Zach Yoshioka is the Valley's version of Robert Rodriguez or Roger Corman. Since 1999, the self-taught auteur has cranked out 15 different no-budget flicks with such luridly visceral subject matter as gang violence, love triangles, cyberpunk shenanigans, and witchcraft. Schlocky cinematic adventures like Urban Pressure and Synthetic Truth have occasionally screened at Tempe Cinemas, and, thanks to a deal with Brain Damage Films, his flicks are at Best Buy and Tower Records nationwide. It's not his only success, as Yoshioka's also plugged in with L.A.'s Suburban Noize Records and has created music videos and filmed concerts for bands like Kottonmouth Kings and Story of the Year, as well as locals Authority Zero, The Format, and Bionic Jive.
I used to come home every day from school and watch a lot of movies, stuff by Oliver Stone, Jim Cameron, and Robert Rodriguez. I was inspired by stuff like El Mariachi, Reservoir Dogs, and Clerks, and they totally convinced me that, hey, this can be done.
When you can't rent a location, you've gotta find somewhere else you can get permission from. I'm always gonna have that guerrilla mentality or that frugal sense in me 'cause that's the only kind of filmmaking I know. Why rent a dolly for $300 when you can shoot in a wheelchair that's slightly shakier and completely free?
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We work with a lot of actors, some who're SAG members, and it's sometimes funny explaining to them, "Yeah, we got professional equipment, but don't expect a trailer or catering truck or 50 makeup people or anything."
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Our movies have always been edgy. During high school, we made movies about teenage problems, like kids cutting themselves and stuff. We've always tried to do different stuff that people haven't seen before. Like Capture the Flag was about violent capture-the-flag games with two punk groups battling each other. Films like Disc Jockey, Synthetic Truth, and 3 Can Keep a Secret all have morbid situations, but they shouldn't be taken seriously. We make a film, run off a thousand copies, première it, and then make another one.
Some of my stuff has gotten on MTV. I went on the Warped Tour last summer and shot [Blink-182 drummer] Travis Barker's other band The Transplants, and a few months later I was watching his reality show, Meet the Barkers, and they used like 30 seconds of my footage. I was like, "Wow, I can't believe those were my shots." I'm used to seeing my stuff on MySpace, but not national TV.
Man, I've seen some crazy things backstage at concerts I've filmed, just wild, crazy stuff involving sex and drugs and everything. That kinda stuff always happens, and people are always yelling to me, "Get this on camera, get this on camera!" I don't wanna name any names or anything, but they don't call them the Kottonmouth Kings for nothing.