Meet our mind-blowing art director pal: Chris Zidek
How in the heck does one get into art directing??
I fell into the art direction/production world completely unintentionally. One of my best friends, Marshall Burnette, and I were living together in the mountains of east Tennessee a little over five years ago. Marshall had just graduated from Vancouver Film School and I had just finished my masters in illustration from ETSU. Marshall had a directing job outside of Nashville and needed someone to help with art, and since my life has been art for as long as I can remember, I agreed (although I knew nothing about the job). Soon after that, we moved to Nashville and I started working as an art director and I haven't looked back.
Of all the work you've done thus far, what is something you're most proud of?
It's hard to say what project I'm most proud of. I guess it would have to be the music video for "Break Hearts" by the bank How I Became the Bomb. It was directed by David Shaman. The video still hasn't been released, but it was extremely art heavy and quite a puzzle to figure out. I had to man a set of floating light orbs that were supposed to be "conscious" as well as bring a model UFO to life. That was one of the more challenging jobs I've had thus far. I really like a good challenge. They seem to really push me and improve my skill set.
You're a man of many talents. Let's pretend you've had a crazy stressful day and you need a creative outlet to unleash upon. What medium do you turn to?
Hahahahaha, thanks for the compliment, guys! When I'm having a bad day, I usually crack a beer and binge watch Parks and Recreation. I prefer to draw or paint when I get a chance. Illustration and painting are my first artistic loves. I also work on my personal/gallery work when production/film jobs are slow. I can really zone out on my personal work and kind of slip away into the world of my subjects I paint. I like going deep into human antiquity where the aliens are showing people how to build structures and be civilized.
A potential client calls and says, "Chris, you're amazing. We want to hire you and I think this is your dream project." What's that dream project?
My dream project. Hmmmm. Well, I would say there are two, one for each medium. The first being the production designer on a sci-fi feature. Maybe something along the lines of Star Gate, but better acting. The second, being able to paint murals of demi god creatures on a massive scale (i.e. really big walls where everyone that may not got to galleries can see it).
You've worked with Inkwell a few times now, is there something you feel is enjoyable about our sets? Something that draws you to the team? Or even a favorite moment?
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you fellas and ladies at Inkwell! I like that you guys care about art in film. I feel like most directors and producers slice off the art budget first thing with a lot of films projects, ya know? It's kind of boring without anything actually on those walls. You fells are a lot of fun to work with, very laid back and trusting of your crew, and that's very much appreciated on my part. I hope we can work on many more projects in the future! Thanks so much for the opportunity to answer some questions!
Wanna hire Chris Zidek? Give him a shout via the contact info below:
phone: (336) 880-2942