Chris Leszkowicz: A Tri-C story made for the movies
May 11, 2017
Chris Leszkowicz looked at his life three years ago and saw a guy clocking long shifts as a restaurant kitchen manager. Despite the title on his nametag, the job fell short of his dreams.
So he turned to Cuyahoga Community College and started work on his Hollywood ending.
The aspiring cinematographer will graduate in May with an Associate of Applied Business degree in media arts and filmmaking. He’ll walk with his fellow grads at commencement – if he can break away from the set of "White Boy Rick," a crime drama starring Matthew McConaughey.
Leszkowicz landed a production assistant job with the movie in March as filming began around Cleveland. The 23-year-old is on the crew shooting scenes around the city.
“I still can’t believe I’m part of something like this,” he said.
The Brecksville resident decided in 2014 to follow his love of movies and focus on a career in the film industry. Leszkowicz enrolled at Tri-C and began taking classes in cinematography at Metropolitan Campus.
He quickly found a home in the Student Production Office on campus, where he received hands-on training working behind the camera.
Leszkowicz said his experience working on "White Boy Rick" made him realize how much he learned at the College. He said the training helped him build the skills demanded by studios shooting in Northeast Ohio.
“If it wasn’t for this program, I would have been lost on that set,” he said.
The new graduate now becomes part of the workforce needed to support the region’s fast-growing film industry. Tri-C has been developing training programs in cooperation with the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.
Leszkowicz said he hopes to be hired to work on another local film set this summer. He’s also involved in several freelance projects.
“I’m excited about the future,” Leszkowicz said. “Tri-C put me in a position to succeed.”
Throughout the month, we will be highlighting members of this spring's Tri-C graduating class. Click here to read more of their stories.