We had the good fortune of connecting with Andi Obarski and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andi, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It took me a while to sort of figure out what I “wanted to be when I grow up.” Photography always interested me, as did movies, and at first I really wanted to make documentaries. Then in college my interest moved towards animation, but when I realized that working until 4 am alone in a dark room wasn’t necessarily healthy for me, I started shooting other people’s short films in college and found that cinematography was a good fit.

I thankfully have super supportive parents who wanted me to do what I loved as a career. They never questioned my motives, or whether or not I could do what I wanted to do. The only thing my Dad requested was that I get a Bachelor of Science in Cinema Production versus a BFA in Cinema and Photography because “it’s worth more in the real world”. Though I still have yet to be asked about my undergrad degree.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Q: How did you get to where you are today? Was it easy?

A: Sometimes, I feel like I accidentally stumbled to where I am today, but I know that that is just me not being fair to myself. The abridged version of my work/artistic history goes like this: I worked at a rental house for a little less than two years after college, then I started a business (Artek Pictures) with my friend where we worked in pretty much all positions of the camera department to grow and hone our skills. I then joined Local 600 as an AC in NY and worked in that arena for a while, shooting my own work on the side, then I went to AFI for my MFA in cinematography. I graduated in 2021, and now I’m shooting commercial and narrative projects.

Where I am now in my life, I don’t really make short-term plans. Of course I have goals that I want to achieve in the long run, but I sort of put my head down, work as hard as I can, and when I come up for air I can say “oh cool, look where I am, I’m closer to the place that I want to be – that’s dope.”

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh wow, that’s a tough one. To be honest, I’ve only been in LA a little while, and being in grad school through the pandemic doesn’t allow for much city exploration. But I will say that hiking in Angeles National Forest is a must. As someone who lived in NYC for seven years, it still blows my mind how close to nature you always are in Los Angeles. I would also say to bike along the LA River and stop for some food at Spoke Bicycle Cafe. Get ice cream at Afters in Pasadena, drive along Mulholland at sunset, go to a show at the Hollywood Bowl, see some art at the Broad, and, if you can, treat yourself to a dinner at Nobu. That or street tacos. In either case your tastebuds will thank you.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without a doubt, my supportive parents, Dave and Kathy, my two aunts, Jenny and Helen, my good friends and work colleagues, Nate, Sam, Zach and Charlee, my partner Anna, all my previous partners who stuck by me despite them not working in the industry and dealing with my unpredictable freelance schedule, and last but definitely not least, my mentor, Marlena.

Website: www.andiobarski.com

Instagram: @andiobarski

Image Credits
1 – April Maxey 6&8 – Jared Hawkley 5&7 – Joshua Nathan Rest unknown

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