HCPSS Alumnus Turned Emerging Filmmaker
HCPSS alumnus Matthew Myslinski was fascinated by television and film from an early age. His filmmaking began by making stop motion shorts as a youngster. He later went on to win his first film prize in sixth grade at the Howard County Green Schools Film Festival, open to middle and high school students.
Myslinski had already been heavily involved with stage productions at his school, Mt. Hebron High School. He had played trumpet in the orchestra and acted in several school performances.
It wasn’t until after his film class with media specialist Scott Robinson, however, when he started thinking about taking his fascination with film to a new level. “Mr. Robinson saw something in my work that nobody else did. He was the one who really encouraged me to follow my passion and make it my career,” Myslinski said.
Myslinski started high school with a focus on engineering. Once going down the road to film, however, engineering took a back seat. His connection to engineering hasn’t gone away completely, “The work that I did in engineering taught me a lot of great skills that I’ve carried over to my film and television career. Teamwork, communication, time management, how to organize a project from start to finish, experimentation and being flexible are all necessary to a successful production.”
Myslinski is finishing his senior year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to complete his BFA in cinematic arts. Myslinski continues to study filmmaking through classes and by making films. It’s not just point and shoot. He writes and directs his films and is responsible for every step in the process.
His work paid off. In 2015, he wrote and directed a short film called “Lightyears.” While many student films might fly under the radar, “Lightyears” was screened at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in May 2016.
“Attending the festival was the trip of a lifetime. It was an incredibly fun, educational and humbling experience that afforded me the opportunity to screen my work before an audience of industry professionals, network with talented individuals from all over the world, and see firsthand what goes into the business of filmmaking at that level,” Myslinski said.
Myslinski travels extensively both for pleasure and for film work including traveling for screenings at venues like Cannes and Universal Studios Hollywood in California. Along with directing his own projects, he’s worked on 10 feature films, four television shows, corporate films and commercials. He also travels back to his alma mater. “I stop by occasionally to visit with Mr. Robinson, show him what I’m working on and sometimes speak to his students.”
Myslinski is looking forward to the next project—a historical comedy called “Four Corners”—and whatever else the future may hold. “The school system’s ability to inspire kids to know they can do anything they set their mind to is really what makes it special. It’s teachers like Mr. Robinson who inspired me to take a leap of faith and pursue something that I truly love.”