We had the good fortune of connecting with Anka Malatynska and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anka, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Communist Poland, to two wildly adventurous parents. My father was a Himalayan Mountain Climber who died in the Himalayas when I was a baby, and that propelled my mother to find her way to the United States to secure a better future for myself and my brother. The country and world I was born in didn’t exist by the time I was 10, communism fell and I was brought up in a world of constant change and evolution. There is a magnificent force that lived through my father, it manifested as incredible ambition and fearlessness… this expressed itself as hight altitude climbing, the drive for first ascents in Himalayas. I believe it is this force which is the impetus for evolution. His presence changed my mom’s life and opened her world – like someone lighting a light that turns into a fire. That force continued to guide her life long after his death and it shaped my life – which while their life was expansive has given me a life of incredible freedom, physiologically, geographically and financially. A collection of their strengths now flow through me. What is this force that allows us to stand up against the odds and keep walking forward – fearless & conscious. This to me is God. Evolution is God. And God is Evolution I am a product of Human Migration – the striving and fighting for a better life. A truely Global citizen who longs for a world without borders, without hate, without a fear… a world of mutual respect amongst all living things. Its this background and this deep desire – that expresses itself through my art, my cinematography, my story telling and teaching.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a cinematographer & mentor to aspiring filmmakers world wide. I am the midwife of a Directors Vision and the one who births the Visuals of a Film, TV show, Commercial. The Cinematographer is bridge between idea and manifestation into 3 dimensional reality. The Cinematographers job is hard. I am on my feet moving 500miles a minute all day everyday. Sometimes I laugh that was slows me down is not being able to simultaneously talk to hold two different conversations simultaneously. There are so many departments on a film set that I work very closely with to execute the Director’s and my vision; which is basically a flow of what has been communicated through out the creative process. The creative process is a fascinating animal. I liken it to a living breathing entity – made of the collection of creative intent meeting the physical realities of the creative process. It is something that needs to be heard and deeply listened to. That’s my biggest creative lesson on the way to artistic success as a cinematographer : concepts and setting up visual rules for our narrative visual landscapes, while important should be treated like a theory rather than a rule, always tested against the truth of emotions we are ultimately conveying in a film. Being present in the midst of challenge and discomfort is incredibly important in the creative filmmaking process on set. Being on set is hard, its not glamorous, its a very challenging environment. In this setting the cinematographer ‘paints with light’ & creates. To succeed you must be able to find your zen and channel your creative powers in an ever changing often chaotic environment, full of voices & opinions coming from many sides. We are like painters with many people holding the our hand as we brush the paint onto the canvas. I credit my ability to thrive in change both to my wild international upbringing as well as my deep immersion in yoga and meditation in my twenties and early thirties. After that I became a mother and simultaneously, my career started to flourish and all the grounding, the deep self knowing I aquired during my deep dives into self – were put to the test. I don’t think I could do what I do without being deeply grounded in self knowing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Pre- Pandemic this is a day in my LA: Day 1: I would start our day at Rama Yoga Institute with a Kundalini Yoga class at Venice Beach, brunch at Cafe Gratitude followed by a bike ride from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Beach. I would then get us a Lyft to Malibu where we would rent some surfboards at a local surf shop and we would go long boarding at the iconic Malibu Pier. After we dried off and had our fill of fun in the sun, I would take you up the magically winding Topanga Canyon Boulevard to the Inn of the Seventh Ray for Dinner. We would stop at Wild Love Apothecary to pick up some herbal tonics for peace and bliss. After dinner we would make our way to on of my favorite rustic AirBnB’s in Topanga Canyon – one with an outdoor hot tub. There we would drink our herbal tea and relax after a gorgeous day. That’s a day in my LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All the Women out there in Film: those who are breaking Glass Ceilings, merging mother hood and calling, turning out incredible films, pieces of art and telling their stories…. I wouldn’t be where I am without my best friend and talented director Liz Hinlein. A big shout out to Mary Laws for her magical writing that inspired my cinematography on the HULU series MONSTERLAND. A huge shout out to my students world wide who are stepping into Directing and Cinematography roles…
All behind the scenes images are by me. The one of me is by my son Marek. The rest are still frames from my episodes of Hulu’s Monsterland