The young adults on the autism spectrum who worked on visual effects for “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” which opened in theaters last week, could have easily been pigeonholed into jobs that were either rote technical jobs or routine jobs, like stocking shelves at a grocery store.
Instead, they went on to develop visual effects skills at Exceptional Minds vocational school – and surprised an industry that is known for its creativity: Hollywood.
Meet Patrick Brady, Lloyd Hackl, Lauren Kato, Eli Katz, David Miles, Jeremy Pollock, Erik Prothero and Mason Taylor, who are part of a new generation of creative 20+ year olds with autism. These visual effects artists at Exceptional Minds Studio completed 27 tracker marker removals for “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.” Exceptional Minds is an approved studio for 20th Century Fox, which produced and distributed the film, as well as other major movie studios. In addition to “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” Exceptional Minds Studio has worked on more than 30 movies or TV shows, including “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” another 20th Century Fox production.
The project was overseen by Susan Zwerman, Visual Effects Executive Producer and Job Developer for Exceptional Minds; Craig Seitz, Exceptional Minds’ Head of Production; and Immanuel Morris and Josiah Van Arsdel, supervisors.