The studio of professionals on the spectrum is transforming employment expectations for a population that has one of the highest unemployment rates.
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., April 5, 2019 (Newswire.com) - The Exceptional Minds studio began Autism Awareness Month with yet another movie to its credits, having worked on visual effects and the end title scroll for the recent blockbuster "Captain Marvel."
This is the latest in a string of movies for Exceptional Minds’ studio. The visual effects and animation studio is staffed almost entirely by working professionals on the autism spectrum. Since the studio opened its doors in 2014 to provide meaningful career opportunities for graduates of the Exceptional Minds vocational academy, it has worked on more than 85 movies and 44 television shows. Included are Oscar winners "Avengers: Infinity War," "Black Panther," "Green Book," "First Man" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story," as well as shows such as "Game of Thrones," "The Good Doctor" and "Atypical."
“Our artists are a powerful example of how far we’ve come in our understanding of autism. They, along with everyone at Exceptional Minds, are truly transforming expectations about what we can achieve if we just give them the tools, the support system and the opportunities,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro, the Executive Director for Exceptional Minds.
Exceptional Minds is the only autism education organization that provides technical instruction in the digital arts while fully integrating behavioral training into the curriculum. Its unique approach to autism employment sustainability includes a working studio, as well as a comprehensive support program that provides work readiness training, job coaching, placements, troubleshooting and employer education.
“This is a population that has one of the lowest employment rates, and yet, our artists at Exceptional Minds are not only working in the competitive entertainment industry - they’re working on blockbuster movies,” said Studio Executive Producer Susan Zwerman, who works closely with the entertainment industry to both place graduates in jobs, as well as to manage projects for the working studio.
For "Captain Marvel," Exceptional Minds artists – all trained professionals on the spectrum - were contracted by Marvel Studios and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to complete visual effects cleanup on several shots (tracker marker removals, roto, paint and compositing) and to typeset the end-title scroll.
Exceptional Minds contracts out to major production companies and studios for visual effects, animation, end title credits and rigging for gaming. In addition to Marvel Studios and ILM, its customer list includes HBO, Netflix, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., among others.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, one in 59 children is diagnosed with autism. As of 2018, 84 percent of adults with autism are unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Source: Exceptional Minds