After learning the art of filmmaking as a child in the front yard of his family’s Los Altos home, Zachary Ready, now 23, envisions a career as successful as the one started in a neighborhood garage by another local-boy-made-good, Steve Jobs.
Two of Ready’s screenplays turned into films are scheduled for screening at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival in May, which could prove a pivotal point in the young auteur’s career.
After “Being a Man,” a five-minute short Ready co-directed with Andrew Cathey, swept the Best Director, Best Drama and Best Actor categories at Campus MovieFest – the world’s largest student film and music festival – the MovieFest committee selected the production as one of 30 films for screening at Cannes. Campus MovieFest is also slated to screen “Being a Man” later this year at the Annual Film Summit in Hollywood.
A second film, “The Spot,” also received accolades from Campus MovieFest, winning Best Comedy and scoring an invite to the French festival. Ready’s two screenplays will be included in Cannes’ Short Film Corner, a component of the festival created in 2011 to showcase the work of young talent and provide opportunities for networking and professional development.
Ready and Cathey plan to attend the festival, with an eye to hobnobbing with renowned filmmakers. To cover expenses, the duo is fundraising online. If they raise enough money, Ready plans to organize an independent showing of their films during the festival as well as support additional marketing.
Star on the rise
Ready, a graduate of St. Francis High School, is not a household name yet, but he’s determined to see his name onscreen like directing greats Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.
After high school film, drama and creative writing classes spurred his passion from hobby into a professional career pursuit, Ready enrolled in filmmaking classes at San Francisco State University after graduating from St. Francis. At San Francisco State, Ready co-founded Pocket Pool Productions with classmate Cathey. Their first short film won Best Comedy at Campus Movie- Fest in 2009, launching their award-winning careers.
With the goal of telling stories in a new way, Ready said he tries to create paintings within each camera frame. Rather than taking viewers on a field trip, Ready explained how he uses visual tropes, simple sets and deep depth of field to bring focus to his film’s stars.
Although “Being a Man” took nearly six months to write, Ready said his team filmed the production in less than two days on a ranch in Livermore.
Ready and his team at Pocket Pool plan to begin work on their first feature-length film later this year.
“It’s a difficult prospect,” Ready said of the challenges of guerrilla filmmaking and the odds of breakout success. “But six years ago, I wouldn’t have ever imagined having this much success.”