Name: Martin Mavko

Title: Owner 

Organization/Business: Rocket Repro

What do you do and how did you get here?

We are a photographic film lab specializing in the printing of actor’s headshots for the Film, TV and Theatre industry. We also provide services in fine art printing and photographic film development. We’re the go-to headshot providers for Western Canada, servicing Vancouver, along with Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto.

I have always been passionate about photography. My dad was a great photographer, and as a child I remember looking through his photo albums and becoming enchanted by the subjects within the frames. My background is actually in science and I originally went to university to obtain a degree in Engineering. Upon graduating, I ventured out to try my luck as a photographer, obtaining a position as an assistant with a prominent fashion photographer. Fairly soon, I realized that despite my love of photography I was better suited to the technical side of it. I morphed into doing lab work for that photographer, other professional shooters, film production companies, and fine art printing. This was during the late 80’s, and the Film & TV industry in Vancouver was slowly starting to take off. With the influx of shows and movies shooting in Vancouver, the talent pool quickly grew, and we became caught up in turning out big stacks of actor’s headshots.  In 1994, I left my job and started Rocket Repro, opening up our studio and retail shop front here on West Cordova. In May of this year we celebrated 30 years in business.


How did the name come about?

I’ve always been intrigued by the atomic era, vintage rockets, and a mid-century modern aesthetic. I collaborated with a friend who’s a graphic designer, toying around with a few images and names. We settled on Rocket Reprographics and today we go by Rocket Repro.


If you only had 15 minutes to spend in Gastown, how would you spend it?

I’d take in the fantastic restaurants that we have here in the neighbourhood. Gastown is now the hub in Vancouver for an exceptional culinary experience. My favourite spots include Pourhouse, Jules Bistro, and Momo Sushi.


What do you like about Gastown?

With its central location that’s easy to get to, Gastown is a great place to do business in. I love the vibe in the neighbourhood, and I like seeing people move along the streets, along with the myriad of tourists that visit here from all over the globe. I like seeing and hearing the steam clock go off throughout the day. Gastown’s a colourful place, with a tightly knit community, and there’s always something interesting happening here.


What’s your philosophy for a good life?

Be content with what you do. I try to balance my work life with a good round of golf and some social time. Customer satisfaction is paramount for us, so at the end of the day we feel great about what we have done, and that’s something very fulfilling. It’s about the magic of being of service to others.