From Champion Auto Racer to Renowned Director: The Life & Work of Jeff Zwart

The man behind some of the automotive world’s most iconic commercials along Pikes Peak gives us a behind-scenes-look at his craft.

From his ranch high in the Colorado Rockies, Jeff Zwart gives us some snippets of what his fast-paced life is all about. While he started his career in action photography, his career has gone down the cinematography track.

He has gone on to create over 800 commercials and is best known for his work with some of the most high-profile performance car companies in the world, especially Porsche.

He is also a regular class winner at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and on-hill climb events around the globe, almost always while piloting a Porsche of some kind. Besides racing himself, he is also a regular mentor for a wide range of racers preparing to tackle Pikes Peak.

From his sanctuary in the mountains, Zwart is able to tune out the noise and high stress of travel around the globe in pursuit of the perfect action shot, commercial video sequence, or race win.

I personally look up to Zwart and his career for many reasons. I look at him similarly to Jimmy Chin. He started his career pursuing still images of the action activities that he is passionate about.

Not only did he get really good at those activities, but also created a super successful career creating impactful images and video that now heavily influences the industry and community around those activities.

“And the way that car moves and dances and powers up the road, that’s the moments I want to capture, not just in filmmaking but in my own life,” Zwart said.

This short film was created by the team at Type 7 Magazine.

Runtime: 6:14 minutes

Jimmy Chin in blue jacket posing with camera on top of peak
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Bryon Dorr
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Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR with his wife and young daughter.

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