Musical Minds : An Autism Documentary

Image taken from the Musical Minds Facebook page

Image taken from the Musical Minds Facebook page

The Hot Tracks Music Show – is hosted by Nick Van Zanten and JB West , known as Nick and JB, who both have autism.  The show is broadcast weekly on WCET-TV, a local access channel in their hometown of  Hudsonville, Michigan. The show has now been running for 13 years.

Andrew Bedinger and James Grochowalski met Nick and JB several years ago and soon realised that they were both unique  with  interesting personalities.


Below is a clip from Hot Tracks


Andrew and James have recently directed a film about the two  friends, entitled,  Musical Minds: An Autism Documentary, which they filmed over four years.

The film’s Facebook page states:

‘Musical Minds is a documentary exploring the lives of two Autistic individuals, Nick and J.B.

Nick and JB have allowed us into their unique lives and document their story. After 4 years of shooting with them, we have become close friends and hopefully after watching this documentary, you will come to know the Nick and JB that we do.’

The documentary took 5 years to make.

In an interview with Monica Heisey on the Vice website, they tell of how they wee fascinated by the friends and that it took them a long time to figure out what their story should be.

Musical minds 2‘Once we got started, our biggest barrier was not really knowing how to end it, because both Nick and JB have a very simple, succinct routine that they do, and they’ve been living that way for years and years. Nothing has changed for these guys in the past ten years. So once we captured their routine we were like, “What do we do with this? What’s the story?” It took us a long time to figure out a story that was good enough for them.’

They also add that both Nick and JB have sen the film and that they both love it.

At the moment Andrew and James are running a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise $20.000 so that the film can be shown in as many film festivals so as to spread the awareness of autism.

They state on the Kickstarter page that the money would go towards submission fees to film festivals as well as  benefiting Nick and J.B. and their families for allowing them  into their lives and sharing personal information for the world to hear.

They further add:

‘We really wanted to share with the public how an individual deals with autism and what their normal day to day life looks like. Autism is a way of life and many people struggle with different forms of autism. With your donation to our documentary project, this can become a reality.’

For information about the documentary and to male a contribution please visit the film’s Kickstarter page here

The Musical Minds: An Autism Documentary can be viewed below.