We had the good fortune of connecting with Eli Suhadolnik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eli, why did you pursue a creative career?
Since I was little I was fascinated with movies, and videos in general. I vividly remember watching Travis Rice’s snowboard films growing up and being totally immersed in another world. I knew I wanted to be apart of the process of creating stories, and more specifically being behind the camera. I had my hesitations pursuing this career and it held me back from starting for a long time, but I knew it was something I wanted to at least give a try. A corporate job with a steady paycheck and a w-2 is nice, but I need to keep myself on my toes. So far it is working out…for the most part!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Director of Photography and video editor. As I have grown in this industry I have begun to film more lifestyle and commercial gigs, anything from car commercials, product and lifestyle videos. Anyone can pick up a camera and shoot something, but I pride myself on proper lighting, camera techniques, and editing to create enticing visuals and stories.
It has not been easy, I was driving Uber eats and waiting tables at night for the first 2 years to get some extra income. I purchased gear hoping that I would have the work to pay it off, and getting paid below minimum wage just to learn the craft. But it has all been worth it! I am nowhere near where I want to be in this career, but I am slowly but surely making my way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to just stick with it, don’t give up, it will be worth it. The feeling I get from working on a video and being proud of the end result is worth all of the nights waiting tables.
I’m excited to keep creating and pushing myself to produce beautiful videos, and to hopefully one day work with big lifestyle and outdoor brands.
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.
Well North County San Diego is my area. So, I would definitely spend most of the time along the coastal stretch between Solana Beach and Leucadia. We have to hangout at the beach and surf seaside, that is my favorite place in North County. All of my favorite restaurants are in Encinitas so I would definitely take them to Nectarine Grove for breakfast/lunch and Birdseye Kitchen for the best Thai food around.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My friend and coworker Ethan Lew has been a big part of my creative journey. He gave me a chance to start this whole career path and has since been someone who I go to every single day and bounce ideas off of. We have learned a lot together and continue to get better at filmmaking. I just appreciate his willingness to help me!
Obviously my family deserves a shoutout. This isn’t the most traditional path, but everyone in my family is supportive.