Carmel Valley students launch filmmaking company

Canyon Crest Academy students Jason Segal, Hunter Peterson and Kush Rawal started a new business called Cinema 595.  Photo: Karen Billing
Canyon Crest Academy students Jason Segal, Hunter Peterson and Kush Rawal started a new business called Cinema 595. Photo: Karen Billing

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Canyon Crest Academy juniors Jason Segal, Kush Rawal and Hunter Peterson have started their own business, Cinema 595, putting their talents and knowledge of filmmaking to work. The Carmel Valley teens can film any event, from horseback riding shows to weddings, edit together old media and create music videos or help with original films.

“We’re very flexible with what our clients need us to do,” Jason said.

“We all bring a broad variety of skills to the table,” added Kush.

While all are busy with full Advanced Placement course loads, they will always make time for filmmaking. They already have Cinema 595 jobs lined up this month and are looking forward to the opportunity and experience to work and create.

“We have a deep passion for filmmaking, we just all really love making films so it’s not a job for us,” Jason said.

The new company comes on the heels of Jason and Kush’s successful computer-help business Equarius Consulting, started last summer. Equarius has kept their weekends busy for the last seven months, sometimes working double and triple jobs.

While Jason said the workload was “crazy,” it was also a great working experience and helped them raise enough money to buy new camera equipment.

Although they are only 17 years old, all are students in the film conservatory program at Canyon Crest, earning a very valuable education in the art. They’ve learned filming, editing, audio-work, and color correction “from the pros,” Jason said, as the conservatory brings working professionals into the classroom as guest artists to teach the students.

Guest artists this year are Tom O’Hara, who owns his own business filming weddings, and Destin Cretton, who won a Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival last year for his short film “Short Term 12.”

Hunter, who has been making films since he was a sixth grader, said they recently spoke to a CCA graduate who told them how well-prepared she was for film school at Emerson from what she learned in conservatory.

“This program puts us ahead of all of the other students to the point where when we go to film school, we’ll blow everyone of the water with what we have learned and what we’ve made,” Hunter said.

“The teachers really encourage us to make our own films,” Kush said, “They know the best way to learn is though involvement, by actually doing it.”

The three became close in conservatory classes and worked together on Hunter’s film. The trio also puts together the weekly school TV show CCA TV, equating the Friday show to a real job for how much work they put into it.

Jason said teacher Mark Raines, a documentary filmmaker, has taught them one of the most important lessons of filmmaking: how to work well with others.

“He teaches us how the real world works and that you have to be a cohesive unit,” Jason said.

The friends and now business partners agree that working well together is just one more filmmaking skill they’ve mastered.

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