Los Angeles, California, 12th February 2021, ZEXPRWIRE: Interview by Your Hollywood Times with Award-winning Filmmaker Zach Thomson whose new film will be the most ethnically diverse film in Hollywood history.
Where does your story start?
I was making movies back as far as I can remember. In high school we made some action packed movies. They were absurd but we had a lot of fun. I was a rambunctious youth and a close family friend and scout master Mike who invited me to come out and work on the movie sets being filmed. He said we need to put that creative energy to good use. Many of my peers guessed that I would either end up a multi millionaire or end up in jail. Fortunately I put my energy on the film set where it requires hard work and long hours. I soon realized my affinity for storytelling and my craft was in filmmaking. I started working on the snowy set of a music video called “King Nothing” filmed up in cottonwood canyon with Metallica. Since then I have spent decades working on incredible projects.
Most influential movie project?
I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to work on James Cameron’s Avatar. Not only did I get to watch first hand one of the greatest filmmakers in the world at his craft but the story of the Navi was so similar to the stories I have been wanting to since I was young. That it has been such a fun parallel. Even early on in my project Jim saw my pitch book and spoke optimistically and highly encouragingly of the incredible world that WETA Workshop has created.
What are you working on Now?
Well I am super excited to share what I have been building for the past decade. It is an epic action adventure full of drama, deceit and forbidden love. Entitled End of an Empire and set in the ancient Americas we have spent years with Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand. The film is part of a 7-film series franchise and the first installment is currently slated for release in 2023.
Where are you in the project?
We have been blessed by working with the most talented men and women that have honed their craft over years with hard work. And when embarking on a journey of such magnitude, like this one, you really want to surround yourself with the best in the industry. Because it is such a collaborative process you need a passionate crew and have complete trust in every member of the team. So we have finally got the project to where we are ready with the team we have always wanted.
What inspired you to make such a multicultural movie project?
Growing up in Arizona my friends shared with me their amazing heritage and cultural practices. It’s so fascinating to a young boy to learn how to make bows, flint-nap arrowheads, dream catchers, making fire with a stick and wilderness survival skills. It was a dream come true.
Ever since I have been excited to showcase the unique indigenous cultures. I think the world will be captivated because the world is ready for the ancient stories of the Americas.
Where do you plan to shoot this film and why?
NZ also has incredible environments and we want to capture the same essence of epic grandeur Lord of the Rings did by filming the unique beauty of New Zealand. I have had the incredible privilege to work closely with Richard Taylor and his amazing team at Weta Workshop over the years and they are some of hardest working and talented people I have had the pleasure to work with. They are kind, thoughtful, polite, they have a can-do attitude, and their Kiwi accent is so cool it make them sound even more sophisticated.
I can’t say enough about Richard Taylor. He is very generous and is a family man. I even got to meet his father who has a love for trains and planes and a noteworthy collection. Who wouldn’t want to work with such master filmmakers. I can’t imagine filming anywhere else.
It sounds like you have spent a lot of time developing this project, why?
Some of the greatest movies have taken the years of preparation. I also wanted to develop as much as humanly possible to make it the best movie it could be. Richard Taylor and the Weta team are second to none in world building. Working with them over the years has been a highlight of my career. When you get to work on your passion project it’s the most exhilarating experience and frankly, I wish that everyone could feel it. You can’t sleep at night because you are so excited to wake up in the morning and continue working on it. The ideas keep coming. The refining. Adjusting, perfecting. We paid attention to every little detail. For example we have even developed two new languages for the main groups just like Jim Cameron did for the Navi. We hired a professor of linguistics from a major university to create both the Hewrit and Lamanktoa languages.
What do you hope to accomplish with your movie projects?
To leave your mark in cinema is exciting but to make a positive impact on people’s lives is even better. My dream has been to entertain but also to share a story that makes people want to be better people. Through a movie that shares the scene with a wide variety of cultures allows people to connect to others on a human level to an ancient melting pot. In showcasing these beautiful cultures I believe that those that watch the film will see more commonalities and in some small way build bridges between cultures for more understanding and appreciation of the diverse world around us.
What mark do you want to leave on this planet?
I hope that the projects I have worked on and working on will continue to be time well spent and my family and children can be proud of me. Like I mentioned before I hope that All my experience culminates into a thought provoking cautionary tale to current and future generations that we learn from the past; because we have the power inside us all to make the world a better place. Hopefully we will have worked and sacrificed so much for future generations so they can live in an even better world than what we received. And I feel that End of an Empire has the potential to affect those who watch it.
What led you to pursue Filmmaking?
Since I can remember I have always loved watching movies, for entertainment, to escape and vicariously learn through others experiences. It really boils down to the best medium for storytelling.
Do you come from a filmmaking family?
Not really. My two younger brothers decided to be doctors while my older brother Ty Thomson one of Hollywood’s most gifted artists and animators. But my mother is probably to blame. She did let me skip school to go work on the movie sets as long as I brought home good grades so my dad never suspected.
What is your Biggest dream?
I want world peace. No But really I think the best way for there to be more peace is for there to be more understanding. And art can have a profound impact on culture and zeitgeist of any era. And I hope that this movie excites, entertains and inspires but learning about ancient stories in an exciting way I think it will at least help people to have more understanding that they may not have had before.
Represented by Liquid Studios Entertainment: LiquidStudiosEntertainment
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Abigail is author of several novels for young adults. Her debut novel Threads, won the Times/Chicken House competition in 2009, and in 2017 ‘Love Song’ won the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year.
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