Skip to content
Please allow 4-7 days for orders to ship. If urgent, please call or email us!
Please allow 4-7 days for orders to ship.

Steve Weiss

Director/Product Designer

steve weiss bio 1970’s Steve Weiss began his creative journey at an early age. His dad taught him photography and they shot Super 8 movies together.

1980 With the advent of the home VCR, Steve was among the first to begin shooting and editing wedding videos. It was at this time that he began to hone his taste, knowledge and storytelling ability. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1983, Steve started his production company 1st Generation Film/Video.

1984 Steve had an idea of creating point of purchase (POP) fashion videos that would play in department stores in an attempt to bring the fashion to life. This had never been done before. To sell the concept, Steve had to actually rent the monitors and VCR’s to play his new fashion videos since no stores had them at the time. Steve attracted forward-thinking companies like I.B. Diffusion, Hartmarx and Christian Dior.

1990’s Never afraid of new technology Steve, along with his DP Jens Bogehegn and editor Lucyna Wojtas, were among the first to use Hi-8 video, Betacam, Steadicam JR, mini dv, non-linear editing, DVD authoring, HD cameras, HD-DSLR and the recent large sensor digital cameras. After building 1st Generation into a successful production company, Steve sold it to move on to other endeavors.

2000 Steve and Jens formed Zacuto Rentals with a focus on renting Super 16mm film packages but quickly shifted to the new Panasonic Varicam HD 24p cameras, which were recently introduced to the market.

2005 When Panasonic released the HVX200, Steve and Jens realized that in order to make these cameras ergonomic and useful tools to shoot indie films they would need to create some new products. Zacuto USA was born with a baseplate, shoulder pad, handgrips, articulating arms, power systems and more. “We just weren't able to find the products to do the things that were needed for these new cameras, so we decided to only make products that were unique, different and a huge improvement over what was already available,” said Steve. Zacuto introduced new concepts to the market. Some have been subsequently adopted by other manufacturers and are now the industry standard. Concepts like ‘Quick Release’ components that can be attached without using screws and ‘Universal’ products that are adjustable for all cameras. Zacuto also created devices to attach to the rods coming out of the back of the baseplate for shoulder mounting and counterbalance. Zacuto products are made exclusively in the United States and have a lifetime warranty even for accidental breakage.

2008 Coming full circle, Steve and Jens created one the first long-running web series, “FilmFellas” which first aired in December 2008. “FilmFellas” offers viewers a behind the scenes peek into the minds of influential and emerging filmmakers. “FilmFellas,” had eight individual casts, 40 webisodes and won a Midwest Emmy in 2011 for outstanding achievement in interview/discussion programming. The winning webisode #34, “Commitment to the Craft featured Rodney Charters ASC CSC, Nancy Schreiber ASC and Stephen Goldblatt ASC BSC.

2009 Steve and Jens launched their second web series, “Critics”. This show, co-hosted by Steve and Philip Bloom, candidly critiques web-based video content. “Critics” offers an eclectic mix of personalities, perspectives and laughter.

2010 Assembling a world-wide cast of influential filmmakers and screened at Skywalker Ranch, AFI and in Chicago, “The Great Camera Shootout 2010” showed the world how a DSLR would fare against 35mm film in a battery of tests. The three webisodes of “The Great Camera Shootout” web series have had more than two million views and won a Midwest Emmy Award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in Informational Programming.

2011bts: A Web Series” is a documentary about making documentaries and was launched in March 2011. The Emmy-nominated web series follows director T.C. Johnstone, producer Greg Kwedar and other crew members as they documented their journey in the making of “Rising From Ashes.” In Steve’s largest production to date, crediting more than 750 people and also Emmy-nominated, “The Great Camera Shootout 2011” was a three-part documentary about the Single Chip Camera Evaluation, a camera test administered by Robert Primes ASC.

2012 The controversial “Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012” posed the question whether talent can supersede technology, which resulted in much international debate. It also won Steve his third Emmy Award.

2013 "Light & Shadow," a documentary produced and directed by Steve delves into the creativity and passion of more than 30 of the most legendary cinematographers of our time. "Light & Shadow" was honored with four Midwest Chapter Emmy Nominations and two wins for Outstanding Achievement for Programming and Outstanding Achievement in Directing - Steve Weiss.

2016 Zacuto's line of Gratical Micro OLED EVFs have received worldwide industry attention and accolades. The 2016 Gratical Eye is currently considered the smallest and finest Micro OLED EVF on the market. After taking a two year production hiatus, Jens and Steve released their latest short documentary, "Cole Soul". The story of singer/songwriter Brad Cole who like many of us in the film industry, had to decide between making money or making art. Brad chose the road less traveled and it made all the difference. 

2018 Zacuto introduces the Kameleon Micro OLED 1080p EVF and it becomes an immediate best seller and standard in the industry.  Zacuto Studios starts broadcasting “Zacuto Live”, which premiered May 24th on YouTube and FaceBook.  Starting in September two new sets were constructed for their talk show style interactive programming with on-set hosts and off-set SKYPE guests.

2019
 Zacuto introduces it’s new ACT line of camera accessories for the Mirrorless camera market. 

2020 Zacuto branches out and begins creating several medical and consumer products, as well as iPhone and Android Apps.

Steve has been shooting, photographing, directing, producing, editing, renting and inventing products in film, video and photography since 1983. Both Steve and Jens have created more than 400 Zacuto camera accessories which are sold through their worldwide dealer network. They have worked together as director/cinematographer since 1986, creating in both film and video over 800 commercial, corporate, documentary and fashion videos as well as seven web series, documentaries and dozens of live shows.


HONORS RECEIVED

2017

  • BRONZE TELLY AWARD: Video / Shows / Segments in General-Biography "Cole Soul"

2016

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

1998

  • BRONZE TELLY AWARD: Jim Beam Brands: “Booker Noe, The Legendary Master Distiller”

1997

1995

  • BEVERAGE & FOOD DYNAMICS ADVERTISING AWARD 1ST PRIZE: Jim Beam Brands: “The American Spirit” 
  • SILVER TELLY AWARD: Jim Beam Brands: “The American Spirit” 
  • BRONZE TELLY AWARD: DeKuyper: “Cordials”

1994

1995

1993

  • BEVERAGE & FOOD DYNAMICS ADVERTISING AWARD SECOND PLACE: DeKuyper: “Lime Lizard”

1992

  • SILVER TELLY AWARD: “When You Wish Upon A Star” |
  • CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL INTERCOM CERTIFICATE OF MERIT: “JBS”

1991

  • AFVA RED RIBBON AWARD: The Dalmore: “The Art of Single Malt Tasting” 
  • BRONZE TELLY AWARD: The Dalmore “The Art of Single Malt Tasting” 
  • SILVER TELLY AWARD: Switzer Boat: “Excellence in Performance”

1990

  • THE NEW YORK FESTIVALS FINALIST: The Dalmore: “The Art of Single Malt Tasting” 
  • CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL INTERCOM CERTIFICATE OF MERIT: The Dalmore “The Art of Single Malt Tasting” 
  • THE HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL HIFF BRONZE STAR: The Dalmore “The Art of Single Malt Tasting” 

Steve Weiss photo folio: http://weissfineart.com