RISE – FilmConvert Short Film Competition winner 2017

Ben Cowan and Taliesin Black-Brown are founding partners of Zephyr Visuals, a small-scale collaborative of filmmakers that created RISE.

Tal dove into the video production industry alongside the emerging drone industry. After 1 week of college, he dropped out for a surgery to remove his pelvis and hip. Laid up in bed at his parents home, he was looking for ways to spin his wheels. That’s when he found drones – a vehicle to experience the world in motion. Once up on crutches, he had enough skill to launch a business. Since then, Tal’s relationship to film and cinematography has evolved from chasing a viable business to chasing a passion and respect for the art of visual storytelling. Tal hasn’t gone back to college.

Ben got into filmmaking when he was 5 years old, stealing his dad’s Handycam to create images in any way he could. Ben continues to be driven by a passion for crafting powerful and unique images.  He has worked extensively creating promotional videos for businesses, nonprofits, and real estate agencies, capturing aerial images for a variety of clients.

How did the film come about?

When Tal began utilizing drones, a private pilots license was required by the FAA. Turns out, the easiest path to legality was obtaining a hot air balloon certificate. As such, Tal started flight school with a local hot air balloon pilot, Eliav. Partway through the instruction, drone legislation changed and the part 107 certificate came about. As a thank you for Eliav’s time, Tal offered to produce some aerial content of one of his expeditions. A year later, Eliav called at 10pm asking if we wanted to shoot at 4am halfway across the state. Of course! And so it goes, we created RISE, a dreamy showcase of that morning’s flight. Since then, RISE has been featured on the front page of Bing.

How did you find out about FilmConvert?

We are constantly on the search for new tools to elevate our filmmaking; when we came across FilmConvert a few years back it was a no-brainer. FilmConvert has completely transformed our post-production workflow. We believe that color correction and grading is one of the most powerful ways to shape the tone and feeling of a piece. FilmConvert is an imperative on almost every project.

Why did you decide to use FilmConvert for this particular project?

We use Filmconvert on almost all of our projects, whether for the film stock, contrast correction or film grain.

What was the particular look or style you were going for with your video?

We went for an ethereal and dreamy look – pushing the dynamic range and color to a point of hyper-realism.

Tell us about your workflow. What settings, film stock, camera profiles and tweaks did you use in FilmConvert?

We used FilmConvert to apply a film stock as well as a small amount of grain. We lifted the shadows and warmed the midtones using both outside color corrections and the built-in color corrector inside FilmConvert.