Zachary N Shields

Director of Photography


2018 sundance US Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize

2nd Unit Director of Photography

As a young man, Kailash Satyarthi promised himself that he would end child slavery in his lifetime. In the decades since, he has rescued more than eighty thousand children and built a global movement. This intimate and suspenseful film follows one man’s journey to do what many believed was impossible.

17 Blocks

Director of Photography

17 Blocks, directed by Davy Rothbart and produced by Beachside, follows three siblings in inner-city Washington, D.C. over the course of 20 years – Smurf, Denice, and their younger brother Emmanuel.  17 Blocks is a raw, intimate, and deeply personal documentary that illuminates an ongoing crisis in American cities through one family’s heartbreaking, courageous, and ultimately redemptive story.  17 Blocks premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 and won Best Documentary at Telluride Mountainfilm Festival.

MTV Documentary Films Launches with 17 Blocks

Warriors of Liberty City

2nd Unit Director of Photography

“Warriors of Liberty City” docuseries from showrunner Evan Rosenfeld explores Liberty City – a crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami, Florida that is arguably the NFL’s largest football factory. The series follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by an unlikely mentor: Luther Campbell, better known as Uncle Luke from the 2 Live Crew. The series from Rosenfeld is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter for SpringHill Entertainment and Pam Healey and John Hesling for Shed Media, a division of Warner Bros. 

Director of Photography, Assistant Director, Producer

In this deeply-personal tale of redemption and perseverance, Emmy Award winning filmmaker Andrew Cohn and Director of Photography Zachary Shields follow three adult students in inner-city Indianapolis as they attempt to overcome a variety of obstacles to finally earn their high school diploma.  Night School premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Night School is shot beautifully, often feeling cinematic in scope. In particular, an opening sequence introducing the setting of Indianapolis could easily be mistaken for the beginning of a narrative film rather than a documentary. That style continues throughout; Night School captures the city, the subjects, and the school itself in great detail.
— Eli Sentman, MOVIE PASS

Danny Brown: Live at the majestic

Director of Photography, Assistant Director, Producer, Editor

Danny Brown “Live at the Majestic” is Andrew Cohn’s new concert documentary featuring the uniquely indie, Detroit rap star. The documentary takes you behind the scenes as the famed rapper prepares to take the stage at the Majestic Theatre in his very own hometown. Like any return to the place you grew up, the journey is filled with hilarious stories of youthful misdeeds, wrestling with a new and more honest assessment of home and a deeper understanding of yourself. What Cohn delivers is both an intimate and poignant conversation with Brown and a wholly entertaining rock doc featuring explosive concert footage.

Chelsea XY


Produced by Pulse Films, XY Chelsea tells the historic story of whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, whose 35-year sentence in an all-male maximum security prison was commuted by President Obama in 2017. Shot over two years and featuring exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes verité with Manning, the film picks up on the momentous day in May when she leaves prison and follows her through her journey of discovery, while also examining her place in the conversation on national security and the fight of the transgender community for rights and visibility. XY Chelsea premiered at Tribeca 2019 and is currently playing on SHOWTIME.

VICE #1: J.B. Mauney | ESPN Stories

Co-Director, Director of Photography

He’s changing the game. He does things no one else does. There’s not a title in the world that he can’t win. He’s currently the undisputed #1 bull rider in the world. J.B. Mauney is a 30-year old cowboy from Mooresville, North Carolina, and his techniques and work ethic have taken him to unheralded ground in the bull riding community.

P.S., BURn this letter please.

Release 2020

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 1.29.57 PM.png

Director of Photography

A quest to uncover the truth about a clique of gender-bending outlaws, their struggle to live out loud, and the mystery man at the center of it all.

P.S., Burn This Letter Please, quilts together original interviews, archival footage and never-before-heard audio reels, as it delves into the thrilling and often dangerous world of 1950s New York City drag queens and explores how government-sanctioned discrimination and the forces of oppression shaped their lives. 

Currently in POST-Production


'To the Edge' is a series based on the incredible people and unpredictable experiences that occur when Ray Zahab is running thousands of miles in the most remote parts of the world.  Episode 1 documents Ray as he runs over 2,000km across the Gobi Desert over the course of 35 days.  This episode aired on Outside TV in 2014.