Graduate of the Month: Zach Tolchinsky
Zach studied on the BA Acting programme at RCS although he always knew he wanted to take another career path. Upon graduating in 2011, Zach used the writing, directing and acting skills to venture into the animation industry. So far he has worked on Super Mansion, a Sony/ Crackle Original series, Robot Chicken, and the web series Bratz at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. He has also directed music videos for animation and commercials for Goldfish and Vans. Zach has most recently worked on Charlie Kaufman’s Oscar-nominated Anomalisa. Anomalisa closes the Glasgow Film Festival later in February.
You studied BA Acting at RCS, how did you make the move into production, directing, puppet fabrication and set building and how did your time at RCS help you?
I wanted to write, direct and make puppets while at drama school, but at the time, the curriculum wasn’t set up for that. My tutors didn’t know what to do with me and often referred to me as the “wild card.” I had to find ways of producing work while fitting it into classes, and my lecturers really helped me facilitate that; which was amazing. They helped me get my work into On The Verge, Principal’s Pit, and coached me with puppeteering auditions I had in third year. Katya Kamotskaia and Ian Heggie especially took the extra time to work with me on writing and directing. I’ll never forget their kindness and constant support. RCS taught me most importantly how to “act” like a producer. How to achieve artistic goals when everyone else is telling you, you can’t.
How does it feel for Anomalisa to be the closing gala at the Glasgow Film Festival?
It’s hard to believe! I worked on that film almost two years ago! It’s a completely independent animated feature; which is extremely rare. I’m just honoured that we’re in the same festival as “Where Do We Go From Here?”- another very rare independent film.
What has been your career highlight this far?
My partner and I were invited to the Disney Studio in Burbank to pitch and it was the most exciting moment of my life. When I moved out to Los Angeles, I used to drive by the studio every day and dream about going there. I had a few offers from friends to go and take a tour, but I wanted to wait until I was invited as an artist. My whole life, I’ve wanted to work at Disney, and although I didn’t get to work there this time, I was honoured to be invited.
What’s next for you and Wood Goblin Studios?
We’re developing an independent feature for stop-motion animation, as well as continuing to search for investors for our animated Tesla series.