GADZOOK FILMS Producing independent film in Seattle, Los Angeles and beyond.

7May/12Off

Acting Out! with Dom Zook

Way back in 1999 I started posting my thoughts for the world to see. I had just graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor's degree in Theater (Acting/Directing emphasis). I wanted to keep everyone abreast of my trials and tribulations finding steady acting work, and I wanted to help younger actors learn some of the intricacies of the business that I wish I knew when I started.

So, through the magic of archive.org's WayBack Machine, I located my old site (not my oldest site, I'll point out) and began copying over my old posts to this blog. I've backdated them so they are chronologically accurate. And I've added them all to the "Acting Out! with Dom Zook" category for easy reference. Within these you'll find mentions of my first forays into producing, early acting news, and more.

I was young... some of the advice I'm not sure I'd give again or was even appropriate. But I was sincere. It's amazing to see how long I've been in the "teaching" game - that is, imparting any knowledge I had freely, whether I was right or not. I've always been a big proponent of passing on information. Anyway, feel free to peruse that section... you can start off here with my "First Post!"

16Dec/08Off

Party Pooper

Hey folks!

So my friend Mark over at Cassava Films put together a little shoot a couple months ago. The short film, entitled "Party Pooper," is on Funny or Die right now and just last week was #1 on the User Picks list! Go check it out. You might recognize a certain bearded film-blog-ateer.

Party Pooper - watch more funny videos

Enjoy it, vote Funny. Didn't enjoy it? Well, let's be honest you probably didn't even watch it all the way through. You suck. Go back and rewatch it! It's funny! And then head on over to the GadZook Films page on Funnyordie and enjoy some of those, too!

15Sep/08Off

Growing Up

A bit of departure for this blog. I wanted to talk a little about one of my best friends. We met in High School, dated briefly, and remained in touch through thick and thin over the interceding years. Rosie went on to great things and we eventually found a way to bring some passion projects together - she was knee deep in creating sustainable business models in the Middle East and I wanted to make some socially conscious documentaries. The product of a long IM conversation one night gave us the idea to do a documentary about Oil and Islam. We were excited and began setting the ground work.

I hadn't gotten far when I received word from a mutual friend that Rosie, that brilliant and beautiful girl I spoke with not but three weeks ago, had passed away in a car accident in Jordan. The news is still sinking in.

Anyone who followed the Seattle Mariners in the late 90s and early 21st century may remember her as a spectacular ballgirl for the club. She was much more than that, of course, but for a touching look on one aspect of her eventful yet short life, please read this article by Larry Stone at the Seattle Times remembering Rosie. She really was an inspirational person. And while our lives had taken different paths our friendship was the kind of thing that kept blossoming each time we caught up with each other. Hard to ask for more than that. I will truly miss her.

If you're interested in this documentary and helping me fulfill a small dream of Rosie's (she dreamt big!) shoot me a line off-blog. Thanks.

Filed under: Friends, My life 2 Comments
14Nov/07Off

Are you crazy?

Yes. When you opt to cut your own hair you have to be a little bit insane. That's me. All my training as an actor has prepared me for those times when people say, "Dude, you're far from crazy." How do YOU know? Right? Case in point: moving to LA.

1) I decide to move when LA county is engulfed in flames. A fire season that's been getting progressively worse every year. Good call.
2) I decide to move at the peak of the holiday season on a holiday weekend, no less. Sure no one will be on the roads after Thanksgiving, right? Crazy.
3) I'm moving with no savings, no money in the bank, no job and (currently) no place to live. Luckily I have wonderful friends and family who'll put me up should I need it. Still...
4) I finalize my plans to move just after a writer's strike takes hold of the industry and effectively shuts down filming of almost every major project in the city. Woohoo!
5) With The Off Hours and (fingers-crossed) Zombies of Mass Destruction grabbing some headlines production in this town seems to be shaping 2008 to be one of the best years yet to be an independent filmmaker in Seattle. I blame me leaving for causing this upswing.

Have I been following the WGA strikes closely? You bet. Rather than look at them as prohibitive I've found some reasons why moving down now may be the best decision I ever make. To whit:

1) EVERYONE IS OUT OF WORK. With the writers, producers, IATSE crews, etc. all out of work, there's more chances than ever to make friends and meet for coffee.
2) NETWORKING. Going hand in hand with #1 above, picketing presents a prime opportunity to hob-nob with powerful executives while also supporting a cause I believe in: Making more money.*
3) MORE APARTMENTS. Sadly, with many folks now out of work, they aren't able to afford their cushy Sherman Oaks 2-bedroom/2-bathroom apartments with parking spots and AC. Bye bye old tenant, hello unemployed movie producer!!

As you can see, I'm able to turn that frown upside down with this situation. For further thoughts on my move, why don't you join me this Friday, November 16th, at 8pm at the Rendezvous in Belltown? I'll be happy to answer questions or cash checks. I'm shameless. Upstairs balcony, you're welcome to bring a friend you blog-readers. You know who you are.

When next I update, I'll be in LA and will be, for the time being, your self-appointed Los Angeles correspondent for Seattle Film News. Cheers and good filming...

*Sorry, that's a flip answer, I really do support the WGA in this issue.

19Sep/07Off

Siren call

As we all know, I've been a stalwart Seattle fan for most of my adult life. I love this town, even though some of the people who govern it are slightly "challenged". I love making movies in this town... but I think I've gone in depth about my issues here. Many have wondered why I've stayed so long in a town that's only moderately supportive of its filmmakers. Why I've stayed in a town where actual, paying film gigs are about as scarce as tumbleweeds on Pike St. Why I've stayed for nearly five years at a job that's been both good and bad to me just so I could make movies in this town.

Well... wonder no longer. Unless a miracle happens I'll be moving to LA around March of next year. I've already begun applying for positions down there (of which, there are of course many). Perhaps it just took me ten years to realize Seattle investors wouldn't listen to you unless you yourself had money, or that those "in the know" wouldn't support you unless they felt you had succeeded without their help.

I hate to be another statistic. Yet one more filmmaker to make the leap down to LA to jumpstart a career. But at this point in my life I've learned not to fight the necessary evils in life and instead to face them head on. There are things I like about LA. Beaches, sunshine, pretty people, my friends, Griffith Park and the Getty. And there are things I hate about it: traffic, ugly people, traffic, sunshine, heat, traffic, and traffic. But I need a change to break up this monotony. I also need to make some connections stat if I'm gonna continue to make movies in Seattle.

I've applied for a few jobs. Most with NBC Universal which, being owned by GE, has a rather odd application process. It's obviously designed more for scientists and lab workers and other types, the whole film production element seems oddly cast aside. Entertainment isn't even one of the job categories in the search function. When you apply they ask for any government ties you may have. Pretty funny. Reminds me of Studio 60 plots.

Anyway... that's what I'm doing. I plan on heading back up to Seattle at some point. I still have some of my best friends up here, the weather is much more my style, etc. But I'm not moving yet! You, dear blog, will be the first to know when I do.

12Sep/07Off

I’m in a role-playing game!

Haha, thanks to my buddies over at Dead Gentlemen, I'm now immortalized as a player-character in their new role-playing game, published by industry stalwart Margaret Weis Productions. Not me, Dom Zook, but a character I played for the training video which accompanies the game. I played the Cipher, which at least a few actors have portrayed before me. But it's MY picture in the manual! How cool is that?

For a limited time you can download the quickstart training guide for FREE from here. You'll need to register but it's relatively painless. And free. Did I mention free?

Thanks to all for the kind birthday wishes last weekend! I had a great time on Saturday with folks. Let's do it again next year, shall we?

Filed under: Friends 5 Comments
8Aug/07Off

Turning 30

I have a month to go before I turn the magical 3-0. It's not hard for me to remember back when I started journaling on the internet. In 1995 I began my first website ever. At that time I thought I was going to be an actor. I wrote about my trials and tribulations, auditions and performances. The focus of the site has changed but I hope the youthful spirit and idealism remains. Ah, nothing like a birthday to make you wax philosophical.

While birthday plans are nebulous at present, I am hoping to have some sort of shindiggery. More than any other birthday, or for that matter any other arbitrary day in my personal history, I feel I need to mark it with something noteworthy. Suggestions are welcome. Donations towards future film projects are even more welcome.

Filed under: My life 5 Comments
22May/07Off

Trivia tonight

Hey all, I'm hosting trivia tonight along with my friends Chris and Eric at the Old Pequliar in Ballard. Show starts at 8pm, but get there early to guarantee seating - it fills up fast! Enjoy three tacos for $2!

6 people per team, $6/team to enter. Cash money prizes for 1st-3rd, and last place gets swag. 4th place at halftime gets a free pitcher of beer. You can't ASK for more. Just try!

Trivia
Old Pequliar
8pm
Ballard

Filed under: Friends, My life No Comments
3May/07Off

NW Production Market and more

Wow, time's is busy around here. We're getting ready to launch a new website and facet for the company (keep checking www.gadzookmedia.com for details), prepping a new short film for a (hopefully) late summer shoot and getting ready for July's annual trek down to the San Diego Comic Con.

Up until yesterday I was going to submit Plight to the NW Production Market which is a new initiative from SIFF. For $100 and the sponsorship of a Seattle film-organization's board member, you can get your script seen by powerhouses of the industry. While I was able to get a board member to sponsor the film, I had a hard time finding out exactly what my $100 was going towards. SIFF was tight-lipped about it. Heck, even the film offices weren't saying much. I did some uncovering and was able to determine that of the companies that were attending, there wasn't a one that would've been predisposed to a zombie-comedy romp. Since we have an uphill climb with this film already, I didn't want to waste $100 if the likelihood was slim that our film even matched the companies attending. At least with AFM you are informed of who's attending. You are able to determine who's looking for what and what other people are selling. I was wary of the secretive nature of the NWPM but in the beginning thought any exposure might be good exposure. But when you're riding on a specialized genre movie, only the right exposure is worth it.

The fundraising plan for the short is slowly coming together. Stay tuned for more news in the next couple of weeks. A new website for the short with a description and all is coming soon.

Me and the GadZook Media crew have been confirmed with Professional Passes to the Comic-Con this year. That's exciting (and a money saver). It was a bit of a confusing process and ultimately doesn't give us any more perks than regular passes - but they're FREE! And different colored than all the other passes. Which means attention, which means more opportunities for pitching.

Oh yeah, what's GadZook Media, you ask? I've teamed up with several fine folks to offer online marketing solutions for film, video and game producers. We're a boutique agency and are looking to build up our clientele so please shoot me an e-mail at domz AT gadzookmedia.com and let's chat. No jobs open at this time, sorry. GadZook Media will become the new "owner" of GadZook Films, although you probably won't be seeing GadZook Media plastered on any of my movies in the near future.

What else? The GadZook Media Outdoor Sports League is gearing up. Message me if you'd like to join in the fun. It's free (for the most part) and the time committment is fairly low. I'm thinking of calling us the Bush League Players. We'll see.

Alrighty, that's all the news that's fit. Talk to you later...

6Apr/05Off

Hello world!

There's a song that I'm singin'. Welcome to WordPress! Well, this is the first post of the new blog. I'm going to play with the style and get it so it automatically updates my LJ as well. And I'll get it so it doesn't list me as "admin" all the damn time. Toodle-oo.