Honest Advice On Being A Professional Cinematographer – Andy Rydzewski [FULL INTERVIEW]

Film Courage: Have you always wanted to be a cinematographer or did you want to be a director instead? 

Andy Rydzewski, Cinematographer: Cinematography came to me later and I feel like I stumbled into it. Directing was kind of always the goal, I loved films (specifically atmosphere). I was always attracted to the atmosphere which when I was a kid usually meant genre – horror, sci-fi, fantasy (the fantastical) and I think that’s what drew me initially to it is a totally different world. Then over the years especially once I got into college and grad school more specifically I was making films with friends. I was writing a lot at the time. Also my school was small so doing film mixed with theater, plays and all that and the more that I did that, I loved it. But everything was a little. slow. You sit by yourself, you’re writing, you’re writing, you’re writing. Directing you have to organize a lot of things. You didn’t really have producers at this school and I started to pay attention to cinematography knowing my own thesis film was coming soon and there was nobody in my school that was a very good shooter. I just started studying that and other people started to ask me to shoot their films. I started learning cinematography really by working on other people’s films and the immediate gratification of it became very addictive. Directing took me months to organize a short and whether I was writing the script or getting it from somebody else it still took time. Cinematography, it’s just like Okay, well let’s light the scene. Now let’s shoot it. That immediate gratification I think was a big turnover for me. I got addicted to knowing I can make this happen right now whereas writing which I still very, very rarely I still do some and I still hope to find my way back to directing. I miss directing a lot. I miss interacting with actors not that I don’t in my job now but in a slightly more intimate way perhaps. It was something that I never aimed for but then it has just found its way to me…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).









Andy Rydzewski has shot features, TV series, commercials, shorts, docs, skits, etc. He has two graduate degrees (MFA in screenwriting and an MA in film production) from Humboldt State University. His latest completed project is the Hulu series PEN15 starring Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Melora Walters and more.


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