Zach Foster is a graduate of Ferris State University and a freelance cameraman in the Royal Oak area. During his time at Ferris in the TDMP program, he became important for his role as the star of the fall 2009 mini-series Blood Over Water, produced courtesy of Dozerfleet Studios and the Ferris Access Channel.
Originally from the town of West Branch, Zach made his way around the state of Michigan to advance both his education and career goals. In 2004, he graduated from Ogemaw Heights High School. He then attended Muskegon Community College in the fall of 2004. He achieved his initial educational goals in 2008, then transferred to Ferris State in the fall of 2008 to pursue a bachelor degree in TV production.
The following school year after enrolling at Ferris, he entered the TV Practicum class for the fall of 2009. It was shortly before this that he met a dental program student named Mallorie Lewis, whom he later married.
Zach completed the second third of junior sequence in the spring of 2010, around the time that the Dozerfleet founder was in senior sequence. This included Studio Production and Operations classes, the former being the same class in which the Dozerfleet founder had produced episodes for Beyond the Campus and Who's Who at FSU. The final phase of junior sequence ended in December of 2010 for Zach, who then entered his senior sequence in January of 2011. By May that same year, as the Dozerfleet founder was hired to Peckham, Zach acquired a six month internship with Play On Sports Midwest in Howell MI.
His internship gave way to a six-month apprenticeship, leading to him completing his run in Howell in the middle of 2012. It was around that time that Ferris mailed him his diploma. While the Dozerfleet founder specialized in writing and concept art, as well as project management and promotion, Zach specialized in camera handling operations. In the mean time of his internship and apprenticeship, he also did freelance work as a photographer for KPVI News Channel 6 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Upon moving to Royal Oak, he became a full time freelancer. He has done work for Comcast Television, including working as a grip.
Zach, like Angelina and Cassie, went into the TV practicum class wishing to emphasize his skills as a cameraman. He was initially going to be cast, however, as the minor character George "GPS" Phillips-Stareemly in the Dozerfleet Studios sitcom Mackley's Wardrobe, where he'd star alongside Angelina and Mutt Mackley. When that was turned down, he was cast as the distraught husband of Cassie's character in The Widower and the Conspiracy. It was later decided that the gender roles would be reversed, and Kozerlen was to have Zach as the one who went missing. If not Zach, then an outside party would gain the husband role, forcing Zach into the role of gambling addict and Jessie Morcin friend Johnny Ovalt. Cassie was to play the distraught wife, Jessie Morcin. Angelina, who was all against her role as Charlotte Duvarin in Mackley's Wardrobe, didn't feel much better about being reinterpreted as Mindy Liptash.
However, Chris liked both the idea of Zach as the star and the idea of Zach as the one who goes missing. And seeking to have the best of both worlds, he decided that Zach should be looking for a (non-existent) twin brother, rather than a missing spouse. Zach was immediately re-cast as "Twin A," in search of "Twin M," long before the story even had a coherent script or even a name. Zach showed initial discomfort with being the star, but grew into the role and became confident by the third episode.
As the working title of The Twin Conspiracy gave way to the working title of Mountain of Cabal when it was revealed that Ice Mountain's Stanwood bottling plant would play a role in the plot, Zach's characters were named Mike and Alvin Monaco. However, Chris didn't like those names. Right as the first episode was being shot, Zach's characters were renamed as Mark and Aaron.
Much of the mini-series that later became known as Blood Over Water essentially revolved around Zach's character getting entangled in a corporate conspiracy of cleanup fraud that nearly gets him killed, while investigating the disappearance of what was really just a digital clone of himself on a piece of paper posing as a missing/dead twin brother. The role, both as Aaron and as Mark, proved extremely demanding for Zach to pull off. However, he proved that he had the tenacity to carry the role to completion. Fortunately for him, only two short scenes needed to be shot of him as Aaron for Part 5. A few brief clips of him as Mark were shot in advance, and pieced together to make a completed patchwork of an episode. Otherwise, Aaron is surprisingly absent for most of Part 5. This contrasted with Zach's demanding performance in Part 1, where he was acting against only himself for most of the episode. Even in Part 2, the few brief scenes with Chris provide some of his only relief from being isolated and cut off from society. Parts 3 and 4 showed him gain a friend in Monica, as played by Cassie. But by Part 5, he's alone again.
It is speculated by some in class that Zach's willingness to put so much effort into his acting role as Aaron actually saved the production, granting everyone in class a final grade of a B. The Dozerfleet founder and Kyle also put in epic performances, but had less screen time to show off those performances. Since the Dozerfleet founder specialized in cartoon voice acting, the task of making George Lawence believable in context proved difficult. Chris and Cassie were comparatively very flat in the delivery of their lines, though Zach's performances as Mark and Clyde were also rather flat. Angelina perhaps suffered the worst, with her version of Ashley getting little development beyond "random young woman who knocks on the door and asks a brief question while pretending to be polite."
In spite Zach's redeeming qualities as an actor, Blood Over Water proved to be one of the last times that he actively did much in front of a camera. He returned to his true passion of working behind the camera. He has yet to deliver his thoughts on a novelization, which would remake the mini-series into something more stretched out and enjoyable. Also, such a novel set would give his Aaron character more backstory; and possibly could expand on his role of after he was abandoned by Chris. With Zach's approval, continued Blood Over Water franchises would be allowed to depict Aaron still bearing Zach's likeness.
- Zach Foster profile at ProductionHub
- Zach's demo reel at Vimeo
|Blood Over Water|
|Continuity||Miniseries: Dozerfleet at Ferris State era | Novel: Cataclysmic Gerosha • Crossover Universe|
|Characters||Aaron Stefflin • Mark Stefflin • Meredith Celestine • Wanda Celestine • Vance Lingolin • Bob Lusital • Monica Shelly • Chris Kennal • Clyde Spendelworth • George Lawence • Kyle Tugrass • Ashley Phillips • Navyrope|
|Miniseries actors||Zach Foster • Cassie Tilne • Chris Wilson • David Stiefel • Kyle Mayer • Angelina McClane|
|Locations||Big Rapids • Sleet Mountain • Ferris State University|
|Development||Miniseries behind-the-scenes • Miniseries development complications|
|Related media||Mackley's Wardrobe • Kozerlen|
Fall 2010 or later