Posts

People.com Features Exceptional Minds

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Interest continues in our Exceptional Minds  graduates and students who were hired as voice over actors in the HBO Max version of On The Spectrum.  People.com ran a feature that highlights the work and opportunity this project created.  "The original actors, none of them are on the spectrum. So, they had to rely on the research they were doing and the people that they were speaking with," EM graduate and now voice actor Adam Schuering tells PEOPLE  in Tuesday's episode. "But in the case of me and Kate (McSpadden), I believe as well, we've essentially lived with this our entire lives." The feature can be found here . Exceptional Minds , a California non-profit of the year, is an academy and studio preparing young adults on the autism spectrum for careers in animation, visual effects, 3D gaming, and other related fields in the entertainment industry. Exceptional Minds provides critical technical and work readiness training customized to help its students achie

Exceptional Minds Welcomes Ryan Lowry and all our Summer Workshop Participants!

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Millions of people around the world have seen his story, read his letter, and shared it or responded to it in some way. Twenty-year-old Ryan Lowry’s handwritten letter asking for a chance at a job went viral on LinkedIn and has been life changing for so many.  We first heard about Ryan through one of our advisors, Aaron Parry, Chief Creative Officer, Stereo-D and Deluxe Animation Studios at Company3/Method Studios. Now, thanks to a grant from that team, Ryan will be participating in our summer animation program at Exceptional Minds. We’re excited to open our doors to Ryan, the many students already enrolled, and to the world of possibilities that await. Enrollment is now open for the Exceptional Minds virtual summer workshops on character animation, motion graphics, 3D modeling and video game creation. Click on Exceptional Minds Summer Programs to reserve your seat! During this time of economic challenge for so many families, we appreciate companies like Company3/Method Studios who p

On the Spectrum. Our Voices.

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HBO Max’s   On the Spectrum  began streaming in the U.S. on World Autism Day. From yes Studios, the producers of Netflix’s   Fauda ,   On the Spectrum   is   a hit   Israeli series that received   nine Israeli Television Academy Awards including Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Series.   The series   follows three young adults with autism navigating love, careers, and friendships.   HBO Max acquired the English language rights to   On the Spectrum   and contracted VSI Los Angeles studios to produce a U.S. English dub for the original series. Exceptional Minds was called in to review the scripts for autism authenticity and in the process, suggested that our artists might be interested in auditioning for voice over acting roles.  We   announced auditions during a weekly Exceptional Minds roundtable discussion attended by alumni,   staff, and students — many of whom ended up   auditioning.  While not everyone was cast, Exceptional Mind's graduates Adam Schuering (class of 201

Inclusion for Our Animators. More Diversity for Cartoons.

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From Cartoon Network comes Cartoon Cartoons, an artist-driven program with a mission of cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the animation industry.  As part of our involvement, Cartoon Network Studios is dedicating an entire program slot to Exceptional Mind 's animators, who will be given the opportunity to share their unique perspectives, talents, and voices through original and contracted animated short-form content.  This is yet another offshoot of our amazing partnership with WarnerMedia that includes our work with HBO Max .  Cartoon Cartoons is modeled after the first Cartoon Network Studios shorts program that launched in 1995 as World Premiere Toons and served as a platform for a number of notable animators including Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory), Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls), and Rebecca Sugar (Steven Universe).  We can’t wait to see which Exceptional Minds artists will join this pantheon of Cartoon Cartoons legends. To donate to our Scholar

How to Create Like Our Students: Make a 3D Cube in Minutes

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Today we revisit one of our favorite  How-To's , as  Exceptional Minds ' instructor Randi Derakhshani, Head of 3D instruction at Exceptional Minds, walks us through the program Autodesk Maya. In addition to teaching VFX, Randi is a practicing 3D and visual effects artist with 20 years of experience in film, television, and game development.  Randi loves working with students and helping them realize their dreams.  Today you are one of her students!  Randi will teach you how to create a "cube" in Maya, a 3D modeling software our students and artists use to create characters and worlds.  For this exercise, you will need to  download a free 30-day trial of Autodesk Maya. Here is the YouTube instructional video to learn the basics of the Maya Interface by creating a "cube" figure. Now, have fun! Jump right in and start with creating your first object. Go up to the poly modeling shelf and click on “cube.” Reviewing the cube through the viewport camera.

Letter To His "Future Employer" Breaks Hearts and the Internet

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The profound effect one's authenticity can have on the world should never be underestimated. And authenticity, a word that is often used in an effort to be so, more often than not just happens. It however seldom happens by design and almost always happens unexpectedly and in the most delightful ways. In the case of 20 year old Ryan Lowry, a young man with autism and a whole lot of ambition, he took to LinkedIn to share a direct, authentic appeal: "I am interested in a job in animation. I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me, I don't learn like typical people do...but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it. I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you'll be glad that you did." In this handwritten letter, Ryan is simply asking for a shot! And not the shot we are all eager to have in our arms but a shot at a life of personal, professional, and financial freedom and efficacy. With nearly ONE MILLION people Ryan's age on the ne

"WandaVision" Brings our Academy and Studio Together!

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WandaVision is the 15th Marvel Cinematic Universe project our EM studio artists have completed work on since we opened our studio in 2014! And while it's only number six for Thomas Harmonson, a lifelong fan of Marvel and now a professional artist in the studio, if it’s up to him it will be 25 in no time! (Or as quickly as Marvel can make them…) A visual effects and end-title artist in the Exceptional Minds studio , Harmonson added number six to his list of superhero movie credits (during the pandemic no less), with the release of Marvel’s WandaVision series now streaming on Disney+. Thomas worked on his first Marvel film, Avengers: Infinity War, as a 2018 graduate fresh out of the Exceptional Minds academy . “I had just a few days in the studio as an apprentice when I was told that one of the biggest Marvel releases of all time just came in. That was a little like trial by fire, but we had fun with it,” he said. Attending a Marvel friends and family screening of "Infinity Wa