'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', Latest Movie Credit for Exceptional Minds With Autism

Visual effects artists on the autism spectrum work on the blockbuster film of the century.

Exceptional Minds Studio of Artists

The Exceptional Minds Studio of artists on the autism spectrum adds “Star Wars: The Last Jedi" to its list of movie credits.

Exceptional Minds was one of several studios that worked on visual effects for the long-anticipated movie, which opened in theaters December 15. “Having our name show up on the credit roll alongside the top professionals who worked on this film is an achievement in itself, but it is made all that more significant because we are a studio of artists on the autism spectrum,” said Exceptional Minds Studio Executive Producer Susan Zwerman.

I never thought I would get a chance to work on a Star Wars film.

David Miles, Senior Artist, Exceptional Minds Studio

“Many of our artists never even dreamed they would be working in this film industry,” she added.

An estimated 90 percent of the autism population are under- or unemployed, and few training programs exist to prepare young adults with autism for meaningful careers. 

Exceptional Minds Studio opened its doors almost four years ago as the only working studio of young visual effects and animation professionals on the autism spectrum. All are graduates of Exceptional Minds, the first vocational school of its kind to prepare young men and women on the autism spectrum for careers in visual effects and animation.

Since it opened, Exceptional Minds Studio has done tracker marker removal, split screen, green screen keying, and compositing as well as end title credit work and 2D animation for more than 50 major motion pictures and/or television series. The list includes animation for Sesame Street and additional visual effects for HBO’s "Game of Thrones" as well as "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Doctor Strange.”

For "Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the artists at Exceptional Minds Studio were contracted to do vfx cleanup work that involved roto and paint for several shots. The studio was also hired to create the end titles on the movie, composited onto a star field background.

“I never thought I would get a chance to work on a Star Wars film,” said David Miles, one of the Exceptional Minds artists on the autism spectrum who worked on the film. David, along with Patrick Brady, Andrew Dugan, Tiana Fazio, Lloyd Hackl, Eli Katz, and Mason Taylor, completed cleanup on 20 shots for the movie and another Exceptional Minds artist, Jacob Fenster, worked on the end titles with title supervisor Josh Dagg.

In addition, Studio Executive Producer Susan Zwerman, Studio Coordinator Jennifer Giandalone, and visual effects supervisors Immanuel Morris, Kenneth Au and Megan Flood provided their expertise and supervision on the project.

Source: Exceptional Minds

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