VMA Students Talk Film with Edward James Olmos

On Tuesday, May 9, Film ⅔ and Media Art Core students had the opportunity to meet and speak with Academy Award nominated actor Edward James Olmos, grandfather of Layla Olmos ‘21.

Mr. Olmos is most known for his roles in "Bladerunner," "Selena," "Stand and Deliver," and "Battlestar Galactica."

Prior to meeting with Mr. Olmos, the students watched "Stand and Deliver," the 1988 drama for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Mr. Olmos played the lead of the film, Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus. Mr. Olmos discussed the film at length with the students and answered questions about the film and his lengthy career in Hollywood.

Mr. Olmos talked about choosing his roles carefully and staying true to his interests. He spent a year researching the role of Jaime Escalante before acting in "Stand and Deliver."

He had students repeat out loud the following phrase over and over again throughout the discussion:

“Discipline yourself to do the things you love to do when you don’t feel like doing them."

“If you don’t do something seven days a week, there will be someone out there who does. Spend ten minutes a day on your hobby or passion -- read about it, watch it, do it, or talk about it. Ten minutes a day, seven days a week," said Mr. Olmos.

By doing this, Mr. Olmos articulated that one can become the best version of him/herself.

Mr. Olmos is also the founder of Youth Cinema Project, an award-winning, project-based learning program that develops creativity and reinforces literacy in 4-12th grade public schools across the state of California.

"Mr. Olmos lead an energizing and compelling discussion with the students. It was a wonderful experience and generated a great dialogue. It was an honor to have Mr. Olmos, a tremendously talented artist, speak with our Middle School and Upper School students," said Media Arts teacher Amanda Kyed.
 
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Windward School is a 7-12, co-educational, independent day school in Los Angeles, California.