The Mind of Zate

Conjures of a Cinematic Human

Found Movement, In This House


Thursday May 29th I am strolling into the Tennessee Performing Arts Center with my best friend to watch our friends perform “In This House”. Now I had no idea at all what the show was about, I just knew that if my friends were in it then I am going to support. Little did I know that I would be leaving with a new found sense of awe, wonder, inspiration, amazement and wiping tears away. From the moment the lights dim through intermission and the ending, it does not let you go. So Much that I went back for 2 more shows over its 4 day run, including closing night. Grand Opening even Grander Closing…


Being a creative artist myself, I love taking in new experiences, but at the same time I find it hard to seperate my creative side from being just a audiance member. I always want to over analyze, look at the “how’d they do it” and see it on a technical side. I have this problem with movies, it takes a great narritave for me be completely involved and invested. THIS SHOW DID JUST THAT! The emotion that the cast displayed blew me away.


So I admittedly am a fan of So You Think You Can Dance. Something about the interpretation of music and using only movement of your body to evoke emotion and character just leaves me in awe. Probably because as a Music Video director I have to listen to music and think creativity how to evoke the emotion and character of the song and translate that onto a script. Sometimes the simplicity and more often the complexity of dance does that 100x better. The cast of In This House was like watching all of the winners of every dance competition perform in unison on stage with battalion of different genres and styles that once put together launched a full on Movement assault on your senses. In other words they were freaking’ amazing!!!


The story itself is very well played out through these stunning movement, and in harmony with the music. After the first 15 minutes of the show, there was not a single dry eye in the building, by the end of the show, the floor I am sure was covered with tissues and the room was filled with standing ovations. A story about love, marriage, life, kids, death, moving on, remembering, and that true love, no matter what, overcomes all. Even after death you shall be together again! While the show was called “In This House” it went well beyond This House, it went into Your Life, Your Heart, and dare I say Your Soul. Everyone will connect to the story on their own level because I guarantee something within the plot will hit you and you will completely be enveloped in the emotion of the scene without any preconceived expectations, you will be genuinely wowed!


The soundtrack, which I now have downloaded, was stunning. It flowed in perfect harmony with the movement, almost as if the song was written for the dance and not the other way around. As if each cord and each note was composed and arranged for that specific character,  that scene, that light, that set prop, that breathe they took. Everything had a purpose and its execution was flawless.


The set, the stage, the lighting, the presentation, it was all so well executed as well. The audience sits on the stage, in the round, with the performance. You are invited “In This House” and it is perfect. You feel like you are in the room. A silent family member along for the ride and emotionally invested from beginning to end.


To the creators, the dancers, the technical side, the coordinators, everything and everyone involved on the show deserves the highest praise possible. This show should sell out large venues, be taken on tour, placed on Broadway and take home every Tony Award possible. Its That Damn Good! If you did not get a chance to see it, I hope that it returns for a 3rd year because if so, I may not see it 3 times like I did this time… I am gonna see it way more than that! Bravo Found Movement, you have created a masterpiece that speaks to truest parts of the human condition, exposes our vulnerabilities and by the end of it reminds us that everything will be OK, and that love conquers all. Thank you! Thank You!


The Human Condition | Music City Trail Ultra


5am Saturday morning, cars begin pulling in to a large family farm nestled along the hills and woods of Cheatham County, TN. The grass is freshly cut, droplets of water on the blades, sunlight peaking over the hills. You can hear the the grass bend as people begin to line up for registration. The first 50k Ultra is getting ready to begin. Over 200 people from all walks of life came out to spend their day pushing their bodies to the limits. With several elevation points, steep drop offs, streams, rocks, snakes, ticks, spiders, heat, and even heavy rain, the trail had everything that would make you want to stay home. It was in the defiance of laziness and the will to prove that no matter what the obstacle may be, you can and will overcome to see yourself cross the finish line!


All day I would witness person after person finish the race. 10k, 25k, or 50k, none came by easily. From the most athletic female to the most unlikely male. The elderly man to the youngest little girl and her mom, these people finished, with a smile and sense of accomplishment. I was in awe and felt a sense of pride for my friends and fellow ‘dirtbaggers”, as they like to be called.


The night before, I helped out my friends set up tables and make last minute preps for the race. Some of the areas of the trail we couldn’t even get to with a beast of a Jeep. I mountain biked a small portion of it and that was no easy task.


The weekend before I hiked only 3 miles of the trail, it felt like eternity, so to see all these people celebrate their feat of feet and share in their happiness was pretty outstanding.


It inspires one to get up and get going. Walk, Run, Ride or Die. The choice is yours. Whether in a race or in life, push yourself beyond your own limit and believe in yourself, believe in that human condition that makes us cross from mountains and streams to oceans and galaxies, to stand at the edge and say “OK, where to next?”


Zacchini: Human Cannon Ball - Soundtracking the film

In November of 2012 Production begin on a feature length documentary about the amazing Zacchini family. A project as grand as the legendary family needed a soundtrack as epically roaring as the cannons that fired the Zacchini’s. Post production began in 2013 and Nashville musician Korbie Rinehart teamed up with director Ray Zate to work on the score and soundtrack for the film. Here is a look at a weekend in the studio.

2012 - An Odyssey

Odyssey - Defined:

1: a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune

2: an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest

2012 has indeed been an odyssey to say the least. Looking back at the year from the finish line always is overwhelming but this year seems to stand out. The year started out as a blurred continuation of 2011. A quick trip to Texas to surprise my mom for her birthday in January was extremely memorable.

February rolled around and it seemed as if that when the Odyssey began. I remember sitting at my desk that Saturday morning working on a project for Emmy Lou Harris, my client had just left after looking over the finished product. I was finishing up my work when my phone rang, it was Deshun. I answered like normally do “Hey Bro! What it do..” I heard a tone in his voice that I had never heard before, emotional. he said “What are you doing?” I said “I’m at the station about to leave, what happened?” he said something that I couldn’t believe that changed my life from that moment on… “Scoob died’ I couldn’t believe what I heard, I said what!? and he repeated it “Scoob passed away” I was out the door and in my car about as quick as I have ever been, I fought back tears until I got to Dolewites apartment, It wasn’t till I saw everyone’s face that I knew it was true. The days and weeks around that were emotional for me, Scoob was part of a group of friends that I had made in the city that I adopted home. Even though I didn’t see him everyday, his presence had an influence on me. He sat right next to me not less than a year before as my childhood dream of making a movie and screening it in an actual theater came true. I remember he and Lunchbox calming me down before hand because I was so nervous. Another friend of mine told me after the funeral how much he believed in me and wanted me to succeed. I just needed to stop Bulls**ing around.

There had been another person in my life that believed me so much that had passed away a couple of years before, that man was my Grandfather. If you know me then you know how much I love my Grandpa, he is the reason that I am in Nashville, literally, he pulled out his check book and paid for my moving expenses when I was offered the job and I thought I couldn’t take it because I couldn’t afford to move across the country. He told me, “Go, Chase your dream and make me proud!” Since that day I humbled myself greatly, everything I did really came from a place of meaning and heart. I rededicated myself to my craft more than before after Scoobs passing. Not just my craft but my life and the way I was living, treating others, treating myself, everything.


I worked on a music video with Stix that really was derived out of emotion and making Scoob proud. At the end of the day it was an incredible project to work on with Stix.

Then there was Doug and Stacys wedding, (STOUGS WEDDING) which was incredible and one of the most memorable events of the year! It was great to see my two friends tie the knot and show that true love does exists!

In May
I wrapped up my season long documentary shoot with NHL Star Jordin Tootoo, it was an incredible season following him along his journey as he too turned his life around from a year ago and looked back at the passing of his brother from a decade ago. Getting to know Jordin was an amazing opportunity, we still keep in touch to this day, heck he is like family to me. Proud of where is his now

At the end of the month I flew back down to Texas for my sisters Middle School graduation. I cried as she gave the valedictorian speech to her class, She makes me so proud and the weekend was great for my soul. She inspires me daily!

In June

I decided to take a road trip to see Washington D.C., Baltimore and finally visit my amazing friend Christine in Philadelphia. On the road at my first stop to put gas, as I walked back out of the store from paying, there was my car a Newer model Cadillac CTS and next to it was a classic model Cadillac. The exact model that my Grandpa drove. I felt as if that on this journey and in life that wasn’t alone, that I am never alone. At the very least my grandfather was there driving side by side with me.

DC was amazing, the drive to Baltimore from DC sucked! Philadelphia was AMAZING! It was a great trip to visit great friends. As a creative person I try to take new experiences all the time and see new sights to keep expanding my creative palette.

When I got back I got back to work, traveled down to Memphis and Tunica with my great friend and drifting enthusiast, Hooman.

Then in July worked on a brand new commercial campaign for my favorite client and great friends over at Bullets & Mullets. I love them because they let me and my imagination run wild every time. That project entitled “Victimized” really was about breaking the mold that tend to put ourselves in and truly being free, expressing your self in the rawest form and just living life.

Then, and yes this was a highlight for me, The Dark Knight Returns hit the screen. Like a kid and cinephile that I am, I had been counting down the days for this one, went right at midnight to see with my friends Hector and Korbie. It was and still is one of the greatest trilogies ever made and have such high respect for the artist involved in creating that masterpiece. That’s why the next day was very emotional for me.

The Mass shooting at the movie theater in Colorado was a horrendous act of violence. I tend to be an emotional person as it is but that one hit a little close to home. As a fan of the cinema, as a fellow creative working in the industry, and as a human being that shooting had me in tears that morning. The theater is the one place where people from all walks of life can sit together in a room and escape from the real world. It is a place where race, religion and politics are all set aside and we are all just one race and that is human. The souls that lost their lives and even those that didn’t were robbed of that innocence. The film makers who worked tirelessly on the film had it tarnished by the act of one sick individual. It’s something that weighed with me for awhile after that.


The month began with Scoobs birthday and memorial celebration. It was an emotional night as people from all over showed up to celebrate his life and raise money for Charity.
My next project was Stix’s DAVY JONES LOCKER music video. I took some time to really think about this video, the title and the meaning and what added dimension I could bring visually to a dynamic song. I previously blogged about that one but in short my goal was to make the project stand out and push what you would expect from a “rap artist” or any artist for that matter. Bring back the art and cinematic scope of music videos that seems to be lost.

SEPTEMBER - Another Red Letter Month in the Odyssey
Around the end of August I started looking around different job opportunities elsewhere. I knew I wanted to continue chasing my dream, I just wasn’t sure if Nashville was the place to do that. One day in September I get a call from a television station in Phoenix AZ with a job offer, the next day I get a call from another in Phoenix, maybe a week later one in Las Vegas. It was a gong show! I decided that I was going to go to Phoenix, well on the day of my going party my boss called me into his office and we had a long talk. I won’t go into details about it but it gave me reason enough to reconsider. I then called up a trusted friend to talk about my decision. The person was Dolewite, that talk along with an amazing night out with some of the my close friends sealed the deal.
I called Phoenix the next day and canceled my flight, I was staying in Nashville. My goal was to continue on the success that I have had here with, with the amazing support system that I have here with my friends as opposed to starting over in a new city. A week later my very close friend, hell he is like my brother that I never asked for but was stuck with, was flown in and hired at the TV station. Stevie and I would work the exact same schedule, great… haha.
That same week I drove down to Texas for my High School reunion, I was on the reunion committee and that weekend in itself deserves its article. In short it was an amazing weekend, retracing our old foot steps and seeing my home town that I hadn’t been to in 10 years! I reunited with some of my earliest closest friends and shared an incredible weekend with them. The drive back had me really looking at my life since High School graduation and the journey that has been… whoo, that deserves its own BOOK.
The following weekend I flew to a different part of Texas for my sisters Quienceañera, which is the Hispanic cultures right of passage where a girl becomes a woman on her 15th birthday. Again, if you know me you know how much I love and care for my sister and my mom for that matter. To see her on that day transform from my little baby cakes to a woman was emotional. She has come a long way and has made me incredibly proud and honored to be called her brother. My great friends Deshun and Stevie flew down there with me as well. They met my friends from El Paso and it all ended in probably one of the greatest family house parties of all time. Lets just say that my mom, MaMa Zate, knows how to get down!

Was spent with several shoots both freelance and for the TV station. A quick trip to Atlanta for the Falcons v Raiders game. The induction of Garth Brooks into the Hall of Fame, which was really cool for me because I grew up as a fan of him and to be there on the day he was inducted was really amazing. A couple of shoots for the Nashville TV show and an all access shoot with the Rascal Flatts rounded off the month before hitting Red Carpet week.


As usual is a busy month because of Ratings Competition month and the holidays, but thrown in the Election and Red Carpet week and it makes it overwhelming. (Red carpet week is the week that all of the award shows in Nashville happen, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and of course it all wraps up with the CMA’s! I decided also to take a few weekends for me this month. One of them came at the end of red carpet week with my great friend Melinda. In one day we saw two nationally televised football games in two states in two different stadiums. The Titans v Bears game then the Sunday Night Football match up between the Falcons & the Cowboys. Throw in a night of partying the day before and it was one long but fun day!
Then came Zatesgiving, my annual tradition of cooking a full Thanksgiving meal for all of my friends, its my way of giving back to them and saying thank you. Also it keeps me stocked up on plastic forks and paper plates for a year! lol
December …
The first weekend of the month I drove down to Dallas to surprise my Mom and Sister for their Christmas surprise. They both were going to the Cowboys v Eagles game (my sister is eagles fan, more so a Vick fan, this make me very happy as a Falcons fan! That and I loathe the Cowboys) It was a great surprise for them both that and a very memorable weekend.
The following weekend (The day after my birthday) I flew to Tampa, FL. to start working on my new documentary with Stephanie Langston. That weekend may have been the icing on the cake for the year. The people that met and the experiences that I had were so life changing, I really cant describe it on here, I think a lot of it will show on the film when we are done with it. In the mean time enjoy the teaser I put together.

The School Shootings in Connecticut weighed heavily I think on the entire nation, I know I felt it because I couldn’t even imagine it if it were to happen to my sister. Didn’t want to think of it at all!  I remember going to the bathroom and crying for a minute before going back to work.
I took in one last Titans Game against the Jets on Monday Night Football
Scoob St. was passed by metro city council and my friends legacy would be forever memorialized on a section of Jefferson St. A great way to cap off the year!
I then Spent Christmas eve with the same incredible family that I went to Tampa with and Christmas day with my brother Stix. Now here I am at the end of the year. It has been an incredible journey that just recapping brings back so many emotions but more so gratefulness. Grateful for the amazing group friends in my life, the events of the year and culmination of experiences. If you read all of this, what is wrong with you haha, but I thank you for it, all of you are my friends and I love you and wish nothing but happiness and success for you. I can best sum this year with a quote from my favorite movie of the year, Cloud Atlas.

“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”

Stix Izza | ETERNITY: Davy Jone Locker | Dir. by Rayzate

After some time off we are back with our latest visual collaboration!

ETERNITY: Davy Jones Locker

Here is some back story:

I took some time to really think about this video, the title and the meaning and what added dimension I could bring visually to a dynamic song. Lets start with the title…

Davy Jones’ Locker, also referred to as the Land of the Dead, was a dimension to which souls were sent, a barren wasteland, although people imprisoned there are technically not dead, they cannot die.

I then went to the bible for some Book of Revelation type stuff and found book 9 to hit it on the head “verse 6 During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.” (ETERNITY)

Stix’s lyrics break down to nothing is what it seems to be, his rhymes are metaphor after metaphor of Hey you think this but its actually that, it seems like this but its really that. Anyone who chose not to see the reality over the perception is lost in Davy Jones Locker for Eternity.

So in this world we find our actress, Red, running and chased by torment in The Locker, longing for an end but can not find one, literally ripping away at her self. Finally accepting her fate we see her composed and normal. Inside The Locker, we find a land where everything seems dead but is actually alive, smoke covered ground, trees change colors, even the animals are not what they seem to be. 

My goal with every video has been to make the projects stand out and push what you would expect from a “rap artist” or any artist for that matter. Bring back the art and cinematic scope of music videos that seems to be lost. I hope you guys enjoy the video!

From my favorite music video director ROMAIN-GAVRAS the same guy behind M.I.A.’s "Born Free" and the amazing "Justice, Stress" Video, comes out with a Stellar Cinematic for The Throne’s No Church in the Wild. This is ART!!!!!

"HULA’S IN PARIS" by Zate Entertainment


Jordin Tootoo Documentary Series

Here you guys go! Every single episode of the Jordin Tootoo Documentary series in amazing High Def! Enjoy!

PART 1  PART 2  PART 3  PART 4  PART 5  PART 6  PART 7  PART 8  PART 9  PART 10  PART 11  PART 12  PART 13  PART 14  PART 15  PART 16  PART 17  PART 18  PART 19  PART 20 

Experience Freedom

This beautifully edited film gets today’s Mind of Zate stamp of approval! Utilizing a mix of GoPro and Contour cameras, Experience Freedom allows you to do just that! Stop reading and hit play!!!

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