I was born in Freeport, Bahamas many moons ago, while my family was en route to the United States from the Philippines. When my mother (8 months pregnant with me) arrived at the airport in Bahamas, the immigration officials pretty much figured out quickly her real reason for wanting to visit Miami. They held her in Freeport where a kind family took her in and out I came.

Soon after, my mom and I rallied and went back to Guyana, South America, where my father and two older brothers were waiting (I’m assuming disappointedly).

Fortunately, my father was able to get a work visa in the United States and bing bang boom, we were off to the Land of Opportunity.

After brief stints in Salisbury, North Carolina and Edison, New Jersey we landed in a magical land called Orangeburg, New York, where I flourished as a “juvenile delinquent” and “dimwitted hopeless romantic”.

By no means, should my confession as a “juvy” be mistaken as a fond nostalgic longing for bygones or whatever that saying is. I was stupid. Check that. I’m still stupid, just a different kind of stupid.

I stole cars, broke into homes, ran away from home with a girl I thought was “the one”…all by the lovely age of 14. I was promptly sent to a Boys’ Home in Upstate New York where I thought I learned something. I didn’t.

I went on to incomprehensibly fail out of the prestigious SUNY Albany. That’s State University of New York at Albany for the uninitiated. I believe they prefer to be called University at Albany now.

In any event, I earned a mind boggling 1.2 GPA while at said state school. Drinking was the main reason. Actually, it was drinking that helped me realize that maybe I shouldn’t be drinking.

I was drunk when I drove my car into a low stone wall and flipped my car. I very nearly killed myself, but more importantly, I very nearly killed other people. I had just finished dropping off several of my friends home when I had that car wreck. I was about 200 feet from my house.

I was in the ICU for 12 days. I shattered my clavicle, sustained several fractures in my skull and had 6th and 7th nerve damage. The last part basically means I looked and talked like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky…the first one…and probably Creed II.

Two events changed my life. The first one was the accident. I went back to school at Rockland Community College where I studied communications. I interned at the TV show Spin City at Chelsea Piers. It was during that time period where I met my future wife (Life Changing Event #2).

She was visiting New York City with her friend who happened to be friends with my friend. It was friendly.

We ended up visiting a couple of museums; the girls went to see Chicago in New York. I took them to a club where my brother worked, then bing bang boom, one year later, after numerous emails and a few long distance phone calls, she and I became an item.

I grew exponentially professionally and more importantly, emotionally, after meeting her.

We moved to O’ahu. I studied photography under Gaye Chan and Stan Tomita at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, finished my undergraduate studies at UC Irvine with a degree in Film and Media Studies and followed that up with a Master’s degree in Cinema and Television Production from the University of Southern California.

There, I earned the James Bridges’ Scholarship, awarded for excellence in directing. I went on to direct my thesis documentary film point of entry: an intimate look at modern immigration, a film that follows an undocumented immigrant helping both his family in America and in Mexico. The film screened at over 30 film festivals, including Slamdance, and won numerous awards.  PBS World acquired the rights and broadcast it via their Global Voices program.  

After graduating USC, I worked for NFL Films and NFL Media.  My work with the NFL has been featured on ESPN, NFL Network, Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, Showtime, and HBO and has garnered numerous Emmy nominations and two Sports Emmy awards.

Today, I’m splitting time freelancing as a director, writer, cameraperson, editor and photographer.

My current projects include:

  • Me, Saddam and the Heavy Metal – Documentary Film
  • Sofia and Zombie Horse – Graphic Novel
  • Light and Phenomena – Art Photography Project

For more information on my current projects, commissioning work or purchasing Limited Edition Prints please direct inquiries to zeus@zeusquijano.com