Zach Morris is a Los Angeles based Actor, Model, and Writer/Director. Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Zach moved to L.A. in September of 2018 to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy: Los Angeles. He began acting almost 10 years ago, his first performance in the 5th grade in Stephen Soundheim’s Into the Woods (Jr. Edition) Since then, he has built a foundation in Theatrical Production and History, studying fundamentalist like Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, The Group Theatre, Moscow Art Theatre, and more recently, delving into more modern movements like Realism and especially Surrealism and Absurdism, fueling his passion for avant-garde films and art. Zach says he aims to use Theatre, Film, and other various forms of art to combat global issues like queer-phobia, sexism, and humanitarian crisis around the globe. When he’s not busy, chin-deep in school work or scripts, he enjoys hiking, cooking for his friends and family, and aiding in various other projects. “We’re all in this together; the struggle of trying to make sense of this crazy world and make a statement about it. As young artist, it’s extremely important to align yourself with people who believe in your vision and vice versa; it not only strengthens the work itself, but connects people on a deeper level that only art, theatre, film, fashion, etc, can evoke.” -Zach Morris.
Exclusive Interview with Zach Morris- Filmmaker
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
I just wrapped up filming a short with one of my incredibly talented friends, Dayana Yakhyarova (@grr_dayana). In her film, Igra, I play this super kickass (*or awesome, if it needs to be family friendly) character named Psycho, who’s kind of like a Molotov cocktail made up of Harley Quinn and Bender from the The Breakfast Club (1985, John Hughes). My next project, I’ll be stepping out of the limelight, assistant directing and stage managing my universities production of Chatroom, written by Enda Walsh and directed by Iunia Dinu (@greeniunia). This play is especially important to me because it talks about suicide and adolescence which is still such a taboo topic. I believe Theatre, Film, and all of the arts are necessary to get conversations going about topics like these and ultimately change the world!
NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Obviously the performance of the cast, but I love great writing, directing, and I especially love experimental/avant-garde cinematography. Cinema, in my opinion, is still a new medium of expression but by far one of the fastest growing and ever changing forms of expression in which every human can and should experience. I love films like Ari Aster’s 2019 smash, Midsommar, and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight (2016); both films beautifully combine cinematic storytelling with an aesthetic, visceral experience to teach us important lessons.
NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
The most important part of building a character would be defining their motivation. As a creator, I have to constantly ask myself, “Why? Why do they need this? Do they really feel this way? Why, why, why!” Asking “Why?” allows an artist (and/or anyone going through some emotional crisis) to create meaningful actions, relationships, and critical decisions that ultimately should affect your character. Also, by applying this technique to day-to-day living can allow someone to better understand themselves and the human condition; something artist strive to emulate and express the plight there of.
NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
- Igra (2019) directed by Dayana Yakhyarova
- Sight, Sight: Series, and Sight: Resolution (2016-2017) directed by Connor Dunwoodie (@connordunwoodie)
- “Melt” long exposure photography experiment (2019) photographed by Arvizu (@arvizu_arts) and Marcos Pugliese (@markpugliese98) *see attached photos
NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Oh absolutely! I always have my journal with me whenever I travel because you never know when inspiration will hit or you overhear a stranger’s conversation and it sparks something in you (a sketch, phrase, or maybe even a film). It’s kinda funny because in all of my notebooks from middle school-onward, there’re doodles all over the pages, in-between notes, and wherever there was space for my ideas. I also find cooking to be very relaxing and therapeutic because food is a universal language that can literally change someone’s day. Pair a good, homemade meal with a couple of friends and a nice flick, and you got yourself a recipe for a great night!
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Get used to rejection. Sure it sucks (and may suck for a really long time) but an old instructor, Matthew Modine, once told our class, “Every no is a step towards yes”. Some other good tips include: actually listening to the critiques you receive (they should be constructive or at least, push you in the right direction), not being afraid to fail, and building a strong foundation of friends and fellow artist that will support you. Since my move out to L.A., me and my friends have pushed each other to become better and we’re always there to support each other emotionally, artistically, and as each others number one fans. Making friends with people who are just as passionate and dedicated is important; they’ll challenge you and keep you grounded in times of need. These are the friends that you’ll want to have for the rest of your life and career as artist.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you in 2020?
2020 is definitely going to be a big year for me and my career. Currently, I’m fine tuning my craft and seeking larger management/agents, furthering my studies at the New York Film Academy: Los Angeles, and putting my work out there. I want to push myself to try new things and experiment with acting, filmmaking, fashion, modeling, and challenge my creativity. Who knows, maybe you’ll see me in an ad campaign very soon (*wink, wink, cough, cough, slides resume across the table).
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
If you’d like to stay up to date on all my shenanigans, adventures, and projects, make sure to follow @thezachmorrisla on Instagram and find me on YouTube where I post films, other works I’ve been in, and also some original content!