top of page
Maine Focus Media
We all have a story. Here's ours.
When I was about a year old my father Steven worked as a location scout and assistant editor for the landmark independent flick Return of the Secaucus Seven, written and directed by John Sayles.
The movie was made by a group of friends for $60,000, shot in North Conway, New Hampshire on 16mm film. Not only did my dad work behind the camera, he also secured a role as an enthusiastic bar singer at the end of the movie. Yours truly had a walk-on role as a baby, also named Benjamin.
In 1997, Return of the Secaucus Seven was deemed to be an important piece of American film heritage and added to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Return of the Secaucus Seven
Cast & Crew in North Conway, NH, Summer 1978
1: Gordon Clapp - Emmy winning actor for NYPD Blue with over 100 credits
2: David Strathairn - Oscar-nominated actor with 137 credits including Nomadland and Good Night And Good Luck; he is also my brother's godfather
3: Adam LeFevre - Veteran character actor with over 139 credits including Ozark
4: Jeffrey Nelson - Emmy award-winning children's TV producer and my godfather
5: Steven M. Zaitz - my dad
6: John Sayles - Oscar-nominated writer, director, and editor
7: Me - On the director's lap
Throughout my childhood, my family lived in a few different places like NYC, rural New Hampshire and Miami. However the bulk of my formative years were spent living in Maine. My parents bought a log cabin not far from Phillips Lake in Lucerne. We spent our summers enjoying our friends and the water at the Beach Club. Then during the cold, Maine winters we would bask in the warmth of the cabin’s large central woodstove that was our main source of heat.
One day when I was 9 or 10 I wasn't feeling well and my dad let me stay home from school. He made me soup and then while he worked I found a book of Roger Ebert reviews, and began to devour them. I also started reading my father's Variety, an entertainment newspaper which included the weekly box office chart. I studies these charts, watching how each movie would live or die from week-to-week. It's fair to say from the beginning I inherited my dad's enthusiasm and passion for visual storytelling and the entertainment industry as a whole.
I learned of names like Kubrick, Coppola, Spielberg, DePalma, Scorsese, Lynch, Stone, Lee (Spike), the Coen Brothers, Zemeckis, and then later on Fincher, Wes & Paul Thomas Anderson, Payne, Raimi, Jackson, Bong Joon Ho... the list goes on. These directors have inspired me and taught me a lot. But it was my dad that gave me the bug way back when. Thank you, Pop.
After graduating John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor I attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina for two years. I majored in Political Science with an eye toward law but I eventually realized that was not my true passion. In 1997 I transferred to Temple University Film School and moved to the City of Brotherly Love. I graduated with a B.A. in Film and Media Arts.
In 2001, my brother and I moved to Los Angeles to immerse ourselves in the film industry. For nearly two years I worked at an independent production company, first as an intern then as a development assistant. I reviewed screenplays, shot documentary and website footage, edited that footage, and made coffee. It was around this time that I started exploring my Los Angeles neighborhood with my Canon XL1, capturing people and protests and taking it on road trips.
Los Angeles was enormously cinematic with amazing scenery and fascinating people-watching. Coming from the East Coast, I also adored the lack of humidity in the air. But ultimately I decided it was not for me. I headed back east in late 2003 and three weeks later met my now-wife.
Back in Philadelphia I found a job as a meeting planner, producing corporate events. I spent the next decade in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. I planned every aspect of large and small events alike and helped market and promote them. I became passionate about marketing. Instead of producing movies, I was producing events. And those events needed to find their audience.
I've worked closely with my brother Adam Zaitz, a licensed realtor in Colorado and Pennsylvania on well over a dozen projects. I've also completed videos for an award-winning local creamery, a nationally-recognized organizational effectiveness consultancy, a local dentist, and a Pennsylvania State Representative. I am a passionate advocate of video marketing.
It's 2024 - NOW is the time to incorporate video into your marketing plan. Maine Focus Media can help. We create custom videos of different lengths at competitive price points for your business, organization or side hustle. Check out our full-length videos on the Our Work page.
bottom of page