"For you, me, people like us, even the worst day on a movie set is better than the best day doing anything else." -Jacki Weaver as Carolyn, The Disaster Artist
Carl Coetzee (right) and Zak Zaidi (left), co-directing "Nocturna" (2021)
Directing "Monologue" (2020). From left to right:
Jamie Granato (Sound Recordist,), Aaron Razi (Production Manager), Carl Coetzee (Writer/Director), Zak Zaidi (Director of Photography), Bennett Emann (Lead Actor), Joe Lippman (Supporting Actor)
While I work in many different roles across many different projects, my main aspiration is as a writer and as a director. Already, I have established my own style and approach to directing over a multitude of projects that span from short films (Monologue, Orange Blossoms, Unfinished Symphony) to mini-features (Nocturna).
Additionally, it is impossible to talk about my artistic voice without first acknowledging my near-lifelong background in performing and composing music. A violinist since age four, an early affinity for composing my own film soundtracks eventually developed into a skill set for film composition that has not only supplemented but informed much of my work as a filmmaker. I have experience not only scoring my own work (Nocturna, Monologue, Orange Blossoms) but collaborating with others as a composer (Buttercup, The Dreamland Inn, Call Me Richard, Babyboro). Most notably, my score for Aaron Razi's The Dreamland Inn (2019) won Best Original Score at the Jersey Shore International Film Festival in 2020.
It's been part of me for literally as long as I can remember.
I still remember the moment that I, aged seven, first got my hands on a my mom's old Canon DSLR. Although I didn't know it at the time, my fate was sealed. Since then, filmmaking has been my passion and calling -- from my first project (an ambitiously-scoped 68-minute sci-fi thriller named Terralight that I wrote and directed at age seven) all the way up until to my most recent. My relationship to film is multitudinous: It's not only my career, but my craft and my escape as well. This is why I treat every project I have a hand in as my own; whether I am director or a crewmember, composer or even just a helping hand, I try never to bound myself merely to a single role. Rather, I make it a point to understand not only my responsibilities but also the needs of the project at large, using this understanding to inform how I might best serve the final product. This is why I'd like to think that no matter where my name appears in the credits, every single piece within my portfolio has some distinct fingerprint of mine, a fingerprint without which each project would not be quite what it is.
Crew, "Black & White & Cigarette Smoke". Gaffer: Carl Coetzee
On the Set of "The Bridges We Burn" (2020, dir. Zak Zaidi). Assistant Director: Carl Coetzee
Nowadays, I split my time more or less evenly between writing, directing, and studying at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Most recently, I've been trying my hand more at gaffing (Call Me Richard) and sound design (Uninheritance). I've also been focusing on writing and prepping a few upcoming short pieces that should be out soon.
In Washington Square Park, March 2022. Picture Credits: Aaron Razi (Shot on CINESTILL 800T)