Director of Photography & Visual Effects Supervisor with Zach Stoltzfus Ep 66

Season #1

In this episode, Edd speaks with guest Zach Stoltzfus, a filmmaker and director of photography. Zach shares his journey from a rural upbringing to a career in filmmaking, sparked by a high school project. He discusses his transition from biotech to studying at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and his evolution from focusing on VFX technicalities to embracing creative storytelling. Zach and the host bond over influential films and dive into the making of "Molly and Max in the Future," highlighting the importance of collaboration and innovation in filmmaking. They also touch on the impact of AI on the industry and the joy of the creative process, concluding with advice for aspiring filmmakers and where to find more information about Zach's work.


01:13 Zach's journey into filmmaking, inspirations, and the impact of his background on his career.

02:08 Childhood and early experiences with filmmaking, including a project inspired by "The Hobbit" and his introduction to VFX.

5:05 Decision to pursue filmmaking at Tisch, NYU, and his shift from science to a career in film.

07:24 Involvement in VFX projects, experiences with VFX in New York, and his return to VFX in filmmaking.

10:08 Discussion of influential films, including "Jurassic Park," "Lord of the Rings," and "Pan's Labyrinth," and their impact on his career.

15:41 Reflections on the emotional impact of filmmaking and the manipulation involved in taking the audience on a journey.

17:17 Educational experiences, his preference for collaborative work, and the influence of visual language on his career.

20:23 Collaboration with Michael Litwack as the director of "Molly and Max in the Future," including its recent release in theaters and upcoming streaming availability.

20:47 The distribution of "Molly and Max in the Future" and its streaming platforms.

21:43 Collaboration with Michael, the making of the film, and their background in filmmaking.

22:41 The challenges and adaptation faced during the production of the film due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

25:23 The various visual effects techniques used in the film, including miniatures and 3D printing.

26:25 The discussion highlights the accomplishment of creating the film with a small VFX team and the use of After Effects for rendering.

31:25 The decision-making process for choosing between green screen, projection, and LED techniques for different scenes.

37:48 The management of collaborative design processes for both 2D and 3D production.

39:43 The setup for remote collaboration and the benefits of working remotely, particularly in the VFX industry.

42:20 The language and approach used between the director and the cinematographer, and the importance of working with familiar crew members.

44:03 The process of creating a visual language and production bible to maintain consistency and communication among the crew.

47:49 Challenges faced in meeting the VFX deadline for a theatrical release and the collaborative effort involved.

56:29 The potential impact of AI and machine learning on filmmaking, including its benefits and potential challenges for the industry.

01:02:33 The impact of Bitcoin and AI in the filmmaking process and the potential changes in the industry.

01:03:42 Addressing the challenges and changes in the film industry and sharing advice for newcomers starting their careers.

01:04:14 The importance of finding passion in filmmaking and aligning it with lifestyle choices.

01:07:17 Encouragement to adapt to industry changes and follow intuition while incorporating personal interests into filmmaking.

01:09:01 The iterative nature of film production and the value of not waiting to start a project.

01:11:30 Encouraging continuous learning and growth in filmmaking, and the importance of trying different styles and formats.

01:12:54 Promotion of the film "Molly and Max in the Future" and sharing personal projects and behind-the-scenes content.


Connecting with the Guest:



The film's Instagram:

Connecting with CG Pro:






#photography #visualeffects #virtualproduction