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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 20
th Century Fox for their support. In closing, she read off a heartfelt letter from 20
th 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.