JOHN C. ZAK
John C. Zak is a director, producer, photographer, voice actor, and a writer.
His first professional experiences came as a child actor in vintage series such as THE ANDY GRIFFITH show. Zak's father was an airline executive so his family spent much time outside of the United States. That passion continues with John to this day. He has visited over sixty-eight countries. Overseas adventures stimulated Zak's love of languages. He speaks Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
After graduating UCLA with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Motion Pictures - Television, Zak began work in network television as a lighting director at ABC-TV in Hollywood. There, he was introduced to the frantic pace of a daily television series when he was assigned to GENERAL HOSPITAL. Those were the famous Luke and Laura years, when the show was helmed by the legendary Gloria Monty. During his tenure at ABC, Zak also designed lighting for comedy series, including BENSON, and a Patty Duke-Richard Crenna series called IT TAKES TWO. At ABC, Zak received a National Emmy Award and seven nominations.
John Zak directed the first national broadcast of the Nosotros Golden Eagle Awards, which honored the achievements of Hispanics in the entertainment industry. He was also director of photography on several comedies at Universal Studios, including THE FACTS OF LIFE, SILVER SPOONS, DOMESTIC LIFE, DIFF'RENT STROKES and several Universal pilots.
DIrecting credits include GENERAL HOSPITAL, DAYS OF OUR LIVES, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, SANTA BARBARA, CAPITOL and MTV'S SPYDER GAMES, for which he received an Emmy nomination.
Zak went on to produce and direct the international series, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, rising to the position of Supervising Producer while continuing to direct on the series. He received a Directors Guild of America nomination and an Environmental Media Award.
At the conclusion of twelve years at THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Zak earned a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. He also completed the one-year graduate level UCLA Professional Screenwriting Program. Zak also made three award winning, full length documentary films on the culture and people of Hawaii: HAWAIIAN HEALING, HAWAIIAN MEDITATIONS, and PULE WAILELE (Hawaiian Waterfall Prayer.) In addition, in collaboration with Makana Chai, a book showcasing Zak's photography, HAWAIIAN MASSAGE LOMILOMI, SACRED TOUCH OF ALOHA was published and distributed internationally. It received highest honors from the State of Hawaii for the depth of its portrayal of the native culture of Hawaii.
Zak was also a contract director on ONE LIFE TO LIVE for ABC/Disney. He continues to consult for international companies such as France 3, Endemol, and for Franz Marx FIlms. (See Recommendations page.)
John C. Zak is a Director member of the Directors Guild of America, a member and former governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and an actor member of SAG AFTRA and THE RECORDING ACADEMY. He is also a VO Pro with David Lawrence, to whom he owes a great debt of gratitude for years of excellent training and mentorship.
SInce October, 2012, Zak has been narrating full length fiction and non-fiction titles for Audible.com. Besides being available on Audible.com, his audio books are also distributed through the Amazon.com and Itunes portals. He is on the SAG-AFTRA Audio books committee.
Growing up in a visual world since his father gave him a Kodak Brownie camera when he was a child, Zak had spent an entire career in lighting, photography, and subsequently, in directing for network television. A couple years ago, he reconnected to his love for the spoken word and began study with David H. Lawrence XVII, an accomplished voice over coach who is also highly successful in his career as an on-camera and voice actor.
"There is something very elegant, almost zen, about the effect sound and the human voice have on us," says Zak. "Since prehistoric times, we have sat around campfires listening to tales shared by our elders; tales that taught, frightened and, often, inspired us. In the days of radio, families gathered around the receiver and listened to stories of derring do. Now, it is all handed to us in Ultra 3D. Nothing is left to the imagination. We don't have to put one lick of effort into conjuring the setting or the backstory, or imagining the faces, clothing, and quirks of the characters. And yet, I cannot count the number of times lately, that I have walked out at the end of a super duper blockbuster screening with a hollow feeling. They got everything right but the story. Audio books are like the radio or campfire venues of "yesteryear." That's why I love working in that medium."