We had the good fortune of connecting with Zack Hosseini and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zack, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It’s tough to get your foot in the door in commercials and music videos, particularly in LA, especially trying to direct and produce. People have to trust you with their money. A lot of it has to do with pitching interesting ideas and unique takes, but even more of it comes down to what you’ve done and who you know. So after finishing film school at USC, and getting plunged into the most saturated city for this kind of work—for better or worse—I tried to figure out how I could start making stuff right away and get my foot in the door as many places as possible. I had been working for other people for years now, so it was really important to me to start doing my own projects.
So Chaos Theory came to be. Friends from film school became professional and creative collaborators, and that gave me the space and opportunity to direct as well. It also provided more flexibility to choose what kind of projects I worked on and what direction we went with it. So at this point, we’ve worked with small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, record labels, management companies — just a great, diverse set of partners that we’ve created successful campaigns with.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Chaos Theory Media is a results-driven video agency that specializes in commercials, music videos, and video marketing strategy for businesses and artists in Los Angeles and across the country.
For businesses, our process comes in three phases — first, I sit down with the owner and learn as much about their work as I can. It’s almost like a therapy session. I want to understand why you love what you do and what your customers love about you. However, I also want to hear where you’re struggling and where you want to be a year from now. I love diving into people’s goals. After we have a concrete idea of where you want to be, we figure out if there’s a way to use video marketing to get you there. Only once we’ve built a custom-tailored strategy, my team goes into production.
So I say we’re “results-driven” because we figure out what results we’re accomplishing first, and then work backwards to design video assets that will do that for you, as well as make your branding stand out and connect with people emotionally. Our incredibly talented team handles everything, and then we actually help you implement the videos when they’re done so they work for you as designed. We take strategy very seriously at Chaos, and we don’t want to leave you hanging. We want our partners to see succeed, so we do whatever it takes to make that happen, and have a lot of fun while we’re at it.
For music videos, the process is very similar, but with the artist and their brand at the forefront of our minds. Music videos give artists the means to shape their image and connect with theirs fans, so we take that seriously and want to do it right. We just did a really fun music video for “Feel You” by My Morning Jacket that was included in National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve event (linked below).
Of course, it’s never easy to start a production company, especially in Los Angeles, but as long as you’re producing amazing work that you connect with, others will gravitate towards it too.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so much to do here that it’s tough to whittle the list down, but my favorite part of the city is definitely the comedy clubs. The Improv on Melrose is my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, or UCB.
Then of course there are the trendy bars everyone knows about, but craft beer fans should really check out Sunset Beer in Echo Park. They have an awesome bottle shop packed with all sorts of weird and tasty beers you won’t find anywhere else, and they always have some great picks on tap.
Food-wise, you can’t go wrong with Mesa Thai at Western and Melrose, I love the Yellow Curry, or Burgers Never Say Die in Silver Lake for an amazing cheeseburger.
For entertainment, hopefully the New Beverly Cinema in Fairfax opens back up soon. They curate the greatest double features and everything is always on 35mm or 16mm. It’s the coolest theater in LA and their monthly calendars are always full of great picks you won’t see anywhere else.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
You have a lot of mentors in your life. In my experience, they sort of come and go as you need them. One that really comes to mind though, as he helped keep my creative spark lit during high school, which was easily the most stressful time of my life so far, is Dr. Jesse “J.C.” Futrell.
The American education system is inherently flawed. You could go on and on about why, but a key reason is that it stifles creativity and artistic expression through oppressive standards and cultivates a culture of mechanical work ethic at the expense of the arts. In spite of that, there are enthusiastic, valuable educators who rail against that by simply searching out those students who are passionate and creative, and when they find them, they nourish the creativity.
Dr. Futrell — we called him “Doc” — was the video production teacher at my high school for a single year, but his mentorship was instrumental for me. He’d keep his office and the editing bays open for hours after school ended each day to give students the opportunity to work on projects, ask for advice (either related to filmmaking or life in general), or simply hang out and connect in a place where creativity was the core. Any young filmmaker will tell you that it’s surprisingly difficult to find people as passionate about it as you are, but Doc provided that space for us to come together and collaborate. Doc even came to school over the summer to unlock the doors for me and my friends to shoot scenes for our feature film. I reckon I can let that cat out of the bag now, as Doc passed away in 2019. At the time, tributes poured in from all over. Stories of how he mentored and inspired countless other students like me. Even in his memory, Doc’s ability to find the passionate ones and nourish their creativity seemed to inspire us all over again.
My Morning Jacket / NatGeo Video: https://youtu.be/
Armon Ashtiani-Eisemann, Alex Bologna, Zack Hosseini, Adrian Hernandez, Matt Fresolone