Peer Portraits: Paul Shkordoff
Paul Shkordoff is a writer/director based in Toronto, Canada. We first met Paul about ten years ago when he modeled for HNDSM in the early days of the brand. We immediately connected over a common love for fashion, retail and tattoos. Over the years, Paul has had a diverse career path and is now focussed on filmmaking.
We’d love to know more about your background, upbringing and the road that brought you to where you are now, personally and professionally.
That's a long story, but this is the truncated version: I grew up in a small town assuming I'd play in the NBA one day. When that didn't pan out, after drifting through school, I found myself working in fashion. I ran a store in Toronto called Working Title for about four years and learned a few things about working with people and trusting your instincts. Through the store, I rediscovered my joy for filmmaking, and after shutting the shop down, ended up pursuing film full time.
What inspired you to make the transition from fashion into film making?
I think I just very slowly pieced it all together over a long time and there was a lot of trial and error. I tried my hand in journalism, then photography, but never felt totally comfortable with either. Filmmaking felt like a nice combination of the two and it allowed me to meet and work with a lot of interesting, talented people.
What do you find that the two industries have in common?
There’s probably a lot in common, but i think in terms of parallels between the two: you're only as good as the people you keep around you. I think process is paramount to product, and you need to be able to stand by the choices you make and how you go about making them.
What is something you believe everyone should experience in their life?
Love and heartbreak.
What was your favorite moment today and do you have any favorite grounding rituals?
I went for a walk through a path I never knew about in the park today and that was nice. It was warm - that was nice, too. I try to stretch every evening now and couple that with breathing exercises. It came out of necessity, but, I enjoy the ritual a lot. It lets me slow down and see how my body is feeling that day.
Work from home essentials? How are you adapting to this new reality?
Water, foam roller, and a stack of books that I've used to convert my desk into a standing one. The big key for me is keeping a routine. Clock in at 9am, out at 5pm. No more, no less.
Any advice you can give to young creatives in and out of the current context of the virus.
Be patient; be forgiving of yourself; try and find joy in the journey. That sounds real sappy, but at the core of it, I think it's true.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite spots in Toronto?
Uncle Mikey's; Happy Wine; Rhum Corner; my local bodega - Ko's Grocery.