SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., June 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- More than a hundred visual effects associates and others in related fields came to talk shop with 25 exceptional young men and women at yesterday's open house held at the Exceptional Minds vocational school for young adults with autism in Sherman Oaks, California.
The young adults – all in their 20s and on the autism spectrum – are students at Exceptional Minds and are beating the statistical odds as they prepare for careers in the post-production industry. The school is known for its close working relationship with the visual effects industry, which has provided its students with hands-on experience, including screen credit for student work on Oscar-nominated motion picture American Hustle, the 2012 movie Lawless, and upcoming release Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Standing before the industry during Friday's open house, Exceptional Minds job developer and Crystal Rain Media Entertainment visual effects producer Susan Zwerman thanked the industry's studios and visual effects associates for the opportunities given its students in the past three years. She specifically thanked Stereo D, Method Studios, Bob Hackl and Annapurna pictures, Stargate Studios, Film Roman, United Front, Pixel Magic, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount and 20th Century Fox for their support. In closing, she read off a heartfelt letter from 20th Century Fox visual effects producer Ryan Stafford, who recently contracted Exceptional Minds for vfx roto work in stereo on the upcoming release Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, calling out the students' "hard work, dedication and professionalism, the entire Dawn of the Planet of the Apes visual effects crew thanks you."
According to a study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, one in three young adults with autism have no paid job experience, college or technical school nearly seven years after high school graduation.
Eight talented, exceptional individuals of the 25 will be the first to graduate from the school on Sunday, having achieved certification in several computer applications considered to be the gold standard in post-production and other digital arts fields.
About Exceptional Minds (http://www.exceptionalmindsstudio.org):
Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational center and working production studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. It was chartered in 2011 to provide the training necessary for creatively gifted individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who may not otherwise be able to make the transition from high school to careers. Exceptional Minds offers technical proficiency and work readiness training that prepares students for careers in graphic arts, animation, web design, visual effects and rotoscoping. Located in Sherman Oaks, California, Exceptional Minds is both an instructional learning facility and a working studio with hands-on student involvement in production projects, many for the film industry.
SOURCE Exceptional Minds