Today we’d like to introduce you to Sam Sosnowski.
Hi Sam, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Ever since I was a kid I was obsessed with skateboarding and everything about it. At age 12 my friends and I started traveling around the Midwest making skate videos and selling them. That’s when I got my first camera and an iMac and totally fell in love with video editing.
It immediately struck me as something I’d love to do for the rest of my life but growing up in Michigan there wasn’t really a big industry for it. This was pre-Instagram so filming action sports was a pretty niche industry. There wasn’t really a career path to follow for it whereas with other jobs there’s specific things you accomplish in order to get where you want to be, so I literally just started making my own. I made a list of goals and set dates to accomplish them by – I figured the most important thing I could do was just prepare myself so if the opportunity to film skateboarding and snowboard videos ever presented itself, I’d be ready. I started filming as much as possible, saying “yes” to every single job, working for free, over-delivering, staying late, and just doing anything at all possible to show people I wanted to work.
My opportunity finally presented itself in 2015 when a close friend (Martin Fobes) connected me with DC Shoes, they had a month-long trip planned to Tahiti for a project called Robbie Maddison’s Pipe Dream, they invited me on the trip and things went really well, after that trip they hired me on contract and I worked for them for 7 amazing years filming skateboarding, snowboarding, freestyle moto, and lifestyle campaigns until just recently choosing to move on to take a job at Quiksilver as a Global Content Producer.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
That’s a relative questions considering some of the hardships our societies faced these past 2 years – I consider myself extremely fortunate to be in good enough health and have the freedom and ability to pursue my passion – but to honor the question yes, I think there are certainly much easier paths I could of took if I was trying to avoid stress.
It was a classic go for broke story, I moved to California and just went for it. I slept in a garage for a whole summer while dragging a desktop computer to and from the office every day for free because the company I was working for had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and couldn’t pay me, but it’s something I really wanted to do, so I stuck with it and it’s paid off. I’ve gotten travel all over the world having amazing experiences and was able to buy a house in Oceanside, everything from here on out is a bonus. I do work that I’m passionate about every day, I couldn’t ask for more.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Over the past couple years, I’ve been really focused on snowboarding, I’ve made a couple videos – some take place in the backcountry and others are street-focused. The street stuff is very similar to skateboarding: we go to cities to film on urban architecture—handrails, staircases, etc. With the backcountry videos you go to much different locations – Canada, Japan, Idaho, Argentina basically wherever has the most snow in the mountains, usually ends up being the middle of nowhere, and it’s super fun.
My job is basically to make videos for product marketing but looking at it from a brand marketing perspective is just as important. In the stuff I make I want the riders’ personalities to show through a little bit, when I was a kid, I really connected to skateboard videos that had interesting people in them. We’ve seen the same tricks on film for years, I think the best way to make a memorable project is to show a little personality and mood.
Overall, it’s a lot of fun. Quiksilver and DC Shoes have been really good to me over the years so I’m most committed to their projects, but whenever I have time, I love taking on freelance jobs to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone, some of my favorites from last year were working with that singer Estelle from the Kanye song, Gibson Guitars, Titleist, USGA, working with Motion Clubhouse, Chris Ray, Martin Fobes, Ty Evans, etc. I use Instagram and LinkedIn a lot so just follow me on there to check out recent projects
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I love reading and usually have a couple different books going at once, some of my recent favorites are Blink by Malcom Gladwell, Uncommon Friends by James Newell, Mindful Athlete by George Mumford (super corny title but a really good book) also I just read Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson and was very inspired by his life story. I take a lot of inspiration from learning about exceptional people so pretty much can enjoy biography or auto-biography.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @sam_sosnowski_