Budding filmmaker, Hunter Olstein ’17 has been putting his passion and skills to the test through several academic opportunities at Trinity-Pawling. Last year, Olstein’s Winter Project (one of the components of the Practicum for Civic Leadership) focused on making a basketball tutorial video in Chinese. This year he is working on creating a video tour of the school narrated in Chinese.
The capstone component of the Practicum for Civic Leadership is the Senior Independent Project in which seniors are linked with an alumnus, parent, or friend of the School who has expertise in a similar interest. Olstein’s Independent Project was a 3-minute short film that he created. “My Project mentors Paul Rachman ’78, Gedney Webb ’86, and Roland Betts (producer of Gandhi and The Killing Fields) gave me a great amount of insight about working in the film industry,” Olstein remarks. “After having a few conversations with them I wrote out my script, planned the shoot, and filmed for about two days.” While meeting his academic requirements, Olstein had the opportunity to learn about filmmaking, and took this advantage to hone his craft.
Olstein also had a rare opportunity to become involved with the production of a feature film last March. The Netflix original film, “Coin Heist”, shot several scenes on Trinity-Pawling’s campus, and Olstein landed a position as a production assistant. “Working on set helped me a lot with networking,” Olstein says. “It was the first time I had to assert myself to contact, organize, and push for a role outside of school. I gained a lot of confidence in placing myself in a situation I was not used to.” Olstein adds, “For me it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was my first job, and I was getting a glimpse into the career I am hoping to follow.”
Watch Hunter’s Senior Independent Project, “The Cover Up” here.