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San Jacinto College

This month, we had the opportunity to film a couple of spots for San Jacinto Community College. The spots featured graduates from some of their programs. We loved working with all of these amazing San Jac Certified graduates and being able to share their stories.

KHOU and Zen!

KHOU and Zen!

This year, KHOU and Zenfilm collaborated creating pieces visually telling Houston’s diverse narrative. KHOU Creative Director, Dale Lockett, and Zen’s Producer Rebecca Wells, and Director W. Ross Wells were at the helm of the creative team that composed two spots; “Conversation Starter”, a 60 second promotional spot for KHOU 11 Weather Image, and “We Stand”, a 30 second promotional spot for KHOU-11 News. Both of these spots won Emmys at the 2016 Lone Star Emmy Awards.

“We Stand”, the first spot of our poetry campaign, incorporated the artistic talents of Houston artists: Anat Ronen, muralist, and poet, Rain the Poet. The 30 second promotion won Rebecca Wells, Zenfilm’s amazing producer, her first Emmy. Aired during Super Bowl 50, it is the first of the Super Bowl Poetry Campaigns spot to be awarded. In our second iteration of our poetry campaign created with the promotions team at KHOU, “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” Houston poet Brother Said narrates visuals of the cities present while alluding to the grit of our past.

This campaign was an amazing opportunity for Zen to collaborate with artists of diverse mediums within our own city and express our pride.

Follow the Leaders

Follow the Leaders was a great opportunity for Zen to work on a series. The creative process was always churning and the talent was a wonderful reflection of the diverse artistry here in Houston. We can’t wait for y’all to see it!

Director: W. Ross Wells

Director of Photography: Richard Lacy

Producer: Rebecca Wells

Art Director: Bao Luu

Make Up: Kathy Rugh

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

Revealing Sam Bak’s “Hope”

Recently brilliant Canadian producer and filmmaker Laura D’Aprile tapped Zenfilm for assistance with an ongoing documentary project. The film, for Canadian Television, has been 3 years in the making. It tells the story of Holocaust survivor and artist Sam Bak and how his experiences have directed his life and paintings.  This segment covers the opening of a permanent exhibit of selections from Sam Bak’s “Hope” series at Holocaust Museum Houston. Zen’s W. Ross Wells teamed up with Laura to film time-lapse and live action footage before and during the event for a segment of the film. Special thanks to the team at Holocaust Museum Houston for their kind assistance with the production. It was a truly inspiring and enlightening event.

Greenpoint Pictures Finds Zen

Greenpoint Pictures Finds Zen

Left to right: Alex Levin, Rebecca Wells, W. Ross Wells, Tori Vallas-Cullen, Logan Roos, Willi Patton.

Congratulations to our client Greenpoint Pictures on the successful completion of their marathon (48 hour turnaround) Coca-Cola Commercial for the NCAA Final Four. Production took place during pre-game concerts on Saturday, post on Sunday and the spot aired Monday in the final game of the Final Four on CBS. Zenfilm provided production offices and post-production facilities for the Greenpoint team led by Producer Tori Vallas-Cullen and Director Logan Roos. Logan Roos, Alex Levin and Willi Patton rapidly reviewed and cut down 8 hours of footage from three Alexa cameras in our suites using an Adobe Premiere Pro workflow. Zenfilm’s W. Ross Wells colored the spot in our DaVinci Resolve suite. Super special thanks to our sister company SugarHill Studios for late night uplink support during the prolonged Comcast internet outage that befell us Sunday night.

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.