Rob Watzke has built a creative career as an editor, writer, director, improviser and teacher. His historical work stands as some of the most highly-awarded content ever created.
After graduating from the University of Iowa with degrees in Communications/Theatre Arts and Journalism, he moved to Los Angeles and became involved in the local theatre community -- acting, producing and directing theatre while following opportunities to become an editor through a freelance assistant job at Chiat/Day.
As an editor, Rob has worked on some of the best commercials of the last twenty-five years. His early editing history includes cutting the seminal Nike “Bo Knows” campaign with Bo Jackson, the Michael Jordan/Bugs Bunny series, and nearly twenty Spike Lee “Mars Blackmon” spots. His work for Pepsi includes the Madonna and Ray Charles spots, and he has collaborated with such varied directors as Joe Pytka, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, Errol Morris, and James Gartner. His commercial work is represented with 3 spots in the top ten of the Best Super Bowl Commercials by USA Today (#2, 6, and 8).
Recent editing projects include a series of inspirational documentaries sponsored by Oberto, national work for Samsung, Verizon, Corona, Uber, and Quiksilver, as well as a pilot presentation for TBS and a special-shoot promo for Sony's "Ghostbusters" reboot. He worked on the Fox-TV series, Free Ride, and on the first comedy pilot AMC Network ever developed. He has also devoted his time to non-profit work, cutting many PSAs, including a five-minute documentary for the Pathways to Housing website, and content for the PDFA’s website www.timetotalk.org.
On the web, he created the satiric political website, Vote Garner! which was featured on the L.A. Times’ Funny Pages 2.0, and was nominated for Best Web Series by the Producers Guild of America. Its offshoot, Garner St. John's All-American #1 Show! won a Telly Award. That work led to a recent deal at truTV, developing shows that utilize improvisation. He performs regularly on the Sirius/XM comedy radio show Kaler, playing a wide variety of characters.
He developed an early love of improvisational theatre, and has performed and taught for over 25 years. He has taught improvisation to a wide variety of students and professionals. Through his workshops, he founded the nonprofit TURBINE ARTS COLLECTIVE, an organization dedicated to the exploration of creativity through arts workshops and performances. He has produced well over 100 shows at Turbine, including Shplotz!, an improvised show with guests such as Helen Hunt, Jason Alexander, and James Corden. He is also co-founder of the newly-formed Creative Turnstile, which provides creativity training to businesses and corporations.
Rob wrote and directed the 30-minute film Heavenzapoppin’!, which won awards at Film Fest New Haven, USA Film Festival, Hardacre Film Festival, and Gravity Free Festival of New Comedy, as well as the Gold Apple for Short Fiction from the National Educational Media Association. For television, he has directed episodes of “Dinner and a Movie” for TBS. With The Bubalaires, he created a series of whimsical short films as part of a pitch for a children’s series, and he recently directed the short Yard Sale, which is currently on the film festival circuit.
Member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. MPEG eligible.