MONDAY MORNING HOLLYWOOD
He started in an entry level Hollywood job making coffee, copies and call sheets and one step at a time he has climbed the ladder of filmmaking adventures and success.
FROM CHECKING THE COFFEE TO CHECKING THE GATE TO CALLING THE SHOTS – THIS IS WRITER, DIRECTOR, MUSIC EDITOR ZED B. STARKOVICH
Zed B. Starkovich is a filmmaker with a vision and a relentless passion. Thought provoking stories that push the envelope creatively, socially and technically are what he’s all about. As a new independent film director (La Cucina) on the scene and an established studio music editor (ABC’s Happy Town, Life on Mars, No Ordinary Family) Zed is pushing limits and making his way toward his next project which he will write as well as direct and serve as the Music Supervisor and Music Editor.
What was the first job you ever had?
Makin’ copies. I made blueprints of building plans in a small windowless room with poor ventilation where I played 60s music and breathed deeply the purple haze inducing chemicals swirling around my head.
What made you pursue a career in Hollywood?
I’ve always been interested in the storytelling possibilities of movies. Like Joseph Campbell’s myths, they allow us to walk in another person’s shoes and learn from their experiences. Add to that the endless technical details that go into every frame and this business appeals to the techno-geek in me. Besides, my minor in Physics wasn’t paying any bills.
What was your first job in the movie/TV business and how did you get it?
Freshman year I volunteered to work on my first 16mm film as a PA and was bumped up to gaffer by lunch because I knew how to hang theater lights and run the dimmer board.
Do you have a favorite story from the trenches?
So many stories, so little time. I’ve worked half of my career in post and half on-set and most of that time was spent standing around telling stories about other films we worked on because most of the time we’re doing things that other people only dream of, from police escorted car chases, to blowing S#!t up, but it’s also because you don’t want to talk politics with a tattooed grip. Trust me, you just don’t.
What is your dream job?
Writing and directing my own movies and documentaries, and getting the most out of life while I’m doing it. This business is all about communication, both in telling your story and working with the crew. We all have to make a living, but we don’t have to be miserable doing it so I’ve tried to learn as much as possible about every step of the filmmaking process so my films are creative, efficient, and fun to work on.
What or who makes you laugh?
Anybody who believes Republicans are the “Party of Main Street” despite their long history of robbing the poor and giving to the rich. I guess I have a dark sense of humor.
What do you do on a typical day off?
Try in vein to sleep-in with two young kids. Then it’s a balance of family time mixed with working on various projects. “Not working” usually just means “working on something else that doesn’t pay as much.” If I’m lucky I take the kids to the beach or ride my bike up the coast.
What inspires you?
History and science. Family and music. Problem solving. Most of life’s compelling questions have been asked and answered, now is the time to refine that knowledge and pass it on to the next generation.
What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
Start making movies, but don’t quit your day job. Find a job that gives you the time to do what you really love to do until you can make a living doing it full time. Everybody wants to be Orson Welles and hit a home run on your first swing, but he died selling cheap wine and frozen peas, so give yourself a break. If you want to survive and thrive in the arts you need to do it because it’s what you love to do, not because you want to be famous, let alone get rich. Balancing art and commerce by getting paid to make your art is the real trick, otherwise you’ll go broke or nuts (probably both).
What are you doing now?
I’ve been music editing features and network shows. It’s a perfect day job while I finish writing the next movie I plan to direct. Music is a vital part of storytelling and with today’s technology I can work from my home studio and still have dinner with my family instead of being chained to an Avid in a windowless room in Burbank.
If you won the lottery today, what would you be doing tomorrow?
Packing for Bora Bora. I’d bring my family, my lap top, and my camera, but not much else. Maybe an iPad. After a year in a hammock I’d go back to writing and directing.
What do you hope to be doing ten years from now?
If I do anything for too long I stop learning and get bored, but making movies is a skill you never perfect. Like writing or photography, there are endless variations and stories to tell. That said, I’d also like to be an inventor. I’ve got some theories on decentralized energy production and hemp farming that could really change the world. (Seriously, check out my website: www.HempFarm.org).
To learn more about Zed visit www.imdb.com
Below: The trailer from Zed’s show Happy Town.
The Column: From the Interns to the Talent to the Financiers everyone has a dream, and everyone has a story… and that’s what “Monday Morning Hollywood” is all about. Subscribe to the feed or check back at dampfang.com every Monday to see who and what’s coming up next in Hollywood.