Cain Czopek

Posted by in Interviews


“My favorite part about boulder is the street culture close to the mountains.”

Art is Power How do you pronounce your last name?

Cho-Peck. Wicked polish.

Tell us about working at The Kitchen

I was working at The Kitchen a year ago. Moved back to Boulder after having lived in San Diego and LA. I got typical “Boulder” jobs, part time at Laughing Goat and the Kitchen. Graduated from CU with a film degree. I came across Madelife after it was recommended by a friend, picked up a video internship, became video coordinator and now I’m in the creative coordinator position to organize our creative accelerator program.

We know about tech accelerators, but what’s Madelife all about?

It’s a 3 month tuition based creative accelerator program that provides skills, resources, and marketing for individuals who are interested in about 5 different creative fields. We have web design, graphic design, photography, video production, and audio production. We cater the program depending on the individual. Someone comes in and they start a project that we help them with for about a week or two weeks. We analyze how the process went and take a look at their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their overall goals and cater the next three months based off of what they where to get to and help with their workflow. 


Different compared to other accelerators, sounds like it’s more qualitative instead of quantitative.

Yeah, we’re trying to develop exposure to some sort of creative interests that people want to excel in. Depending on what the participant wants to attain or what kind of level they want to reach, is all figured into how we create the program. If someone wants to get into video production freelance, initially we would provide them resources with other people who have already established themselves in the business and then move into marketing and how to get yourself out there. How do you create revenue with your talent?

What do you do at Madelife?

I run around and try to use my attention deficit disorder to its greatest benefit. Initially I was in a video coordinator position and promoting various brands and artists in the store – promotional material for Madelife. Now I’m taking on this role as creative coordinating position. When an accelerant comes in, I’m organizing their program. Figuring out what projects they should work on in the first few weeks and how that applies to their goals. I help organize the creatives’ acceleration as well as Madelife’s acceleration.


Where do you see Madelife going?

Sky is the limit. A lot of work still needs to be done, but I feel like the process we’re trying to establish can be really beneficial for a lot of people. Having a lot of people in the program with a staff to support that. Established creatives meeting fresh creatives and collaborating. Using the space as an event space, and creating a culture. Expanding to Denver… Norway… I really want to live in Norway. 

Why Norway?

I love the cold. Scandinavian culture is just really cool. Columbia too though. I went to the Columbia festival yesterday, and it’s probably nothing like that. But it was just really cool. This is my scatterbrain. 


Back to Madelife…

The goal is to genuinely and sincerely support artists. I am sometimes nervous about a company going on the wrong path and creating more problems than good. I feel like in any sort of business you can accelerate to a detrimental or stagnant place. I’d really like to see Madelife sustain itself financially – but really to affect people on a positive level and create a genuine understanding of what it takes to be a successful artist. 

There’s a romantic notion of a starving artist, but I don’t think it’s necessary. In order to be an artist, you have to really work hard… but you don’t always have to stretch yourself too thin. You can be sincere with your art, but also survive and live a healthy and fruitful life


On your website it says “Born and raised in the mysterious mountains of Colorado, Cain Czopek makes films that convey the depth of the human condition in the common human being.” So I watched your short, Estrangement, and that’s a heavy movie. Quite a contrast, where does this come from?

I think it could be that I have had such a privileged, healthy lifestyle growing up and it’s like exploring my “shadow” in cinema. I live my life as a jovial, positive person and it’s therapeutic to explore my darker side.

I feel like it came from a personal place of no matter how great and beautiful place Colorado is, we still have our personal struggles. Me dealing with personal stuff and creating a story from it based off of James Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice which is one of the first stories of the Roma Noire era.

What’s your favorite place in Boulder?

I grew up about 30 minutes away in the mountains, and there’s Gross Reservoir that provides water for Denver. It’s a little out of the way of Boulder, but it’s really beautiful and we used to go cliff jumping there. In the heart of Boulder, it’s cheesy to say, but I really do dig The Kitchen Upstairs.

Who would you interview?

Galen McKamy, the creative director for kid robot. Kid Robot is cool with an artistic vibe, and he’s a really good street artist. There’s a little bit of hip hop street art movement that’s always been a little involved with Boulder. My favorite part about Boulder is that there’s this street culture close to the mountains and it’s really interesting with a hippy vibe. It’s still creating art on buildings with a backdrop of the mountains and it’s otherworldly.