Find out what Tanner Cusumano '13 has been up to since he graduated from SC, excelled at Chapman University, and followed his dreams to the film industry.
Tell us about your experience at Chapman.
I had a really amazing college experience at Chapman University, and I must say though it really flew by. I had some great professors that mentored me through my studies there. My short film, “Caliber” that I directed at Chapman University has been screened at numerous film festivals around the country, and my most recent thesis film has been selected as a “Semi-Finalist” for the Student Academy Awards. I am now excited to be starting a position at WME a talent agency in Beverly Hills later next month.
What led you to choose a career in the “industry” and film?
I got interested in film at a really young age. My grandfather had a hobby of moving home movies with me every weekend I went to visit him. We would make little skits together, and that was my first taste of filmmaking. When I was 13, I signed up for my first filmmaking class with New York Film Academy, and that is when my fascination with film started. Then each summer I would make short films with my friends and every year my films would slowly improve, and it got to the point where I realized I wanted to do this for a living.
What are your reflections on your SC school experience? Do you feel it prepared you for university life and life in the “real world?” Did any SC experiences, classes, teachers or classmates impact you positively?
I loved my Sierra Canyon School experience, and I feel it really prepared me for the “real world”. Most of my classes at Sierra were actually harder than my college courses. So many professors at “SC” inspired me and helped me grow as a student, including Mr. Winetrobe, Ms. Turner Jones, Mr. Schrode, and many others. My high school experience at Sierra Canyon was a really amazing experience and is something I will never forget. Enjoy it while you can!
Do you keep in touch with SC classmates? Is that important for you?
I still keep in touch with many of my classmates from Sierra Canyon. I can proudly say that my best friends from high school are still my best friends today, and it’s been amazing to grow with my friends through college. I see my classmate, Riana Nicoloysan almost every week and travelled through Europe this summer with classmates Sean Kelly and Jackson Bates.
Please feel free to add any other appropriate reflections and/or comments, especially those that might help current SC students.
My advice for current students is to take risks, explore subjects you find interesting with a passion. Once college is over your free time will quickly fade and will be much harder to discover your passions.
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.