Inclusion Films Workshop – Helping Special Students Realize Their Creativity

By Joseph C. Geronimo 

Inclusion Films Logo

Seven years ago, Joey Travolta decided to share all he knew about filmmaking with special needs children and give back to the community at the same time. His point of focus: guys and gals with autism and developmental disabilities. Its name is: the Inclusion Films Workshop.

With the curriculum focused on all things to do with film concept, script writing and development, story boarding, filming and production, post-production and final product, Joey Travolta’s leadership and industry professional team of teachers, have taught the fundamentals in every level of how to make movies happen.

Having been a former student myself, the experience left me knowing more about what I already know of filmmaking, being that I’ve been a fan of great films from all genres, since even before I came to the workshop. The knowledge and experience passed on to me by all the teachers, inspired me to make all the short films I had done, in the best way I did them. Currently, I am working with Inclusion Films head of public relations, Ivey Van Allen.

After learning all there is to learn from Inclusion Films, bigger and better is expected from the graduates.  Each project is put forth for all students to achieve, but to also take what has been passed on out into real world application. 

Hollywood has taken notice of Inclusion Films talent by hiring the students to work as production assistants at the ‘big’ commercial and television studios. The following organizations and studios shared their enthusiasm for their Inclusion Films hires:

“I have been so impressed with the level of expertise of the graduates you sent me for our television pilots, one of them is staffed on a show now in series production.”Aaron Kaplan, creator of ABC-TV’s series, “The Neighbors”

“We just wrapped our first commercial shoot where we employed Inclusion Films’ graduates and it will definitely NOT be our last!   I’m happy to recommend Inclusion Films for employment to anyone in the entertainment industry and beyond.  The collaboration was great for everyone involved.”  – Uber Content, producer of national “Wendy’s” commercial campaign

“We are proud to have been worked with Inclusion Films over the years and the quality of the work your graduates provide is top notch.” –    Chicago School of Professional Psychology

“Not only is Inclusion Films producing our PSA campaign, your team is helping with our marketing and public relations efforts for our upcoming red carpet event.” 211 LA County

Student Success Stories

I recently interviewed a few of the students who have been employed by a few of those mentioned above; some of whom are currently on the job.

Uber Content Wendy’s commercial

Q: What’s it like to work there?

A: First off, on a set, it’s amazing. It’s always amazing, especially on the bigger-budgeted commercials. The crew is always at the top of their game, the environment is welcoming and familial, and the food is great, it’d be a shame not to mention that last point. Über Content was great to work with, I’d almost go so far to say it was my favorite work experience.

Q: How are you using the skills you learned at Inclusion films in your job?

A: There was one guy there, who really took it upon himself to take me under his wing, beyond even the already extremely welcoming attitude of the rest of the crew. He took us around set and quizzed us on things, showed us tricks to working as G&E, like ratchet straps. Of course, we knew the answers to his quizzes because of Inclusion, but we did learn some neat things.

Q: What time did you report in?

A: As for reporting in, we were the first ones there, I believe it was 6:30 for an 8am call. Then we worked until 8. It was a pretty short shoot day.

Q: What advice would you give to students who are currently looking for work?

A: One of the most important pieces of advice that I just have to reinforce myself, keep your personal life off the set. Producers don’t need to know if your dog is sick, what your mother-in-law thinks of you, or if a girl broke your heart. You should act in a consistent manner on set no matter what happens off of it. If you’ve worked with another P.A. before, and he stole your lunch money as a kid or something, producers do NOT want to know. And if you tell them, they’ll think less of you, not the other guy. And don’t go up to the guy and argue with him about some crack he made about your mother the day before in a bar or something. If you DESPERATELY need to settle it, pull him aside after work, not even on break, and do it in a civil, professional manner. You’re there to work, not be friends, at the end of the day. 

Chicago School of Psychology shoots

Q: What’s it like to work there? 

A: Arriving at about 6:00 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. call time, I made the adjustment rather quickly, along with my colleague Quinn Wright. It was a wonderful experience all around, and we learned a lot about how on the job camera work is done.

Q: How were you using the skills you had learned from Inclusion Films in your job?

A: I was assistant cameraman.

Q: What advice would you give students who are currently looking for work? 

A: Know what it is you want to get out of Inclusion Films before you even start the class. Once there, practice at it along with other skills the give you, and always follow your dreams.

Variety Magazine

Q: What’s it like to work there?

A: Interesting, hard working, accommodating. I had a wonderful team of people to work hard with, and they were very impressed on seeing how enthusiastic I was from the beginning.

Q: How are you using the skills you learned at Inclusion Films in your job?

A: I hooked up with Variety’s movie promotion department, the help promote all types of movies.

Q: What time do you report in every day?

A: I work from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Q: What advice would you give students who are currently looking for work?

A: Know what you want to do and do it the best that you can.

Photo of Inclusion Films Crew 

Continued success INCLUSION FILMS CREW!




And all the students: past, present and future.




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