In honor of #WorldAutismDay I’d like to highlight the company Exceptional Minds Studios whose students and employees not only are on the autism spectrum, but also have worked on 84 TV shows and 44 films providing effects and clean up work. They even helped work on special effects for the Oscar winning movie Black Panther and last month’s mega hit Captain Marvel. Started in 2011 by parents of children with autism,
Exceptional Minds was initially a vocational school that taught young adults with autism effects and graphics training. In 2014 EM expanded, building a studio for their graduates and bidding out effects and design work.
“When I toured the Exceptional Minds School/Studio, I realized what a wealth of untapped potential existed in this extraordinary group of young adults.”– Victoria Alonso EVP, Production Marvel Studio
Not long after, Marvel came knocking. Giving them small projects at first and then more clean up effects work like rig and marker removal, rotoscoping, and costume and hair cleanup work. These frame-by-frame detail oriented tasks are well suited to many artists with autism and in addition to Black Panther, Exceptional Minds has credits on Green Book, Solo A Star Wars Story and First Man, all of which have either been nominated for, or won Oscars. The studio’s relationship with Marvel remains strong, as they’ve got credits on Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel. and every Avengers movie since Age of Ultron. (It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw Exceptional Minds in the credits of Avengers: Endgame either).
So kudos to Exceptional Minds for not only training but finding ways to employ artists on the autism spectrum! If you are interested in classes, or want to donate or support Exceptional Minds check out their website.
Who are your champions on #WorldAutismDay?