Week of: Friday March 26th 2021
Today were focusing on the talented Zaki Farow
. Learn about how he started and his future projects:
How did you get started in your career?
I’ve been writing short stories my whole life but have always been too afraid to share them. But with film I started pretty recently towards the end of 2019. It began as volunteering as a PA on commercials, and short films. I quickly got a love for it and found the courage to share my writing with others.
What was a memorable yet life changing moment that you’ve cherished?
In 2020, before the pandemic, I volunteered with the CFC when they filmed teasers for the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. I got to be a PA on 5 different sets with 5 different writers and directors, it was an amazing experience but the day I cherished the most was when I worked on the Trap City teaser. It was almost an entirely BIPOC cast and crew led by the awesome duo of Ian Steaman and Kelly Fyffe-Marshall. Being in a room full of artists of colour who were all chasing the same dream was inspirational.
Your favourite project you’ve worked on till date?
I just finished working on a Netflix TV series as a Health & Safety Assistant. It was my first time working on a television series. The experience was invaluable as I got to meet people from every different department, everyone I spoke to was kind enough to share their experience and provide advice on advancing in my career. Most importantly I was also a fan of the show and the source material going in so I got to geek out on all the cool sets and props!
Any advice you would give to individuals trying to get where you are?
I think the most important thing is building a community with other emerging artists who are at your level. Build these relationships and make them real ones, you might not work with a lot of other Black people at first so creating these friendships outside of work is important! My first paid PA gig was after I made a friend on a commercial I volunteered for, he hit me up to be his PA when he shot something. Be a real person, people can see when you’re being fake and just wanting something from them. It’s weird to say but this industry is sort of built on vibes. Nobody wants to bust their ass working 12+ hours with someone they don’t like. Like Issa Rae said, "Who's next to you? Who's struggling? Who's in the trenches with you? Who's just as hungry as you are? And those are the people that you need to build with."
Working on any upcoming projects, we should know about?
I just started as a producer’s assistant on a half-hour comedy, it’s going to be a pretty great learning experience for me and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Other than that I wrote and directed a short horror film called, The Backwards Game that is almost finished post-production and I’ll be submitting it to some festivals.
With the world’s current state how have you been able to move your career forward?
I turn thirty next month and I’ve worked jobs from Mcdonald’s to tech support to working in pharmaceuticals, so believe me when I tell you there is nothing else I would rather do than this. Not moving forward is just not an option for me. I’ve had quite a few interviews for positions that I ultimately didn’t get, but you have to put those rejections aside and keep working on you. Opportunities can come at the strangest times so always be ready.
You can find him on Twitter: @zfarow
Tune in next week for our next feature!