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Meet Abylay Zhakashov of Broken Cage Studio in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abylay Zhakashov.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Abylay. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Some people start their productions when they are already established and can use their name, but after a motorcycle accident where I almost died I decided to start a new chapter in my life and built my name with Broken Cage Studio.

My name is Abylay Zhakashov. I am a producer and executive producer of a number of films. I have produced three feature films since launching Broken Cage Studio three years ago. These projects have spanned the genres of drama, horror and action, in addition to an archive story film I produced.

I have done over ten short films which were screened all over the world last year and received multiple awards.

My main goal is to make movies with people who are passionate about them and inspire people to trust themselves and their dreams.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was a blank sheet of paper in the beginning, as I was just starting out in the film industry. I had enough time to study the film industry and understand its pros and cons while I was at the hospital. Opening a production company seemed like it could potentially be a waste of time and money, but it was always my dream to become a producer and have my own film production company.

The biggest struggle for me was my network, as I didn’t know anyone from the industry. I was like a wolf among lions. Everything was different – environment, people, industry – everything was new and unknown. I had to discover lots of things, even learning who the DP is on a set. Yes, I started a production company not knowing who the hell the DP is.

I always knew that there was a camera operator, but the Director of Photography sounded just like DM (Diphenylaminechlorarsine).

However, I was passionate about learning something new. I purchased tons of books on how production works and what the film industry looks like from the inside. In the end, I understood that film production works just the same as chocolate production. Yeah, that’s right, you can put production of any product in here and it will work, it’s just a different environment.

Another struggle is to find financing. There is nothing new here, as all filmmakers struggle in raising funds for their films and I just joined that group.

I actually enjoy it. Every day we develop a new project (product), every day we pitch, every day we hear “not interested.” But one out of hundred investors say “yes,” and it just gives us the motivation to continue doing it.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Broken Cage Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
Broken Cage Studio.

Everyone, who hears the name of the company feels that he/she must make a joke about it. “Can we help you to fix the cage?”. The answer is “NO”, we don’t need to fix it.

We brake the cages we live in every day, just like we want to break the rules and stay out of the crowd. Broken Cage Studio specializes mostly in film production, but we also have a music video and commercial department, which handles all smaller projects.

Our team is very passionate about developing and producing visual messages for the community. We want to ignite that spark in people, which helps them to explore their emotions – to open up and think about their lives and start sharing their thoughts.

Every person in the world has their own story. Everyone has something to share. There are millions of people who went through things none of us can even imagine.

I am especially proud of my team. They are the ones who supported me in my darkest days.

What sets us apart is that every team member has a diverse background and experience. Our organizational structure is not a traditional structure. We encourage our employees at Broken Cage Studio to have creative freedom, no matter what position the person holds.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
HUGE! If something bad can happen, it happens to me.

However, I am not complaining. I am very proud of my luck. There is no such thing as bad luck or good luck, whatever happens to us is whatever we must go through in order to learn something from it. Every situation I faced happened for my own benefit.

Of course, in the moment it happens to me I am very disappointed, but in the end, I know that everything was for the best. My friends and family call me a trouble man or troublemaker as I am a magnet for unusual situations, where I must adapt or find new solutions.

Even opening a production company was preceded by one of the hardest situations I have faced. I was in a motorcycle accident. Not completely unexpected, as every biker knows that the risk of getting into an accident is huge and chances for surviving are pretty low.

I somehow managed to survive. When I said I had enough time to learn the film industry, I meant that I was bedridden after the accident. You could say it was bad luck when that guy driving the car didn’t see me and ran into my motorcycle, but I would thank him. That “bad luck” changed my whole life and now that broken motorcycle is the symbol of Broken Cage Studio and stands in our conference room as a reminder for me. It motivates everyone to do what they want or need today, not tomorrow.

As Winston Churchill said: “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1415 W Magnolia Blvd, Ste 202,
    Burbank, CA
  • Website:
  • Phone: 818 748 31 00
  • Email:

Image Credit:

Broken Cage Studio

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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