In Focus with Digital Video instructor Zakaria Schwartz
March 22nd, 2018 | Nicole Lewis
Nicole: Welcome to Platt College San Diego and our dynamic Platt Community. How long have you been teaching at Platt College?
Zakaria: I have been teaching at Platt for two months.
Nicole: What classes do you teach here at Platt?
Zakaria: I am one of the Digital Video instructors, and I teach the screenwriting class and the two advanced video classes.
Nicole: Can you tell us a little bit about your background such as where you grew up?
Zakaria: I grew up in Denver, Colorado and moved to California when I could no longer handle the snow.
Nicole: Tells us about your Video Production education?
Zakaria: I did my undergraduate work at UCSD and went to graduate school at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. My experiences outside the classroom doing commercial work and documentary videography have been very instructive.
Nicole: What are your hobbies and interests besides being an innovative instructor?
Zakaria: I enjoy baking and cooking new dishes, throwing dinner parties, I follow politics very closely, I like to travel, and pet cats in the neighborhood (I can’t have one of my own because my partner is allergic).
Nicole: What is your favorite content and subject matter to film and why?
Zakaria: I like to film stories that focus on relationships that are dramatic, but with elements of humor. I think the best avenue for my storytelling style is the hour long TV/streaming format.
Nicole: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote that motivates your students? Can you share it?
Zakaria: “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” by Robert F. Kennedy
Nicole: What current projects are your students working on in class?
Zakaria: Right now, we are finishing up the screenwriting course. My students are polishing two short scripts they started in the class and creating a sizzle reel (footage from other media set to music to convey tone, themes, etc.) based on one these scripts.
Nicole: Are you currently working in the industry?
Zakaria: Yes, I have done commercial and documentary work. Currently, I’m working with my writing partner and producers to develop a science fiction series we created. I also do freelance videography and directing.
Nicole: Thank you for sharing one of your video projects for this blog interview. Can you tell us about the video and how you came to create it?
Zakaria: This video was made to promote the DVD/Blu-Ray release of “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The artists took about three weeks to complete the Lego sculpture. I would go in every other day to move the time lapse camera and capture other footage.
Nicole: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Zakaria: Only that I’m excited to be teaching at Platt. Everyone has been very welcoming, and I look forward to getting to know everyone better.