It’s almost kind of poetic how one of my favorite coffee mugs shattered into pieces this week.

First let me tell you about the mug. It was a thank you gift for guests attending a wedding in Mormon lake, AZ.

From the wedding in Mormon Lake, AZ.

It was 2016. I was just starting to do weddings more regularly and the Papuga family loved my work so they invited me up and gave me a room in the block of cabins like I was one of their family. I remember the drive up distinctly because I had recently got my brand new Prius and was so proud…


City Square Church 2019.

note: forgive me if these reads like 3 different people talking. trying to unpack complicated church identity feels bipolar at times because this is what the evangelical church tends to breed.

I don’t think I’ve ever fully given myself to City Square.

City Square is the United Methodist Church community I’ve attended and served at on and off for almost 6 years.

This may not be true but I bet some members would tell you that it seems like I have a weird agenda or way of relating and connecting to City Square as a community. And lately I’ve been…


Filmmaking is an exercise in confidence building. I feel like after almost 3 years of “making it work” on my own I’m more sure of myself than I am skeptical. That being said you never know whats going to come your way. I went into 2018 hoping to change and grow as a filmmaker but most of all I wanted to be inspired. Like really down to my core inspired. Because after years of doing work I liked but didn’t love I wanted to sink my teeth into something meaningful. So I went to MountainFilm.

Back in January of 2018…


Thursday’s are the best day.

I don’t remember which NBC sitcom i am addicted to said that but I’m glad it has become a weekly mantra.

It has become an anthem to make this “middle” day the best one. I try and set it apart with work or with evening practice.

When you work for yourself and your friends, there is no break, so you need to make one.

This Thursday I’m taking time to set it apart. Spending time outside the office at a favorite productive coffee shop this morning, and then leaving work today when I felt like…


As someone who wants to make videos, I got drawn into weddings quickly. Mostly friends and family who wanted me to capture their day in a creative way. I’ve been lucky to have some amazing couples.

My goal is to always get the important moments and frame them in the best way.

The American Southwest is gorgeous.


“I have made mistakes but my mistakes haven’t made me.”

That line confused me this morning when I heard it in a song. I thought

“wow that is such a cop out”.

But then i thought, No, it means:

yes I have made mistakes, but i am not the sum of those mistakes.

I am the sum of my successes.

I am the sum of others generosity and kindness towards me.

I am the sum of how i take that kinds and generosity and turn it around and give it towards others.

I am the sum of my actions. …


Nicolas Godin’s “Bach Off”.

The one take.

It’s incredibly difficult to orchestrate, which is why it is so revered.

The idea is you walk through camera movements and advance the plot of a film without “cutting” or stopping recording. It should keep you interested through on screen action or intrigue rather than through complicated editing (which are not the only 2 things to keep one interested).

I have seen a lot of one takes: from the first time my buddy Ryan made me watch Children of Men and the incredibly long and masterfully shot one takes in it back in 2009, to the OK…


a frame from the film “Supai” that I’m currently working on.

When I sit down to create, the flood of thoughts begin like this:

“What the hell is this? What should it look like? Should I go with what I know is safe or should I push a little further? Should I spend time on every shot? Should I just hurry and get it done? Does it even matter?”

Then the self-judgement sets in:

“You’re such a hack. You would half-ass this, coward. You would spend way too much time on that shot you distracted overachiever. You’ll never be a real filmmaker. You’ll never have your work published. You won’t ever…


It’s 76 degrees in Phoenix at 9:06.

I hear the radio confirm the time and place. I know I have to get to work. My desk doesn’t have a coffee steaming from one of the mugs I rescued from a recent estate sale on it yet.

That’s a problem I need to fix.

Now with coffee in hand, and wrinkles on those hands from doing all the dishes it’s back to work.

I got an email from a client who had 2 videos go out to them on friday. About 45 mins ago they had minor changes that I was…


Deja Vecu as it has been explained to me is: experiencing something you have dreamt. (I understand it may not be true just work with me here)

I have had Deja Vecu a few times in my life:

When i didn’t know if I should be at Mars Hill Bible Church in college. When I didn’t know if I should end a relationship and move across the country; when I came back and was really unsure if I should end the relationship and just stay in Michigan.

It’s usually when I am unsure of where I am supposed to be…

PJ Gal-Szabo

Filmmaker in the desert. Prone to making music.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store