Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Zak Miller Remembrance

Zak chilling on his porch. Image via Facebook
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 done.

"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. 

Zak Miller surfing. Image via Facebook.
Mahalo Zakfoo!

Thomas Rohe
SunSpots Productions


  1. worked with Zak nearly 20 years. I will miss my friend and really don't grasp why he had to go so early.

  2. Hey Thom I'm so very sad to hear this. Zak was awesome we had a lot of good conversations whenever I would be called in for a session. My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends.

  3. Zak is the one who got me into Sun Spots! Many moons ago We did a test on the ISDN lines and the noise level in my studio, and he was very encouraging to me. Last time I saw Zak was at the first Faffcon in Portland. He needed a couch to sleep on that nite until he could connect with fam. Seemed like a sweetheart and after reading the above, I can see how he could be a friend to all. None of us is promised tomorrow...

    Larry Wayne

  4. Zak - thanks for everything. Surf the big one.