Today we’d like to introduce you to Pedro Avila AMC.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve never been one to inconvenience anyone else, so when I came to this world I decided to arrive at 8 pm, so my mother could have a good night sleep and well-rested in the morning we could start a new day together.
I grew up in Durango, a small city in Mexico, but along with my brother, two sisters, and parents, we spend most our summers in Los Angles where my grandmother lived. Sometimes we would travel to a small town in rural Idaho where my mother’s sister lives. Family, Durango, a large metropolis and a rural town is what I was soaking up as a kid. Different people, different cultures, and different sunsets.
At home, my dad seemed to know every story, he is like an encyclopedia. He would tell us stories from our grandfather and when the revolution came to Durango to stories about hanging out with Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Ringo Star and more back when Durango was known as the land of cinema. My dad is an architect, but he could have just as well been a writer. My mom was always behind a camera, super 8mm, betamax, hi8, you name it. She recorded everything we did, she is the auteur of the documentary of our most memorable moments. You would think she was a full-time documentarian, I don’t know how she managed to always be there with a camera and also have the time to run the most successful bakery in town.
Now it seems so obvious, but it took me years to piece it together. When it came time to choose a career I had no idea I would end up telling stories through a camera. Cinematography became my passion but not before trying out for a profesional soccer team, attempting to jump into the music industry, and even becoming a farmer. For five years, I worked all kinds of jobs in 4 different countries. I wanted to see more, I stopped working and just traveled until I realized I was intrigued by people, their cultures, their humanity and the environments where they lived, a variety of bright orange sunsets, deep blue skies, gray rainy days, vast green landscapes. Again, stories and light. Cinematography. That is how I landed at the University of California Santa Cruz and began pursuing this profession.
Please tell us about your art.
I’m a cinematographer, I tell stories through images. Searching for an art to call my own is an ongoing journey. The major part of this journey is searching for new, different, and compelling stories to tell. Its a part that has nothing to do with cinematography but it is the most important part, finding these stories and the people who want to tell them. Its all about human connections and human emotions. After that comes the way to tell their stories, but you have to connect first, empathize with someone and their journey.
I started working professionally in Mexico City as a Cinematographer in Mexican soap operas, it was an incredible learning experience to which I’m grateful to have been a part of. I was fortunate to work for a production company that was always pushing the boundaries of the classic soap opera, exploring thought-provoking stories and moving towards a more visual way of making them. When this production company took a different path so did I, continuing to search for my voice and new stories to tell. My curiosity for learning new stories and about different cultures took me to Miami and soon back to Los Angeles, where I stopped working on soap operas and moved on to different ways of telling stories. I’ve worked on commercials, music videos, branded content, documentaries, live concerts, short and feature films. Films and documentaries is where my love lies, its where I think I can better contribute to a voice. Its where I can find compelling stories to tell, stories that must be heard.
I balance this work on a personal level with nature and landscape photography. For me, its the extreme of being on a film set, I do this work alone. It’s really a time for me to think and explore. It connects me back to traveling and its a way to disconnect from the world and recharge batteries for when I can go back to a set and continue my work as a cinematographer.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Follow your dreams, find people that share your passion. Being behind a camera is incredible but one of the most satisfying things about working in film is the people you meet. Find like-minded individuals and stay the course. Be humble and generous.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I’m old school, www.pedroavila.com
My web page has my cinematography reels, resume, bio, and contact info. I also share social media pages there though I tend to stay away from social media except for Instagram, where I have my sanctuary of nature photography. www.instagram.com/pedroavilacross/
Probably the best way to support my work is to find ways to collaborate. Film is a collaborative medium and we depend on each other through supporting each other’s work and recommending each other.
- Website: www.pedroavila.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/pedroavilacross
Pedro Avila AMC