We had the good fortune of connecting with Zach Goodwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zach, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
There’s one thing about movies that made me quit pursuing cybersecurity in order to learn everything about filmmaking. It’s something so special and unique to each and every film, that’s also not inherently part of any movie at all, the reaction of the viewer. The type of reaction to devasting betrayals, epic collisions, and mind bending twists. The few split seconds when you aren’t aware of literally anything in your life other than the moment happening on screen. That’s the power in storytelling they talk about, the power that creates writers and artists. Everyday I discover more about how hard it is to create that power, and everyday I try to teach myself how to become a better storyteller. I can’t boil my decision to pursue a creative career to one moment, but I know that everytime someone gasps, laughs, it binds my purpose in life with filmmaking all over again.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
“Filmmaker” is the term I use most when introducing my professional life to others, as I’m still fresh to my career and constantly exploring roles, formats, and stories that are new to me. I have a deep passion for writing and directing tense narrative stories with social commentary or expressing something I feel strongly about. Recently, I directed my first ever short documentary, and thoroughly enjoyed the run & gun nature of the production, as well as the very personal/raw subject material we captured. No matter what I create or do on set, it’s important to me that the film taps into something true and real that the audience can emotionally understand. A lot of young creators, like myself, sometimes get caught up in the asthethic or visual look of a film, praising a movie for it’s cinematography and tone but at the end the day it’s important to return to how it tells the story. It’s crucial for me to constantly learn about how stories work, what audience wants to see in a character, and finding conflicts that are thought provoking/say something about the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve spent more time in quarantine than I have in Los Angeles, but I have to say that Chinatown is an amazing place and holds a special place in my heart. I’ve gone there with friends just to hang out and I’ve done many photoshoots with local models, it’s a spot with culture, curiosity, and vibrancy.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While maybe a little insane, my High school film teacher, Adam Rocha, was a massive component of the kind of creator I am today. His method of teaching the craft of film was to grab a camera and make something that meant something to you. His class gave space to the chaotic nature of an artist’s mind, with few rules and guidelines, Rocha gave me the opportunity to create and more importantly, fail. During the summers, he hosted the San Antonio Film Festival, and let my classmates and I intern, further engaging us as artists as we watched every single film submitted. Without Rocha, my work ethic, portfolio, and overall positive experience in High school would be drastically different.