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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.

Emmy Number Two!

Emmy Number Two!

UPS delivered a holiday package to Zenfilm on new year’s eve. Inside were very pleased an Emmy Award for the TV campaign we produced last year with KHOU TV.

The second installment in our “KHOU Stands for Houston” campaign features Lyle Lovett recording the theme song in his own inimitable style. The session was filmed during the final sessions for  Lyle’s 2012 album “Release Me” at Conway Recording Studios in West Hollywood, CA. The session was a who’s who of accomplished musicians and was a hell of a lot of fun to shoot.  As an added bonus, we may have a shot at being featured in Leland Sklar’s coffee table book of people flipping him the bird.

Special thanks to our fearless leader and head of promotions Dale Lockett for making it happen. Here is the cast:

Starring: Lyle Lovett, Jim Cox, Russ Kunkel, Dean Parks, Luke Bulla, Keith Sewell, Leland Sklar, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Sir Harry Bowens.

Concept by Dale Lockett. Directed by W. Ross Wells. Lyle Lovett and Jim Cox arranged the music. Nate Kunkel was the producer.

Thanks everyone and congratulations!

Download the KHOU Mobile App for iOS or Android.

Pecos Hank Rambles On

Pecos Hank Rambles On

Some people just can sit still.

Hank Schyma of the Southern Backtones may take some time off of a grueling schedule of shows and guest appearances  during each summer, but he’s certainly not at home relaxing. Hank is instead marauding about the American West, in search of anything daring enough to reach down from the heavens and touch the earth. Apparently, there was quite a selection throughout the 2011 season.

Feast your eyes upon the wonders and horrors of Mother Nature’s wrath: Hank’s Best of 2011 Reel is alive and ready for mass digestion. This is seriously worth the watch . . . it’s a delightful compilation of singular talent, not to mention some of the most awe-inspiring moments of nature’s destructive, gorgeous methods. You can tangibly feel the discomfort coming through gorgeous shots . . . most especially when the cameraman realizes that the tornado is barreling directly toward him. Kudos for sticking it out to the bitter end.

There are plenty of jaw dropping moments in there . . . . electrical storms sweeping across the plains . . . isolated thunderstorms caressing the terrain as they pass. There’s plenty to be terrified of in there, and there’s even more that makes you stand back and marvel. With an original score created by the man himself, and a remarkable edit that pulls no punches, Hank Schyma has irrevocably given us a glimpse into the heart and soul of his creative process. It’s no wonder he’s got his second full length feature on the way (his first is already a classic around these parts). Oh yeah . . . and look for yet another cameo by the Rev. Craig Kinsey.

Whatever he does after that, here’s hoping he comes back in one piece.

Hank Schyma fronts the Southern Backtones, on Zenhill Records. Catch them playing constantly, all over the south. For more storm chasing madness, check out his material over on the Pecos Hank site.

The Long and Winding Road

The Long and Winding Road

You may or may not have noticed the Zen crew all over town, spending the last few weeks everywhere from Sugarland to the Heights. The cameras are rolling on car mounts, there are orchestrated traffic jams, near misses, and startled pedestrians. Not to be alarmed . . . we’re trained professionals.

Zenfilm has been trucking right along on a new Driver’s Training safety course that will see many local performers gracing screens all over Texas. We somehow managed to hold off on this shoot until the Houston heat reached an annual high, lending a familiar sense of urgency to many of the outdoor shots. Nothing comes comes easy, right?

It’s been a while since most of us a taken a driver’s safety course . . . I seem to remember flashy colors and polyester as the mainstay in the films I watched. Identifying the up to date needs of more modern driving circumstances has proved to be an enlightening process. Apparently cell phones are a pretty big deal now. And bicycles.

As the count on automobiles guest starring in this production climbs, we are happy to report an accident-free shoot thus far. The crew is actually out on the streets filming even more as I type, so maybe I shouldn’t be tempting fate.

Either way, should you see the Zenfilm gang out and about, drive friendly would you? They’d appreciate the consideration. And maybe some chocolate.

Leah White is Only In Houston, For Now

Leah White is Only In Houston, For Now

Only in Houston once again sends a nod our way, and the our new video for Leah White and The Magic Mirrors can be found proudly displayed on their front page! Thanks a ton to their wonderful staff for making us feel like a real member of Houston’s cultural landscape.

Only in Houston is a non-profit entity with more than 800 members who work in advertising, marketing, public relations, graphic design, production, and other areas of the creative communications industry.

Check out their About Us page for a little more info on how they’re helping support the creative community in our fair city.
And Check out Leah White’s new video for Live Oak Trees while you’re at it!
Children’s Museum Houston Stands Out

Children’s Museum Houston Stands Out

Summer time is finally here! School is out, the ice cream trucks are making their neighborhood patrols, and parents everywhere are trying to figure out how to keep the little ones occupied and engaged throughout their newfound stretch of abundant free time. We’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the Children’s Museum Houston is ready and waiting with open arms.

Work has just wrapped up on a brand new look for Children’s Museum Houston’s summer promotions, and we’re all a little giddy at the outcome. It’s a pretty special occasion for us; you’ll be seeing the very first appearance of motion graphics rendered in our newly installed editing suite. Gravity and particle manipulation has never been so sweet! There’s a myriad of motion tracking elements going on, frame-by-frame pieced together by our resident visual magician W. Ross wells. He lets on that it’s pretty tough work, but step in to the new digs while he’s building a comet and charting its course through the halls of  Kidtropolis, USA and you’d swear you were watching a little boy excitedly tinker with his new chemistry set.

This was a wonderfully collaborative effort. Not only was the crew spot on, it features some of the littlest, hardest working actors in the city. Top that off with music written, produced and performed by  Dan Workman of SugarHill Recording Studios, and you’ve got a fine piece that’s every bit as much of Houston is it is for Houston. We’re beaming like a parent at an elementary school graduation.

We’d like to know what you think! If it’s any indication, Only in Houston has given it front-page approval . . . . thanks, guys! Head over We’ll keep it coming, as long as we still have such amazing people to work with!

Keep your eyes peeled for Children’s Museum Houston’s spot running now, and the bountiful deals they’re offering to make your summer visit as affordable as it is engaging, stimulating, and just plane fun!

Head on over to onlyinhouston.org and watch the video here!

Parents, this summer save $2 when you skip the line and buy online! Visit them at http://cmhouston.org and save today!