. Jack was leaving to study abroad at Oxford for a year. The film covers what could well have been their last show ever. They decided to do something very special with this sendoff show, and the documentary follows them trying to pull it off from beginning to end. Like any good collaborative artistic endeavor, it creates conflict. The film has a lot of laughs and a lot of heart. Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses 59