Annual Manual » Annual Manual: Culture

Zach Voss

Filmmaker helps put Idaho cinema on the big screen

by

Freelance filmmaker Zach Voss has been applauded for his ambitious productions and quickly established himself as one of Boise's most well-known producers. Many first witnessed Voss' work in his short comedies Object of Affection and Beard's Company, which both took several honors at the i48 Short Film Competition in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In 2012, Voss produced his short film Mandrake Estate, which saw its world premiere at the Sun Valley Film Festival in March 2013.

Since then, his company, Retroscope Media, has branched into commercial work on local music videos, broadcast television and online. While Voss has made a name for himself in the Boise arts community, this Boise State University alumnus has only been a freelance filmmaker for a handful of years.

"It's good to kind of see that forward progress, to know that I'm working in a medium that is desired and is supported locally, and I'm working in a place that has maintained that interest for it," said Voss.

As technology has placed smartphones in the hands of most Americans, video has become nearly ubiquitous. Voss believes his pursuits port well into the current state of media.

"When it comes to having to pick a career path, I never really had a goal for what I wanted to do and never had a destination in mind. But this seems like a very relevant choice to be making," he said.

And it appears there's demand. His schedule has been full in the past year. Mandrake Estate--a film following Brooks Lloydman, groundskeeper of a prestigious golf course written and directed by Voss--premiered at the Sun Valley Film Festival. Retroscope Media also wrapped a series of commercials for the Idaho Lottery, which ran on broadcast television across the state. Voss even ventured to New Jersey to scout locations for a film project commissioned by Rutgers University in Newark, N.J.

Voss acknowledges the diverse nature of his work, which spans commercial work to hip music videos for local bands like Owlright and Brother Dan. Voss said he wants to keep his options open.

"I'm open to exploring all of those applications. They all use pretty similar tools and techniques, and every time I do one project, I feel like I'm expressing one part of the trade that I picked up on in another area. It's all sort of going toward the same goal, of expanding and growing and learning," he said.

The Internet has shrunk the map for filmmakers, who can collaborate from anywhere. Voss described making plans with a New York filmmaker to work together when the two met while in Sun Valley. Unlike other artists, Voss' works is imminently portable, allowing viewers to queue up from their smartphones.

"This gives me a chance to kind of showcase something of Boise outside of Boise, and therefore can kind of be a piece that shows off all the great, exciting, interesting things that are happening here, without you having to be a resident," he said.