Who is Mark Pedri?

For the past weeks we have been updating you with Burning Torch Productions new summer movie, Energy, Oh Energy and the developments on producer Mark Pedri’s training process for his upcoming journey. Today we are going to explore Mark, his background, career path, and passion.

Mark’s passion for filmmaking was rooted in his passion for adventure.  Mountain biking was one of the factors that lead Mark to becoming a filmmaker.  Adventure has been a driving force in Mark’s life but that’s not all that makes this energy filled, young man tick.

Mark and Marty Pool in Dunedin, New Zealand. Photo by Alexa Warburton

The early days of Burning Torch Productions consisted predominantly of freeride mountain bike films.

 

Mark Pedri was born and raised in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Mark’s deep passion of filmmaking began when he was very young. After he graduated from high school, he was accepted to DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where he studied film production. During his time at DePaul University he took a semester to study at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Shooting in New Zealand

Mark shooting "Expression" near Rock Springs, WY. Photo by Tony Colbert

 

Mark’s strong passion of filmmaking led him to establish his own film production company, Burning Torch Productions. Mark says, “I chose to study filmmaking because I saw something in the art that I couldn’t find anywhere else.  Film has the power to evoke every human emotion possible.  Films have changed the world and have been a place for people to go when all else is lost.  I wanted to create something that people could believe in.  I wanted to be a part of one of the most popular forms of art.  I wanted to create something great.” However, like every profession, filmmaking has its own challenges. Mark expresses the challenge of his career like this:

“The most challenging part of this career is the competitive nature.  If you aren’t making great films then you aren’t going to be able to sustain yourself.  Yes, there are small things like wedding movies and corporate training videos but that’s not why I became a filmmaker.  Those projects are a last resort.  I am interested in the top tier of filmmaking and this makes the job much more competitive and stressful.  I work about 12 hours on any given day.  When a film is in production it isn’t unusual to work 2 or 3 weeks of 12 hour days every day.  It’s a job that is tightly woven with passion. Without the passion, you won’t survive for one day.  Sometimes you will work a month straight, with long hours and 0 days off only to find out that your investors have pulled out and you won’t be getting paid for that project.  This has happened to me and all you can do is pick up the pieces and try again.  I’ve had to abandon projects because of money.  It’s not unusual.  The film industry is a unique art because it is so intertwined with business.  In order to be a film producer, you must be 50% creative filmmaker, 25% business man, and 25% lawyer.  People only see the end product when they go to the theater.  If they had any idea of what went into that product, they wouldn’t even fully comprehend it.  Is $8.00 expensive to see a movie?  You may say yes.  Well, what do you think it costs to insure Nicole Kidman’s knee on her latest film?  Millions.  People don’t see that, nor should they.  They are there to escape the real world and witness something genuine and beautiful on the screen.  During those 100 minutes when the lights dim in the theater, anything is possible.  That’s why people go to the movies and I am here to make sure they can do this.”

Regardless of the numerous challenges of the filmmaking industry, Mark never aims to quit. Filmmaking is not just a career for Mark, but also a huge part of his life and identity. Mark says, “I see myself making movies for my entire life.  If you can do something for 12 hours a day and still love it, hold on to that because it is rare to find.  I love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way.  Filmmaking has giving me the opportunity to travel all over the world, meet some wonderful people, and also be a part of many people’s lives through the films I have made.  I have made a lot of sacrifices to become a filmmaker and I will have to make plenty more.”

With Mark’s keen passion for filmmaking, along with his strong motivation and educational background, it would not be hard to forecast how great his new film, Energy, Oh Energy will be.  Keep checking back for the final blog before Mark departs on his journey.  Stay connected to find out about different events coming up and how he will be keeping us all updated from the trail.

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