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Meet Zachary Dripps

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zachary Dripps.

Hi Zachary, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
It was a snowy Monday when I was born at the Boulder Community Hospital. Next I ate my vegetables and grew up into a tall adult. Today I’m handcuffed to a radiator where my girlfriend/co-founder Ashley Vasquez is forcing me to write this exposé. I rarely talk about myself and my accomplishments; I prefer being modest. But here you go: the inside scoop. Eat it in a waffle cone with chocolate and peanuts.

Ashley’s cool. She’s my partner in crime. She fills up my life with places to explore, new experiences, and she wears the poofy dog slippers I gifted her even though they’re absurd. One afternoon, I was texting Ashley about this and that, my socks, what Marlee our 6.5 lb dachshund would look like driving a tank, the usual, when she said, “wanna start a coffee bean company together? I’m v serious” and I said, “Let’s do it! Stack those beans” to which she used the tapback heart in iMessage, so I knew it was a done deal and the company would soon exist.

Now we have a full-fledged company that ships fresh-roasted coffee to all sorts of loyal customers. The coffee labels are all whatever lighthearted ideas we come up with. Sometimes, I’ll have a silly idea and start doodling. I’ll think to myself, “this is so absurd. There’s no way Ashley will approve this, but she’ll get a good laugh from it.” Then I show her my latest label concept and to my surprise she’ll say, “it’s perfect, let’s launch it.” She gets my sense of humor. Next thing you know, we have a coffee label where a duck is hookshot hurling eggs at a government facility.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I was the 3rd generation to go to CU Boulder. My mom’s parents even met in Libby, the same dorm I had. I try not to think about it too much or my head gets spinny with the existentialism. I received a BFA in Film Production. I had classes taught by Alex Cox (Director of Sid and Nancy and Repo Man) and the late Phil Solomon (Director of American Falls and Crossroad). I still stayed in touch with Alex Cox years later and would send him films I worked on to see what he thought. At graduation, in my cap and gown, Alex Cox asked me what I was going to do now that I graduated from film school. I said, “planning to move out to Los Angeles.” He said, “No no no! But you have so many filmmaking opportunities right here in Colorado. You’ve built a community, don’t go to Los Angeles.”

Then I promptly moved to Los Angeles, and it was tough, and he was right. The community of Colorado filmmakers I knew in Los Angeles was limited. They were helpful, but it was still a struggle knowing so few people. I was just surviving, paying with quarters for Little Caesars hot and ready pizza (I still do go there sometimes, for the nostalgia and the dipping sauce). I ended up going back to school and received my MFA from Boston University in cinematography. At this point, I had gone from general filmmaking to specializing in the technical arts of lighting and camera work. I then returned to Los Angeles and since then have worked on a number of top-tier projects including Palm Springs (Hulu), Grown-ish (Freeform), Arcane (Netflix), and more.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I love how dynamic and ever-evolving working in cinematography can be. Instead of a typical 9-5, I work with different people at different locations regularly. Sometimes I’m driving an hour into the desert at 6am, other times I’m driving downtown to a sound stage full of spaceship sets. There are complex, layered stories to transpose into the visual medium of film every day. Every person we’re filming requires different lens choices and lighting techniques. There are so many variables (age, gender, race, facial structure) that completely change my approach. If somebody has a darker complexion I might bounce soft Quasar LEDs off of an unbleached muslin sheet crinkled into a ball, but it also depends on the location and what lighting I’m trying to imitate and how that interacts with the actors. Everything from the shape of their ears to the length of their stride while they walk can determine how I change the cinematography to tell the story at hand.

My work in cinematography and filmmaking translates easily to TBD Coffee Co. I take all the product photos on the website and draw the labels on all the bags. I’ve filmed and animated all our social videos as well as our commercial on Hulu. Having the ability to create these visuals saves in costs since most startups would have to hire externally to create those assets. It also makes our products get created much faster. Our “Duck The Patriarchy” coffee, for example, went live within a week of Roe Vs Wade being overturned. I wanted to do whatever I could, and this was our available platform. I wanted to give back, so we decided 50% of the proceeds for this label would go towards Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and also of Illinois where Ashley is from.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I enjoy working with people who help me spread my wings and get creative. It’s always fun to get a director’s idea and translate it to the medium of film through technical decisions involving lighting and camera. It’s like translating emotion into a physical object. My past work can be found at dripps.pro or people can go to instagram.com/zacharydripps to get in touch and ask any questions. The coffee can be found at tbdcoffeeco.com.

Pricing:

  • Duck the Patriarchy Organic Coffee from Peru $20
  • Pete Davidson Dates This Coffee and Also It’s Organic $18.99
  • Gotta Put Pants on Today Extra Caf Blend $18.99

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Ashley Vasquez and Marlee the Dachshund pictured in some of the photos. Ashley took all the photos of me.

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