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The Legendary A.J. Foyt

The Legendary A.J. Foyt

Today found the Zenfilm crew hanging with the pit crew at ABC Supply Co. Racing. We were there to film interviews with racing legend A.J. Foyt. Producer Merideth Melville, Cinematographer Richard Lacy and Sound Recordist John Lance captured the footage in Waller, TX. He is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (which he won four times), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We are honored to add Mr. Foyt to the Zenfilm reel of fame. Thanks everyone for a great shoot!AJ Foyt

A Real Good Day

A Real Good Day

2016 seems like it began two weeks ago… we look up and April is just around the corner. A lot has happened since the first of January and we have high hopes for the rest of the year.

January found us shooting dramatic lifestyle imagery for KHOU‘s Super Bowl XLIX promotions. With creative direction from KHOU’s Dale Lockett, Zen resident director W. Ross Wells teamed up with cinematographer Ben Hallock to create the look of for a new series of KHOU TV image commercials. The “We Stand” spots feature the words and voices of local poets as the narrative backing to moving visual portraits of native Houstonians. We are really excited about the way it turned out. We are currently in preproduction for the next part of the series.  View credits and see the spot here.

Also in January we shot a cool new national tourism spot for Visit Houston. The music video-style ad features The Suffers, a rising star American soul band that hails from H-Town. Houston’s historic market square area provided the setting and the band’s new album provided the tune entitled “Good Day”. The release of the commercial was timed so that it could run during The Suffer’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in March of this year. We collaborated with Holly-Clapham Rosenow and her team at Visit Houston to bring this project to the small screen.  This is our first project filmed with the Red Weapon camera system, now a part of Zenfilm’s production and rental packages. “Good Day” was directed by W. Ross Wells, Produced by Rebecca Wells and lensed by Dan Mohr. View credits and see the spot here.

Both commercials feature wall art from two talented Houston muralists. The KHOU spot features the work (and a cameo) of Anat Ronen. The Visit Houston ad ends with a performance by The Suffers in front of Gonzo 247‘s “Houston is Inspired” mural at Market Square.

Zen Around Town

Zen Around Town

The Zenfilm crew has been making waves with the lovely people and wonderful attractions that make Houston what it is. Several shooting days have wrapped and we’re counting down to the unveiling of our work with Houston First on new summer television spots that hope to attract fresh faces to the Bayou City. We’ve gone high and low to cover as much as we could of our nation’s fourth largest city . . . . we can’t wait to show you what we found!

Making White Lightnin’

Making White Lightnin’

in 1956 Johnny Bush and Mickey Gilley got together in “Studio A” at SugarHill Recording Studios in Houston. They recorded a few tunes together and sent them out into the world in hopes of scoring a top 40 hit. At that time, radio DJ and recording artist, J.P. Richardson, aka The Big Bopper was a regular at the studio.

58 years later Johnny and Mickey have lived a lifetime in the music industry and enjoyed successful careers. A few weeks ago the two reunited in Studio A and recorded The Big Bopper’s “White Lightnin'” with some of the top session players in the Lone Star State.

Promoting Houston, its attractions and its history are a big part of what we do at Zenfilm. We thought it important to document this moment of SugarHill history.

The video has been picked up by the major country music networks and Vevo. We hope you enjoy it.

Urban Cowboys

Urban Cowboys

Country music legends Mickey Gilley and Johnny Bush last recorded at Houston’s SugarHill Studios 58 years ago. When they reunited in SugarHill’s historic “Studio A”  to cut some new duets, they were joined by some of H-Town’s most prominent musicians;. Kenny Cordray on guitar, Anthony Sapp on bass, Brian Thomas on pedal steel,  Tyson Sheth on drums and the beautiful and talented Champion Sisters on background vocals. The sessions were produced and recorded by SugarHill’s chief engineer Andy Bradley who celebrating his 30th year at the studio. History in the making. Even KHOU’s Great Day Houston came by to film the event for later broadcast.
Zenfilm’s Brittany Holland was in Avid 1 today putting together the music video for “White Lightning” which will be released along with the single next month. Hold on to your hats.

Symphony of A Thousand

The Zenfilm team was very fortunate to have collaborated once again on this project promoting the upcoming performance of Mahler 8.

Former Music Director Christoph Eschenbach returns to conduct two spectacular evenings of music by one of his favorite composers. Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is commonly referred to as the “Symphony of a Thousand” due to the huge number of performers required on stage. Watch in awe as more than 400 musicians, chorus members and vocal soloists join together – complete with a special stage extension – for a once-in-a-lifetime, powerful experience of music.

With the Houston Symphony team we created a short film that gives insight into this “once in a lifetime” performance. More info and tickets can be found HERE.

ECD: Glenn Taylor
Director: W. Ross Wells
Producer: Brittany Holland
Cinematographers: Scott Marett, Brittany Holland
Gaffer: Mike Haimoto
Sound: Paul Schneider
Editorial: Brittany Holland
Animation & Design: Bao-Uy Luu
PA: Tiye McKethen

The Houston Symphony, Jeff Walton and Zenfilm

Today was the premiere of a short film we created, literally, in concert with Houston Symphony and composer Jeff Walton. The project is titled “A Soundtrack for the City | Inspired by Houston”. The piece debuted at Wortham Center in Houston at the Greater Houston and Convention Bureau’s annual meeting.

The video is the combined work of over 150 individuals that contributed their considerable and diverse talents to making it happen. It is a time-lapse “portrait” of the city of Houston, set to an original score by Jeff Walton, performed by Houston Symphony and conducted by Brett Mitchell. The Zen team of director W. Ross Wells, Producer Brittany Holland, Cinematographer Scott Marett, Art Director Bao Luu, Production Coordinator Mike Haimoto and Jib Operator Billy Ralston created the visuals and handled the post production tasks. Orchestrations and arrangements by Paul English.

The orchestra was recorded by Brad Sayles. Other instruments were recorded by Andy Bradley. The music was mixed by Andy Bradley at SugarHill Recording Studios.

The video is a presentation of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, conceived by Holly Clapham-Rosenow.

An Epic Endeavour

An Epic Endeavour

Symphony Project
Left to right: Paul English, Brett Mitchell, Jeff Walton, W. Ross Wells.

I was trying to formulate a post describing  what took place in Zenfilmdom last Wednesday.  Fortunately, my extremely talented collaborator Jeff Walton posted the following on his Facebook page and I lifted it whole-cloth, read on…

“yesterday was an incredible and emotional day…”

Jeff Walton

As some of you know, yesterday was an incredible and emotional day. I had the honor of having an original score of mine played and recorded by the Houston Symphony in Jones Hall. This is all part of a massive video/music project to promote the city. I absolutely could not have done this without the help and inspiration of a remarkable group of people. W. Ross Wells and everyone at ZenfilmAndrew Bradley , Dan Workman, and everyone at SugarHill Recording StudiosBrad Sayles (awesome job!), Paul English for the stunning orchestration, everyone with the Houston Symphony, conductor/maestro Brett Mitchell (amazing!), the GHCVB folks (especially) Holly Clapham Rosenow who came up with the idea to begin with and without whom this would not have happened), and the support of my beautiful wife Dana Green Walton and my two boys Benjamin and Nicholas who supported and talked me through this sometimes terrifying and exhilarating experience. To my three drummers – Tyson ShethMarvin R Sparks Jr, and Leesa Harrington-Squyres and guitarist Aaron Echegaray – you guys totally rock and I cannot wait to see you in this video! And lastly, thanks to everyone who has posted such wonderful messages of support and well wishes, I truly appreciate it and am grateful!!!
~ Jeff Walton

Boe Creative NAHB Award

Boe Creative client Mischer Development has been listed among the nation’s best by the National Association of Home Builders.

Mischer has received a Silver Award in The Nationals 2014 presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for their new television commercial series for Cypress Creek Lakes. The commercials were created by Boe Creative Services and Zenfilm. In addition to the commercials, we also created a full length marketing video for Cypress Creek Lakes, which is available on the Mischer You Tube channel.

Silver Award winners advance to the NAHB’s Gold Awards competition, with winners announced during the annual International Builders’ Show set for Feb. 4, 2014, in Las Vegas.

“We used actual residents in the production,” according to Mischer Vice President Randy Corson. “We wanted to give people a feeling for what it’s really like to live in the community and illustrate the real value that exists in a well-developed neighborhood like Cypress Creek Lakes,” he added.

For The Journey Ahead…

“Think globally and act locally” is a catch phrase many recite when it comes to community activities for sound environmental practices. Aramco Services Company has been taking this principle to heart for decades by teaming with non-profits dedicated to a range of environmental initiatives. Now those stories are being told in a new video series “For The Journey Ahead” produced by the ASC Public Affairs Department in collaboration with the creative team at Zenfilm.

The most recent installment of For The Journey Ahead features the heroic work of Houston Food Bank. The piece was produced by Judy Sultan from Aramco Services Company and Brittany Holland of Zenfilm. Scott Marett filmed and edited the mini-documentary short.

Previous episodes have featured Trees For Houston, The Houston Museum of Natural Science and other community partners of ASC.