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Film school for autistic kids from military families

June 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Joey Travolta, actor John Travolta's brother, runs a summer camp that teaches kids how to make movies. The campers are kids with autism who come from military families.

During the filmmaking lessons, 8-year-old Jacob Martinez from Huntington Beach gets hands-on training with nearly 40 other kids with autism.

A scene in a short film is part of a bigger project called "30 Minutes Tonight," a combination of "60 Minutes" and "Entertainment Tonight."

Actor Joey Travolta, older brother of John, helps Cox Communications and the non-profit ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment) to offer the two-week filmmaking camp in San Diego.

"We create an hour show in less than 48 hours," said Joey Travolta, founder of Inclusion Films.

The former special-education teacher has offered workshops across the country for several years. This is the first time for military kids with autism.

"They put their lives on the line all the time. This is the least that we can do, something positive like this for their kids," said Travolta.

The students are between 9 and 19 years old. Siblings who don't have autism are also invited.

The students share ideas. The new skills include script writing, shooting and editing, even costume design.

The creative outlet provides a sense of accomplishment.

"30 Minutes Tonight" will debut at the San Diego Film Festival in September.