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Daniel Zatz

Zatz is a 25 year Alaskan with roots in the Southern California broadcast market working in LA and San Diego. He has four Emmy Awards and clients include BBC Natural History, an array of Discovery and National Geographic series, The History Channel, NHK, CBC, German television, and commercial clients like Smuggler, AeroFilm, etc. He’s filmed in every corner of Alaska and has more than 3000 hours of aerial Cineflex® filming in the state- certainly more than any other operator in the world. His goal is to solve all logistical challenges for ZatzWorks clients and capture material in new and creative ways each time he flies. In addition to operating the Cineflex, Zatz founded and led an Alaska-based robotics company and he provides regular technical support to Cineflex owners throughout the world. He is also a fixed wing and helicopter pilot– skills that help him work in sync with pilots while shooting aerials.


Why Choose Us?

We have the only Alaska-based gimbal and we own a dedicated filming helicopter (the new turbine R66 comes online in April 2015). That means we are a one-stop shop for solving Alaska aerial production challenges. Additionally, our DP has over 3,000 hours of Alaska broadcast/film Cineflex time, and our 23,000 hour pilot specializes in cinema work.
Our Alaska expertise translates into more success and fewer surprises. Our local knowledge of Alaska weather, flight routes, village politics, Federal and State land rules help us get projects done safely, efficiently, and without headaches. Even at -30°F we create beautiful aerials for our clients.
We have contacts in all corners of Alaska. Check out our Alaska ImageMap to get an idea of  just how many corners we have experience and contacts in.
It’s our helicopter and we get to make the rules! We decided that our clients shouldn’t ever be forced to fly a minimum number of hours each day. With ZatzWorks, there is no minimum daily flight requirement and no standby fee. If the light is bad, we wait without running up your cost.
When using our helicopter, there’s never a rigging fee to install the Cineflex V14, Elite, or our ZatzWorks upgraded Cineflex that shoots up to 6k beauty of Alaska– something our clients love.
Ever lose the only day with good light because the airlines or FedEx lost one of a dozen shipping crates? Not with us. Our helicopter is rigged with our ball and ready to capture images. There’s no shipping, no shipping costs, and nothing to get lost. We are ready to fly and film anytime.
Our camera and helicopter are totally dialed-in. Everything works perfectly from the controls to the monitoring system to the headphones. We hate arriving at a location and using a third-party helicopter when comms don’t work and the helicopter’s fuse keeps blowing and half of the headphones are useless. We’ll make it work but it’s not an issue with ZatzWorks. Everything works and there are no surprises. Our crew also gels. Our DP and Pilot have more than 1000 hours flying together and can almost (almost!) read each other’s minds. All this translates into more creativity, fewer problems and better images for our clients.
Finding a great aerial D.P. is always challenging, but to find an extraordinary D.P. in Alaska with his own ball and helicopter is nothing short of a miracle. For Ultimate Survival Alaska, I had a very specific  (and ambitious) shot list in each location we worked and Daniel nailed it every time. The footage is stunning, the cost fit my budget, and Daniel is one of the most professional individuals I’ve encountered in my twenty year career in television. I strongly recommend him for any project requiring aerial photography in Alaska..
Brian Catalina, Ultimate Survival Alaska/NG
The ZatzWorks team captured amazing images for our killer whale documentary.  The work was in some of the harshest weather anywhere in the world, and the images are extraordinary.
Shiro Kagawa, NHK Natural History Unit
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Daniel on three seasons of “Flying Wild Alaska” and recently shooting aerials for National Geographic’s new hit show “Life Below Zero”. Our task was immense, as we had winter Arctic weather and a great deal of logistics to complete our shoot in the 8-10 day allotted window. We had to shoot from the Bering sea to the North Slope and from the Canadian border to Fairbanks. Daniel understands the creative flow and deadlines and how the two can work together for the best outcome. Thanks to Daniel’s safety, professionalism and attention to detail we accomplished our shoot in 6 days…..On time and under budget!
Tommy Baynard, 'Flying Wild Alaska', Discovery & 'Life Below Zero', National Geographic
There’s too much gorgeousness for me to comment on but I had people running up the stairs to my little garret to see what in the
world was wrong when I bellowed “OH MY GOD WHAT A SHOT!”
John Grabowska, PBS: Katmai National Park film
Working with Daniel Zatz/Zatzworks is always a wonderful experience! His filming knowledge and knowledge of animals, along with an artistic eye, have been invaluable to several of our big series. Even at a moment’s notice, he has been able to get aerials of animal behavior that have really increased the production value of sequences. ZatzWorks is always one of my first calls when kicking off a project.
Kelly Sweet, National Geographic Television, Natural History Unit

Meet Our Team

 

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Malcom Gaylord, Magician

Every team needs someone who can fix anything, and Malcolm is that man for us– especially if the challenge has anything to do with electricity (analog or digital).  An Electronics Engineer by training, he tackles any challenge from improving the roll characteristics of a gimbal systems to designing better lens microprocessors and servo systems. A magician of sorts, he never gives up until a challenge is overcome.

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Konrad Schaad, Design & Fabrication

A Swiss-trained machinist, Schaad can build anything with precision. Using the ZatzWorks fabrication shop, he participated in the design and creation of our STC’d camera mount (the world’s first Cineflex support system for the nose of a Robinson helicopter) and he’s at the heart of the design and fabrication effort to allow our gimbal to use multiple camera imagers like the Arriflex Alexa and Red Epic and Dragon.  With the addition of our CNC machine, Schaad now drinks foamy lattes while the machine fabricates aluminum and steel parts!

Scott Dickerson, Operator

Scott is a lifelong Alaskan with over a decade of experience as a professional photographer shooting in the furthest reaches of Alaska from the water, on the mountains, and in the air. His passion for aerial photography has lead him to flying and photographing from all sorts of aircraft ranging from powered paragliders to C-130s. Scott started as an apprentice to Daniel and learned the tricks of the trade from a true master. He now has hundreds of hours of experience in and out of Alaska.