Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
ZE: Growing up alone, films were my best and most loyal companions. The stories I would see unfold would move and thrill me and I wanted to try my hand at it. I thought at first I’d want to be an actor, but as I learned more about directing and writing, my ambitions trended towards the behind the scenes. Ultimately, it has been the desire to tell stories I want to tell from my own lens that has kept me at it.
Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
ZE: You will be seeing an effort pit together by an amazing crew amid the pandemic last year. While adhering to all the Covid Protocols, our team put together a film because we were still itching to tell stories. This one, written by Haydn Winston, is a film that allowed me to address certain emotions I have felt in regards to relationships and how we operate as humans at a crossroads. Having Haydn and the always amazing Risa Scott in front of the camera to tell that story is a delight to have witnessed. In stories of two parting ways, Leather Brown is one that tells it as its aesthetic shows, in black and white. It debuted online last year and has been featured on ThinkShorts, a wonderful company that has been a delight to collaborate with.
Q: What else are you working on?
ZE: I am a weekly podcaster for two shows. First is Reel Nerds Podcast, where I and my friends chat about a featured new release and everything else in movie land. My second is Yesteryear Ballyhoo Revue, where I chat with a guest each week about the early days of cinema and talk about the historical context and lessons the films have to teach.
I am also currently developing two feature films, another short film, and am on post on a short film I shot this year with much of the same crew as Leather Brown. It’s called Heavy Hangs the Sky, and it is a very warm piece that I think the world needs amidst much of the sadness.
Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
ZE: I have a hard time winding into happy endings. My films tend to, as I’ve noticed, end on the hint of hope but shrouded in a bit more gloomy and or dark realm. On the surface, they seem to be downers, but if you look hard there is hope.
Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
ZE: You can check me out on my two podcasts: ReelNerdsPodcast.com and BallyhooRevuePodcast.com. I am working on creating a site for my film work, but until then you can find my works here:
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
ZE: I am delighted to be back here and other filmmakers need to submit to this wonderful program. You will have an amazing time, learn from other filmmakers, and embrace your cinematic vision on a big screen, which even in a post covid world is of the utmost value and spectacle. Welcome back EFP!