We're all about supporting equal opportunities and would love to feature more MALE entrepreneurs and influencers that are doing amazing things in Toronto, so if you are one, or know about any, please give us a shout here. This week, we spoke with Adam Madrzyk, an incredibly talented cinematographer about his vision for his business and how he works it everyday. This is what he said..
1. First off, tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to get into cinematography?
My name is Adam Madrzyk. I’m a Cinematographer based in Toronto, Ontario. What got me into cinematography was originally my interest in photography and videography through skateboarding. As a teen I aspired to be a National Geographic photographer and travel the world; however, this dream quickly faded when I stopped focusing on photography and began shifting my focus into more serious film work. I was lucky to have a lot of opportunities in high school that led me to the Ryerson film program. Now, I graduate in a few months, and I am continuing to work professionally in the field. Film has always been a part of my life to some extent but it continues to be a bigger and bigger part of who I am creatively.
What I love most about cinematography is that it’s a profession that calls for constant creativity, collaboration, and expertise. One could work their whole life, but the craft requires constant innovation and knowledge especially with the endless change of technology. I think even the best cinematographers encourage themselves to learn something on new projects. It’s not always about how much you know, but rather knowing when to apply your knowledge to the project in the most effective way.
2. What do you think sets you apart from others in your field?
I think what sets me apart from others in my field is my visual style and aesthetic that I try to achieve and maintain consistently throughout my work. As a cinematographer, style is key. It’s important to refine your taste in this industry, and have a strong idea about what visual styles you wish to emulate, and how you will tell a story within that style while still evoking strong character development. In this day in age everyone seems to be developing their own brand, so I think having a clear, and precise idea about who you are creatively is the recipe for longevity. I try to keep my work as niche as possible because knowing who I want to be and how I want to be seen by others lends to the quality of my work.
3. A lot of our clients are small start-ups and small businesses. Can you share some tips on how to make a compelling video when you've got a small budget?
I think knowing your message and knowing your audience is crucial. It often seems like many businesses out there advertise or create video content just for the sake of doing so sometimes. Having a strategy and a long term game plan is the key when investing in making a video. Essentially, try to stand out and create a compelling piece by connecting to your audience. Embracing simplicity is also powerful, and a trick I feel teams and videographers tend to forget. There are so many simple concepts out there that can be created plainly, yet effectively. Compelling doesn’t always translate to ‘big budget’, it’s all a matter of telling the right story to the right people.
4. We love your beautiful Instagram feed and how humble you are. How do you stay so authentic with such a big online following?
Thank you so much! I have a quote written on my whiteboard at home that reads “Think of how you want to be remembered." I think this represents me fairly accurately. I am an optimist, so I tend to naturally offer as much positive energy to my peers as I can. I’m also a strong believer that authenticity is number one, and it’s something that I try to integrate into my work life and daily grind as much as I can. If I lose touch of my own story and who I am then my work will suffer.
5. What advice do you for others who aspire to follow a similar path?
If I could give any advice to someone who would be interested in entering the film world (or to my younger self), it would be to take advantage of your youth. It’s never too early or too late to start creating video content. There’s so much information out there with youtube and cinematography forums that it’s easier than ever to learn. It just takes time, practice, and perseverance when honing this craft. It’s ultimately about not giving up on yourself no matter what industry you wish to work in, but the film industry is in a place right now that is hungry for innovation, new creation and development. There’s more media consumption now than ever before which makes it an ideal time to be a creative - so take advantage of that!
6. What are you most excited for in the coming year?
I’m currently developing a passion project of mine that is a narrative biopic about Guion Bluford, who is a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut who was the first African American man to go to space. I'm so excited to develop and shoot this project and I am working day and night to bring it to life. We reached out to Guion himself and he gave us his blessing to make this film. It has been a wild ride and has been hugely inspiring to speak to a real astronaut who has completed not one, but four missions to space! We jump into production mid February and are hoping to complete the film by early May.
7. How do you #workit everyday?
Everyday is an opportunity to #workit, learn, innovate and create something new! I hope to keep pushing myself creatively for as long as I can and I hope to share some untold stories along the way. My job is all about bringing different worlds to life which is inherently exciting in itself, but #workingit everyday means being true to who I am while striving to capture my own personal visual style.