The Foundry (developer of award winning software used in numerous Hollywood Blockbusters) has taken a special interest in a fabulous cause by donating sizable software kits to Exceptional Minds digital arts academy located in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Exceptional Minds is a non-profit who specializes in teaching young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to compete for jobs in the demanding field of cinema post-production. The Foundry software kits are used in almost every Hollywood film today, and has been used extensively in recent CG-heavy films such as Gravity, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Hobbit, The Avengers, Pacific Rim and many more! In addition, The Foundry included 12 annual licenses at no charge to Exceptional Minds’ vocational school and working studio for its NUKEX compositing software suite.
“We have been following the phenomenal achievements of Exceptional Minds and these very talented individuals and wanted to do our part to ensure their success. It didn’t take us long to realize how our compositing software suite could benefit them,” said Mike Ephraim, Head of Americas Sales at The Foundry. “We’re thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile cause and to support the special needs community,” he added.
The three-year digital arts vocational program at Exceptional Minds Academy opened its doors in 2011! The course work is taught by industry professionals and adapted for the special needs of individuals with autism, involving both professional certification and real-work experience is the field. The Exceptional Minds Studio (EMS), opened earlier this year, is co-located with the school to offer quality post-production services by graduates and students on a contract basis. EMS operates independently of the vocational school to provide high quality stereo conversion (rotoscoping), visual effects, computer graphics, title work, and animation in demand by the industry. Both the Exceptional Minds school and studio have a range of compositing, rotoscoping and animation applications for use by students and contractors. With the addition of the NUKEX compositing application suite, these individuals are now able to move into node-based compositing for larger scale, deep-compositing projects that require powerful camera and planar tracking, in-application model building, and collaborative assist tools!
NUKE is used in almost every Hollywood blockbuster film made today, and has been used extensively in recent CG-heavy films such as Gravity, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Hobbit, The Avengers, Pacific Rim and many more. “This is an important contribution for our students and for our working studio of young men and women on the spectrum who require the latest tools to be competitive in a very demanding industry,” said Susie Zwerman, who is in charge of job development for Exceptional Minds and is an accomplished visual effects producer with Crystal Rain Media Entertainment. The Foundry joins Adobe Systems, StereoD, Method Studios, Annapurna Pictures, Stargate Studios, Film Roman, United Front, Pixel Magic, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, among many others, in support of Exceptional Minds.
Now creating a bridge between high school and the working world for individuals on the spectrum, Exceptional Minds is the first and only vocational school and working studio for young adults with autism entering the post-production field. According to a study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, one in three young adults with autism lack paid job experience, college or technical school nearly seven years after high school graduation. Way to go Exceptional Minds! Cheers The Foundry!
About Exceptional Minds (www.exceptionalmindsstudio.org<www.exceptionalmindsstudio.org>): Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational center and working production studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. It was chartered in 2011 to provide the training necessary for creatively gifted individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who may not otherwise be able to make the transition from high school to careers. Exceptional Minds prepares students for careers in graphic arts, animation, web design, visual effects, rotoscoping and title work. Exceptional Minds is both an instructional learning facility and a working studio with hands-on student involvement in production projects, many for the film industry.
About The Foundry (www.thefoundry.co.uk<www.thefoundry.co.uk>): The Foundry develops award-winning creative software used globally by leading artists, designers and creative professionals. The portfolio lets users create inspiring and technical high-end visuals across a wide range of industries including product and concept design, marketing & advertising, media & entertainment and game development. In the design world clients include major manufacturers such as Adidas, Honda, Toyota and Brooks. In VFX, clients include film studios and post-production houses such as Pixar, ILM, Double Negative, The Moving Picture Company, Walt Disney Animation, Weta Digital, Framestore and Sony Pictures Imageworks. In 2013, The Foundry’s CEO Bill Collis was recognized as the UK Technology winner for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and the company made the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for the fourth consecutive year. To find out more visit: www.thefoundry.co.uk/about-us/<www.thefoundry.co.uk/about-us/>.
Matt and his family currently reside in the Washington, D.C metro area.