Voice Talent and Industry News from SunSpots Productions, the global leader in voiceover talent and creative audio production, serving clients worldwide with extraordinary service from Orlando, Florida and Asheville, North Carolina.
SunSpots Productions is
grieved to announce that our friend and former Florida studio manager, exceptional
producer and versatile voice talent, James “Zak” Miller has passed away after a
sudden heart attack.
Zak was there at the
beginning of our Florida studio. He was discovered working on the radio in the
Orlando market by SunSpots Chief Engineer, Jay Patrick. Zak helped us build the
Florida SunSpots Productions studio through hard work, long hours and his enthusiasm for
the craft. What was it like in those early SunSpots days?
“Being on the ground floor of SunSpots was a very exciting
time. To be a part of the growth and formation of a company like SunSpots with
the ideals and approaches to the industry will always remain a special memory.
To be able to raise the industry standards and what is and was expected from a
production studio and talent agent was a great feeling. SunSpots changed the
way I approach life, business and relationships.”
- Zak Miller
He was incredibly efficient
behind the console making clients happy with his editing skills and
friendliness. He made it a point that every session was creative, productive and most importantly, enjoyable for clients and voiceover talent alike. As a talent
himself, he knew how to get the best performances from voice talent. He always knew where to push and where to hold back keeping positive results in mind.
Zak became an expert with
ISDN and digital connection technologies and would offer his assistance with
talent and studios that were new to real time studio to studio recording. Even
after leaving SunSpots, he could still be counted on to help other voice talent
set up their studios and problem solve technical issues.
Often at the end of a long
day the staff would gather outside around his pickup truck to share some adult
beverages and chat about the ups and downs of the day. He would hold court with
tales of clients, talent, technical issues, hobbies and memories of his brother,
Tom, who had died a few years earlier.
Zak at the beach. Image via Facebook
He told me that he’d
reconsider his position with us when his daughter, Jade, turned 18. When she did, he decided
to go out on his own doing voiceover work and production. We were
disappointed, but knew he really wanted his independence to live his life his
way and not drive an hour to work as well. So he moved to the place that brought
his spirit joy, the beach. He was able to surf and voice when he wanted. Even
though he left the company, he still remained on our talent roster and a
favorite of many clients.
Zak was a giver. Whether he
was teaching kids with
autism learn how to surf or helping a
friend install a ceiling fan, he was there. He was one of the hardest workers
I’ve ever known. He worked in the rain spreading sand to avoid flooding at the
Florida studio during a tropical storm. He’d get splattered painting walls in
the studio building. If you needed something, whatever it was, he’d get it
"I’ll never forget the time that Janet (SunSpots Co-Owner),
fellow voice talent Jaz Adams and I spent the day piling sand around
the building to keep 'Lake Cassidy' from flooding into the studios!” - Zak Miller
(Lake Cassidy was what we called a large area of ponding
water that appeared after big rains.)
James “Zak” Miller was a vibrant, generous soul with a contagious smile and a positive attitude. He will be sorely missed
by so many friends, his former coworkers at SunSpots, talent and studios around
the world and by his family. We’re all broken hearted by his sudden death. If
there’s a heaven, he’s catching long rides and big waves with his brother.