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November 22, 2014
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Letters Home

Ups and downs

I have been waiting to find out if I was going to get this amazing editing mentorship with Walter Murch for the past five months. I found out that I was nominated in late 2011 for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. There was a very extensive application process that included multiple essays, a video, numerous copies of my work and assorted references.

I’m not sure how many people were nominated but I found out in March that I was one of four finalists. It was an amazing honor and also meant that I would be meeting Mr. Murch himself as he would make the final decision.  Read more

Can we save the bridge?

A few weeks ago my dad sent me a link to an article about how he had resigned from the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway board. The article said that Glenn Pontier had “resigned over the controversy concerning construction of a new Pond Eddy Bridge.”

I was immediately intrigued and I called him to get the inside scoop. Our conversations all start out the same.

Me: “Hey Dad.”

Him: “Hey Zac.”

Me: “How’s it going?”

Him: (Chuckle) It’s going well.

Me: “What’s going on with the Pond Eddy Bridge?”  Read more

One year later

Tommy “The Easter Bunny” and the young bunny who lived across the street had been together for a whole year. Even before that, Tommy had had a crush on her for as long as she lived across Cottontail Lane.

“One of these days,” he would think to himself as he gazed sheepishly at her from across the room and sipped his carrot juice on the rocks.  Read more

Techno Hotel

The thumping bass beats coming from next door rattle the windows of our hotel room in Miami. Though the music isn’t very loud while in the room, you can feel it in the floor.

I’m visiting Emily in South Beach, FL. She’s here producing a fairly big beer commercial. It’s very exciting for her and the director involved. I came down to visit and hang out, but it wasn’t until a day or so before I got here that Emily told me that Ultra, a new music festival, was going on that weekend.

“Hope that’s okay,” she had said sweetly.  Read more

Cigarettes: two years later

The stack of old hard drives at Henry’s apartment took me back immediately, my own hand-scribbled “ABBY DOC” written sloppily on each of them. In their cases, the hard drives look like old VHS tapes. There was a stack of seven of them, a massive amount of information, though I remember that I only needed to have four of them plugged in at a time. The film was eventually to known as “Catfish.” But for two years, it was “The Abby Doc” around the office.  Read more

NYU Part 2

Basically since the first week, the class I am teaching at New York University has very quickly turned into something that I just do. It’s now officially part of my routine.

At first, I got to school a half an hour early and anxiously waited in the room, hands folded and smiling warmly when the students showed up. Last week when I showed up exactly on time, the (mostly) full class was waiting for me. My sunglasses were still perched low on my nose, and I was a bit groggy from the previous (a-bit-later-than-it-should-have-been) night.

Here’s the dialogue.  Read more

Back at NYU

It’s an odd thing to stand in front of a group of students and not know what to say. It’s a feeling that I have not experienced since I was a student myself and had never experienced from the perspective of a teacher. Until last week.

I always thought that I would like teaching and I knew I wanted to try it someday. The opportunity presented itself last month when the new chair of the film program at NYU contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing six weeks about the post-production process. I accepted. They gave me back my same NYU ID number: zsp200 is back in circulation.  Read more

Sundance

I arrive in Park City with Sean late on Wednesday evening for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. We accidentally discovered we were on the same flight the day before so we arranged to meet and travel together.

My nerves are buzzing but I have a certain confidence. It’s my third year in a row here and I’m getting to know my way around. This year, travel wise, it’s an easy trip; last year I got caught in Atlanta for six hours because of a snowstorm.  Read more

My trainer owes money all over town (maybe)

I couldn’t say for sure, but I have a hunch that my trainer, Mike, is involved with some shady people. Last week was the second time in the four months I’ve been seeing him that he showed up with a black eye. The first time I asked him what happened, he uncomfortably told me that he didn’t want to talk about it.

“I am an idiot,” was the only explanation he offered.

The second time, I didn’t ask.  Read more

Martha at the Callicoon Theater

The first time I remember going to the Callicoon Theater was to see a print of “A River Runs Through It” that the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) was showing. I was probably 12. Since then, I’ve been back a half a dozen times. I’ve always liked it. I had my mind blown by “Being John Malkovich” and snapped a photo of Richard Castellano adjusting the marquee for “Analyze This.” The idea that a movie I am closely involved in would show there is a dream.  Read more