Storyteller Spotlight - Jarek Zabczynski

Storyteller Spotlight - Jarek Zabczynski

Jarek Zabczynski

We're pleased to feature Jarek Zabczynski for this week's Storyteller Spotlight. Jarek is an LA-based DP and editor, who got his start splicing together Back to the Future Films ... when he was eight years old. He's come a long way since then. 

How did you get into filmmaking?

"I've been playing with cameras since I was a child, playing around with the family video camera, VHS-C baby! By high school I was making video projects for English class instead of writing book reports. You'd be very hard pressed to see me without a camera strapped to my hand. It was no surprise to anyone that I decided to become a filmmaker."

What's your favorite Part of the Creative process?

"It's really changed over time. When I was young, I was heavily drawn to editing and special effects. When I was 8 I connected two VCRs together and started playing with editing. Figuring out that I could hit pause instead of stop during recording was a game changer. For one of my first projects, I took an 8 hour VHS tape and edited together all three Back To The Future films back to back to back on one tape with no cuts. Since the ending and beginning of the middle films overlap, I was able to cut them together seamlessly. Yeah, it was only two edits, but I had to do it in realtime while watching all three films in one shot. Heck of a commitment for an 8 year old kid!

It wasn't till I got older that I started getting more interested in lighting and cinematography. Now it's really about the storytelling process as a whole, from writing to production, and then post."

What advice would you give someone starting out?

"Just do it. Just go, learn, fail, learn, do it again, keep moving forward and never stop."

What's next? what are you excited about?

"Paying my rent during Corona Quarantine! 

But seriously. I just moved to LA from NY, literally a couple months ago. It's really a two prong approach. I'm out here trying to get one of my own projects off the ground. I've done several short films and plenty of commercials and music videos, but it's time to do a feature. Thing is, if I'm going to make a feature, I need to do it right.

Secondly, I need to stay financially alive. I've been freelancing as an editor and DP at a few agencies and studios in LA, and luckily have started doing alright. Things might change over the next few weeks, but I'm trying to stay positive and hoping for the best."