At Zacuto, we pride ourselves on innovation. We are constantly striving to develop new ideas for products that can make our client’s shoots easier. Our product designers come from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. Each team member’s unique craft and exposure to the industry helps us brainstorm new product ideas. Even with their combined expertise, we are always looking for fresh ideas. If you have any product ideas, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Weiss began shooting photography and Super 8 movies with his dad at age thirteen. Steve has always been into creating new markets so he doesn’t have to compete with others and 1st Generation Video (his first production company) was no exception. It was here that he created a market called POPV, or point of purchase videos. The first example of this was using fashion videos to create excitement on the department store floor. That may seem funny today with 100s of televisions in every department store but in 1985 there were no department stores that had monitors for customers to actually see the products in action. Steve actually rented monitors and video recorders in 165 department stores around the country to present his fashion videos for companies like I.B. Diffusion, Hartmarx and Christian Dior. Over the years, Steve created other many other niche markets like historical videos for fortune 500 companies, video news releases, new product releases and interviews where he focused on getting specific quotes from high profile CEO’s and politicians for marketing purposes. His last work for hire was interviewing Rudy Giuliani directly after 9/11 for Nextel. At the end of his work for hire career, Steve had worked on over 600 projects in almost 20 years.
In 2000, Steve Weiss formed Zacuto Rentals with Jens Bogehegn. Zacuto Rentals was one of the first companies to rent the new Panasonic Varicam 24p HD camera. Once again finding a niche market with little competition, Zacuto specialized in creating turnkey HD camera rental packages with all the bells and whistles. In 2005, the first small HD 24p camera (the HVX200) was released. Steve and Jens felt that the camera’s form factor made it difficult to use so they created their own products to make the camera functional for the new burgeoning independent filmmaker’s market. By 2011, Zacuto USA’s product line had grown to over 215 items, making Steve and Jens leading trendsetters in camera accessories and camera package design. Steve and Jens have created many firsts in the market that have subsequently been adapted by others. Some examples of this are Quick-Release technology, using rods to mount accessories off of the back of the camera, shoulder rigs with counter balance, gunstocks, the first DSLR rigs and the Kleenex of optical viewfinders, the Z-Finder.
While Zacuto USA was growing rapidly, Steve and Jens began to miss their almost 20 year career in filmmaking and wanted to get back to their passion. This time they would do it on their own terms instead of working for clients. In December of 2008, Steve and Jens created their first webisodic series, FilmFellas. Because Steve has worked in the film and video business since 1983 as a corporate/commercial director, product designer, photographer, web series producer/director and host, his knowledge base is unmatched in the industry. Since 2008, FilmFellas has had 8 individual casts and 40 webisodes. It also garnered a 2010 Emmy nomination. In August 2009, Steve and Jens launched their second webisodic series Critics. This new show, co-hosted by Steve Weiss and Philip Bloom, candidly critiques web based video content. Their third web series The Great Camera Shootout 2010 showed the world how DSLR cameras would fare against 35mm film in a battery of tests. The series was a huge hit and has close to 2 million views. It was also the first web series to win a 2010 Emmy Award for excellence in informational programming. In 2011, Zacuto introduced two new web series: BTS, a documentary about making a documentaries and The Great Camera Shootout 2011. BTS received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Programs while The Great Camera Shootout 2011 was nominated for Outstanding Achievement for Informational/Instructional Programming. The Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012 is currently in production.
Interested in photography and filmmaking since childhood, Jens Bogehegn has been shooting short movies since 1978. Because of his early exposure to the craft, Jens easily transitioned into the role of High School Yearbook and Newspaper Photographer before heading off to college. After high school, Jens attended Drake University where he studied journalism but ended up completing his education at Columbia College as a film major. It was during his Columbia experience that Jens worked as a camera intern on the Brian De Palma film, “The Untouchables.” Jens has been a professional freelance cameraman since 1985 and worked on numerous projects as a Steadicam owner/operator from 1988 through 1998. As a member of IATSE Local 600, Jens’s union credits include: The Untouchables (TV), Waynes World II and U.S. Marshals. His independent credits include: The Oprah Winfrey Show, Watch It and Cosmic Voyage (IMAX). You can check out his IMBD page for a more detailed listing of additional credits and projects.
In 1988, Jens began working with Steve Weiss as a DP and camera operator. Together, Jens and Steve worked on over 400 productions together in the corporate/commercial/political video world. In 2000, Jens and Steve became partners and Zacuto Films was born. Starting out as a production house, Zacuto Films evolved into a rental facility and soon after became a manufacturer of custom camera support accessories. By 2005, Jens and Steve had developed a variety of products under the Zacuto USA brand. With over 24 years of shooting experience, Jens’s background and hands-on experience make him an excellent source of inspiration as he offers a unique approach to innovative product design.
Since 2009, Jens and Steve have come full circle and are once again in full production mode with Zacuto Films. However, this time Jens and Steve are producing their own creative content with the webisodic series: FilmFellas, [critics] and bts. In 2010, Jens and Steve earned an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for a Program Series (Midwest Chapter) for “The Great Camera Shootout 2010″, and an Emmy Nomination for Best Program Series FilmFellas Cast 7: Masters of Non-Fiction.
Mandy Rogers hails from a small town called, Monrovia, Indiana. After graduating from Monrovia High School, Mandy attended Purdue University where she received her undergraduate degree in psychology in 2007. Soon after graduating college, Mandy began working at Zacuto.
At Zacuto, Mandy soon started out by joining in on product meetings and soon began to brainstorm ideas for new products. After only four short years, Mandy worked her way all the way up from an entry level position to Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Zacuto. In 2009 Mandy also received a graduate degree in Human Resource Management from Roosevelt University.
Mandy recently moved to Apex, North Carolina with her husband, Eric Rogers. You can follow her on twitter as @zacuto_mandy.
Recent PostsZacuto Axis and Half Cage Review by Jon Pandone
Student Filmmaker Series: Part 3 – One Piece At A Time: What Gear Do You Need To Make Great Film?
BOSCPUG, Emerson College, Zacuto and an Academy Award Winning Filmmaker
Top 5 Tips for Getting Funded Through Kickstarter by Ryan Dean and Trevor Ward
Zacuto Announces New Products for NAB 2014