LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Tristan and Axel Minguez have their eyes set on a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but they can only make it if they get enough votes in a video competition.
The brothers entered the Spellebrity Video Contest. The contest asked students to make a video about why they love to read and how it can help. Tristan worked with his brother and mother on coming up with the concept before shooting it.
"It took them about 100 hours to do all of it," Majal Minguez said. "We first had to sit down and work on the script and the concept. They then did the work to shoot it and edit it."
Tristan and Axel are home-schooled and used two green sheets as a green screen, an iPhone on a tripod and iMovie software to put together the nearly five-minute video.
"We were told that we would be notified if we made it into the top 10 by email the day before," Tristan said. "We never got that email, and we thought we did not. The next day, I looked on the the website and scrolled through the videos. I looked on the first row then the second row and then the third, and there we were.
"Mom was on a phone call, and then I was like, 'We got in and so we just spent the whole day celebrating,'" Tristan said.
Tristan has a history with the National Spelling Bee. It is not uncommon for him to be able to spell pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which is a long word to define a form of lung cancer. This past year, Tristan finished 2nd in the local competition. He has finished first before and gone onto the state competition.
The brothers looked to show how reading can take you all around the world. After several minutes of humor by Tristan, the older brother shows that his goal of the video is to show the brotherly love his has for Axel, who is autistic.
"He is a visual learner, and he likes to read picture books," Tristan said in the video. "We have a special bond between us."
Majal works hard to make sure both children get the learning they need. For mom, the idea of the video made her proud and brought tears to her eyes.
"When Tristan told me, 'Mom I really want to do a video in a way features my relationship with Axel,' that really, really touched me," Minguez said.
Tristan is hoping to get to go to D.C. and see the event he loves live in person, but he also wants for people to learn from his experience.
"I just think that it is very influential, not just for others, but for others with a disability and that no matter what disability you have everyone can read a book," Tristan said.
If the pair gets in the top five of votes on their video, they will get to go to the nation's capital. The spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee will chose the winner from the top five. Anyone can vote in the contest once per email. The contest voting ends March 25.
Click here to see the full video and boat.