The Art of Film and Inclusion

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“Joey Travolta approached me giving me full employment to work with him, and in that moment I became very happy to become one of the first students from Inclusion Films being hired to the program,” Paul Gomez Jr., Inclusion Films

By Paul B. Gomez, Jr. with Keri Bowers

While editing Normal People Scare Me Too: a film about autism at Inclusion Films, a practical film school for people with special needs in Bakersfield, I got to know Paul Gomez a former student – now employee, who was assigned to be the assistant editor on our film project. Joey Travolta, founder of Inclusion Films, produced both the original Normal People Scare Me (2006) and Normal People Scare Me Too, the sequel 10 years later – is the reason Paul has this amazing opportunity to work in the field he loves today.

I got to know Paul better and better each day, as I watched Paul from across the room as he juggled Inclusion Films’ student projects – always enthusiastically laughing, critiquing his work out loud, and processing the work product – while simultaneously being interrupted to do things for our project. Paul flowed so easily and professionally with the tasks and needs lead editor, Chris Duguay gave to him, I just had to ask…

“How’d you get this job, Paul?”

His answers will no doubt, be an inspiration to many. Here, in his own words (no edits) is Paul’s story of his art in film, and inclusion at Inclusion Films. Brava, Paul. Thank you, Joey.

Keri Bowers

****

“If my mom was still alive I know she would be really proud of me but I know she is in spirit <3.”

My name is Paul and I’m an editor and a cameraman working for Joey Travolta in a company called Inclusion Films. Before I was introduced to Inclusion Films I grew up in a area called Cantil located in the Mojave Desert living in a ranch with my mom (Lucrecia Borunda) in California. I never worked a day in my life. I used to stay home collecting SSI, then my life changed in 2005 when my mother passed away in August.

My father (Paul Gomez Sr) took me in and gave me my own apartment to settle in that is close by to his house located in Ridgecrest, California. My dad lives together with his wife (Lydia Gomez) and two twin daughters/my half sisters (Marina Gomez & Sabrina Gomez).

My step mother introduced me to a Company called D.A.R.T. (Desert Area Resources & Training), I work for them as a Janitor and Landscaper. In 2007 a woman name Jill Egland from Bakersfield California came to visit D.A.R.T. main office looking for clients with Artistic Talents. I showed her a video I made on December 31, 2006, my video had music and visual effects. Jill Egland was highly impressed and she told me about Joey Travolta the founder of Inclusion Films was having a Summer Camp in Bakersfield CA and asked me if I was interested of attending it as a intern. Of course I said yes, I was always passionate of being involved about filming movies and becoming an actor since I was 11 years old.

This is where it takes place that I met Joey and his crew I was very excited. On the first day of Film Camp I met Joey’s crew members and had my personal camera with me taking videos to remember by, I was clueless if I had a ride from the hotel to the camp and this is where I met Joey for the first time he told me to ride with the crew.

A few days had passed and I made a lot of connections and friends and bonded well with Joey Travolta. He saw true potential in me, this of course made my day. After the last day of film camp I felt good about myself and very optimistic I started college in Ridgecrest only for one year.

In 2008 I attended the Summer Camp once again as a intern/student. I met new faces and became good friends with one of the head camera man (Spark Boemi) he started out being my mentor teaching me about camera and lighting. On 2010, I gained a lot of knowledge and experience with camera and lighting, and also learning my way around the mechanics of editing on a program called “Final Cut Pro.”

In 2011 around January I traveled east coast for the first time to North Carolina with Joey Travolta and Spark Boemi, then on my second day there, Joey approached me giving me full employment to work with him, and in that moment I became very happy to become one of the first students from Inclusion Films being hired to the program.

I like to thank Joey Travolta for making me have this amazing opportunity, and traveling to all the other Film Camps every summer has helped me learn and gain more experience about the film industry. Inclusion Films has given me great communication skills that really helped me break out of my shell and being able to speak to people directly with a good posture and high confidence, and I think that is really important cause your able to make more connections and be able to know how to enjoy yourself with the community, if my mom was still alive I know she would be really proud of me but I know she is in spirit <3.| Paul Gomez, Jr. *** Paul did a great job for us with this film, and we thank and deeply appreciate him for that and for his beautiful spirit. Inclusion Films and Normal Films are proud to say that approximately 75% of our film crew, and 70% of our music was created/performed by autistics. All the art shared in the film, including the opening credits and most animations were created by autistic artists.

normal people scare final draft

We are proud that Normal People Scare Me Too is a film made by predominantly by autistics to support an autistic (lead, Taylor Cross) to make a film about autism for autistics and the global autism community.

The future is NOW!

With artful love,

Keri Bowers

Co-creator, director, Normal People Scare Me Too and co-founder The Art of Autism, yet always a mother first.

Normal People Scare Me Too is due to be released in April 2016.

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