Biography of Zsolt Luka
Zsolt Luka began his professional media career as a TV editor during the "non-linear revolution" of the mid-90's on children's shows such as Popular Mechanics for Kids (PMK). He then broke new ground in online as the original one-man-band "preditor" on Around the World For Free (ATWFF, 2007). In 2019's streaming media universe, he maintains his innovative versatility by single-handedly directing, filming, editing and delivering content such as The Local Traveler in Thailand. Equally comfortable both in a big-team studio production environment and in a 'light and tight' field unit, Zsolt is known for his gentle, calm and knowledgeable demeanour, paired with a deep, wide-ranging skill set and an unmatched work ethic and capacity.
Zsolt’s pioneering achievements in multiplatform online/broadcast entertainment reinvented the genre. On ATWFF (2007), he produced, directed, edited and delivered daily webisodes of the unique, social networking-driven global reality journey for a non-stop six months from the road. Besides a CBS affiliation for the online component, the ATWFF TV series was then broadcast on WGN in America, sold into every international territory via Shine International and NatGeo, and continues to enjoy high SVOD popularity today.
Parallel to his online innovations, Zsolt’s past decades in television produced hit children’s shows, Peabody-winning documentaries, and plenty in between. He edited and directed the much-loved children’s shows Mystery Files (Best Director CSA nomination, 2016), Prank Patrol, Mystery Hunters (multiple Best Editing CSA nominations) as well as PMK. His work on Travel Channel's Great Hotels earned him an Emmy nomination – and his editing on the visually compelling documentary Braindamadj’d: Take II helped garner the film a 2007 Peabody Award, the 2006 NHK Japan Grand Prix and two Canadian Geminis.
In Fall 2010, Zsolt reprised his ATWFF role for the show's second season (starring host Jeff Schroeder), this time for CBS Interactive and major sponsors such as AT&T. With over 7.5mm views, the hugely popular 100-day journey swept the 2010 DIVA awards. This was followed by 9mm+ views for Summer 2011's ATWFF 3 (starring Parvati Shallow), also for CBS. Zsolt also produced other popular online series such as Rachael Ray's Rach to the Rescue, Hawaii: Undiscovered (CBS.com) and Missions in Action (World Vision).
After five years of executing some of the world's highest-profile web series, in 2012 Zsolt took the producer-director's chair for the Cross Country Fun Hunt, a web-TV-live concert real-time transmedia project for CBC, earning CSA nominations as Producer for both Best Youth TV as well as Best Cross-Platform Youth project. He also served as DOP and webisode editor for the summer-long production of the ambitious, coast-to-coast, interactive kids' project.
In today's streamlined media universe, Zsolt continues to demonstrate his creative and technical versatility by single-handedly assuming all major roles in a post-production pipeline (editor/scoring/mixer/colorist/deliveryQC), as he did for the weekly reality-adventure series Catching Tail on The Sportsman Channel. He still regularly edits his own directing work for broadcast, as in TVO's history-based kids' factual series Mystery Files, and he is one of the few TV professionals who can reliably assume the simultaneous roles of director, camera and editor for end-to-end high-quality creative and delivery of reality programming, such as for DreamJobbing's Escape: A Digital Detox in Thailand, for AXS.
After nearly twenty years in the front-line trenches of production and post, both in Canada and abroad, Zsolt's recent work also includes consulting in a producer/AP/senior editor capacity on shows such as marblemedia's Ride or Wrong for CBC, DreamJobbing's DreamTripping series, as well as for international NGO's such as People for Care and Learning and Asia W.O.R.D.
Prior to his career in entertainment, which has taken him around the world on multiple occasions to 5 continents and over 50 countries, Zsolt worked as an interpreter and a human rights lobbyist. He spent his childhood in Transylvania before moving to Toronto, where he presently resides.