Featured Creative: Adam Nawrot

The Alchemist’s Tome | Aegir from Adam Nawrot on Vimeo.

t takes a certain kind of person to specialize in adventure film and photography. Not only do you have to have the conceptual and technical expertise to capture intense moments – but you have to navigate potentially life-threatening situations with skill and awareness. Even for experts, things still don’t always go as planned.

When cinematographer Adam Nawrot filmed Aegir (embedded above), he and his team walked away from the experience with two written warnings, four tickets, and a court appearance. Adam’s game plan for filming Aegir and other pieces like it? “We’re gonna do it till we get kicked out,” he said.

Adam identifies in a lot of ways. He’s a photographer, a cinematographer, and an editor. His expertise extends to film scoring, music composition, graphic design … The list goes on. If you’re into adventure film and cinematography, you’ll want Adam on your team.


In high school he was interested in music composition and film scoring. Later, at Rutgers University, he discovered a passion for filmmaking – specifically cinematography. When Adam was at Rutgers, there wasn’t a film department yet in place, so he took an interdisciplinary approach to learning the craft and he worked on several feature-length films in college.

One experience took him to Italy, where he worked with another cinematographer on the documentary film, “Princess of Piombino,” which details the life of modern Roman royalty. “That’s such a wild story,” said Adam, when asked about the film.”It’s about these family dynasties that exist after the world of family dynasties…shooting it felt like it was a mix between ‘meet the Kardashians,’ and Downton Abbey.”

“We’re gonna do it till we get kicked out”

When Adam graduated from Rutgers with a degree in graphic design, he’d developed a love for the multifaceted art of filmmaking.

He has never been scared of a challenge. Rafting expeditions, kayaking, caving, biking, and ice climbing are just some of the risky enterprises he’s captured. When Adam shoots outdoor footage, he says it’s a “really weird half Hollywood set, half adventure expedition scenario.” But the footage he’s capturing is the real deal, and working in adventure film can be dangerous.

It’s Adam’s job to remain focused, despite his surroundings. He reflected on his role in an adventure filmmaking team, saying, “If I’m shooting kayaking I can’t go out there and focus on having a good time kayaking or a good time filmmaking. It has to be one or the other.”

Usually, Adam shoots video with a team, and often works with athletes to capture adventure footage. Adam’s in charge of directing the whole process. “It’s important to know what you’re asking them [the athletic team] to do, just so you’re not putting anyone at risk,” he said.

“If I’m shooting kayaking I can’t go out there and focus on having a good time kayaking or a good time filmmaking. It has to be one or the other.”

Once Adam has the footage he needs the next step is editing the film, which is often a rigorous process.


He looks for specific things when cutting film, with the intent of either conveying subtle messages or really jarring the viewer. If Adam wants frames to blend together, he concentrates on how the colors in each frame mix together, and makes sure that a person’s eye movement remains consistent between transitions. When he wants to convey not-so-subtle messages, he plays up the differences between frames to make it obvious that a cut’s been made.

Adam works with composers to add music to his footage. Music plays a large role in his work and Adam says that in some ways, the process of creating footage parallels music. “I really love creating things that are cohesive sonically and visually, and operating in a way that’s not unlike the way that music operates,” he said.


Adam also focuses on drone operation. “The first time I saw the shots people were getting with drones, it was bananas,” he said. After becoming acquainted with this new technology, he co-founded Protoscience Media Lab, a production company that specializes in aerial photography. Most of the footage Adam captures for Protoscience is shot on Freefly Systems drones. He said taking aerial footage on drones is congruent with his personal style.

“It ties back into this whole desire to have my hand show in the photos I am taking,” he said, explaining that drones are able to capture images from unique vantage points that  have never been captured before. Like adventure film and photography, flying drones is a risky business, “It is incredibly stressful,” he admitted, “Especially if I’m flying an 80 thousand dollar camera…All it takes is one big gust of wind.”


Being on the cutting-edge of aerial photography development is exciting for Adam, whose work reflects his unique ability to navigate many different channels with almost unbelievable ease and enthusiasm.

Adam is based in New Jersey.
Contact him: www.adamnawrot.com and www.protosciencemedia.com
View his Instagram: radam_gnawrot
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sam-wymer-featured-imageMonika Geble