Filmmaker Friday featuring Kenneth Stachnik

An Insiders Perspective On The Creative World of Filmmaking

With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Options include pitching an idea, or a commission through screenwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening your project. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to Filmmaker Kenneth Stachnik about his work. This is what he said:


What inspires you?


Kenneth Stachnik: I am inspired anything with an interesting story.

Why did you choose this field?

Kenneth Stachnik: Movies are what makes my heart go pitter-pat. I make movies because I have to.

Where are you from?

Kenneth Stachnik: I was born in Chicago, IL but raised in San Jose, CA. 

What got you interested in this industry?

Kenneth Stachnik: Seeing the TV show “Movie Magic” when I was around 11. It showed the behind the scenes work of several big budget films. It was the first time I really remember thinking about wanting to make movies for a living.

What movie inspires you?

 Kenneth Stachnik:  Once Upon a Time in the West doesn’t so much inspire me, as it does infuriate me with how good it is. Everything about it is amazing. Every time I’m watching it, I find myself wanting to say “that’s it, I’m done! If that’s the bar. I don’t even want to attempt to jump it.” And every time the movie is over, all I want to do is try. It’s one of only a handful of movies that makes me feel that way. Barry Lyndon is another. So is Blade Runner. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Do you have a director or cinematographer that inspires you?

Kenneth Stachnik: David Fincher and Nestor Almendros. They represent the pillars of the two approaches to filmmaking, for me anyway. The perfection and precision of planning and the unexpected magic of reality.

If so what is your favorite quote from them?

Kenneth Stachnik: “There are a million ways to shoot a scene”, but I don’t think so. I think they’re two, maybe. And the other one is wrong. ‘David Fincher’ “It doesn’t matter what’s inside the camera, it matters what is in front of it” Nestor Almendros

How does Filmtools help you?

 Kenneth Stachnik: Making a movie is a little like going to battle, and Filmtools gives me with the weapons and supplies I need to win the war.

What advice do you give to people starting off in this field?

 Kenneth Stachnik: Watch movies. Both good and bad. Good movies give you something to aspire to. Bad movies offer valuable insight into what to avoid. And make movies. But know that everyone starts out by making bad movies. You have to make bad movies before you can make good ones. Grab your phone. Grab some friends. Experiment and make mistakes.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?

 Kenneth Stachnik: The coolest project I’ve worked on so far was probably ClownTown, my first feature film as cinematographer. You can find it on DVD and it’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Do you have any projects that we can help promote?

Kenneth Stachnik: I’m just getting started on pre-production for my next film as cinematographer. It’s called “The Toy Box” You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thetoyboxmovie

Do you have a piece of essential gear that you don’t leave without?

Kenneth Stachnik: My Filmtools AC pouch. Perfect for keeping everything I need to get the job done at the tip of my fingers.

What’s the first thing you do on set?

 Kenneth Stachnik: As a cinematographer, I always start with one basic question. Where is the coffee, and where is the light coming from in the scene.

Where can people follow you on social?

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram


Want to be featured as a Filmmaker?

Tell us your story to be featured as a Filmmaker online. Reach out to Filmtools via Instagram messages or tag us in your photos on InstagramTwitter, & Facebook!

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