Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Industrial Light & Magic is Autistic (Episode 04)

Industrial Light & Magic is Autistic (Episode 04)

George Lucas and the whole ILM crew were able to create movie magic in a truly Autistic way.
Listen to Autistic podcast hosts discuss: Industrial Light & Magic is Autistic | Autistic Activities | Autistic Celebrities

In this episode of The Autistic Culture Podcast:

Actually Autistic hosts Matt and Angela discusses Autistic culture in the workplace, using the early years of George Lucas' company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as an example of an ideal Autistic workspace.

Lucas wanted his 1977 film Star Wars to include visual effects that had never been seen on film before. ILM attracted talented Autistic creators because the company valued skills over formal credentials and allowed employees to explore and experiment within their special interests to create new technology and materials. A flexible schedule and a lack of preconceived notions allowed them to indulge their monotropic focus and achieve greatness.

“I think that in order to have an autistic-friendly workplace, you have to acknowledge the individual strengths and weaknesses of everybody involved and create an environment that allows everyone to thrive and recharge as needed.” —Matt

Autistic people often have intense special interests and benefit from working in environments that allow them to tap into hyperfocus states. Rigid 9-5 jobs may not be accommodating. Autistics tend to view money as a tool to acquire interests rather than for status. At ILM, making cool things was the priority.

“One of the things I've been working on just in terms of having a workplace that I want to be friendly to neurodivergence, not just my own, is this idea that the most valuable thing we actually have is time.” –Angela

Communication styles differ between Autistic and neurotypical people. Direct Autistic communication can be misinterpreted by allistics, and likewise, the allistic tendency to talk around an issue is confusing and frustrating for Autistics. The hosts share an example of the "double empathy problem" where an Autistic action was misconstrued by a neurotypical. Clear communication is key in making mixed-neurotype relations successful.

This episode, #ActuallyAutistic podcast hosts, Matt and Angela, discusses how Autistic-friendly workplaces that leverage Autistic strengths like monotropic focus can enable Autistic people to thrive and make innovative contributions. Finding meaning and joy in one’s work is central to Autistic culture.

Do you love to create and world build? Tell us about it in the comments!

Did an Autistic celebrity invent motion pictures? Listen to find out: Episode 37: Motion Pictures are Autistic

Light & Magic on Apple TV+

Phil Tippett’s Mad God

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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit