Post Production

October 9, 2016

We are long overdue for an update. We have been overwhelmed with opportunities since the production of Zeal, and while appreciative for all that this film has brought us, it has extended our post production timeline a few months. We have brought on David Morales, a talented film editor (and our 1st Assistant Camera) to help bring the story together in post production. We have a set post production schedule and will have a finished film in early 2017.

As we work our way through rough cuts, we are on a search for our composer. Our director is considering several options, and we look forward to seeing everything come together. 

This journey began over a year ago and the finish line is well within our sight. We want to thank the hundreds of people who have joined us on this adventure. The support that this project has is mind boggling. Making our first independent film while trying to graduate from school and start our careers is nothing short of ambitious, but we hope this sets the tone for our festival run and the many projects still to come. 

Zeal Trailer

June 26, 2016

We now have a trailer! The team has been waiting patiently to show off all of our hard work. We are incredibly proud of this film and cannot wait for the finished product.

Zeal Trailer from Robert Dugan on Vimeo.

That's a Picture Wrap on Zeal

April 12, 2016

Ever since we began our journey to make this film we longed to hear those words. They always seemed too far away to envision, but when we finally heard our first assistant director, Joaquin Chavana, proudly announce that we finished filming Zeal it was hard to believe. The work isn't over. Theres still much to do in post production. However, we needed to stop and enjoy this milestone for a moment. It seemed like a crazy idea to make an independent film in our already short amount of spare time, but we did it anyway. We would not have had it any other way. We now have an amazing film to call ours and decide its fate amongst ourselves. We proved to ourselves that we have what it takes to remain filmmakers after graduation and we learned so much in the process. This experience has been invaluable for us and we cannot thank everyone enough for helping us achieve this. 

In true filmmaker fashion, nothing can happen as expected. We planned for the worst, but something more severe happened the day after the shoot. We thought we had lost the entire last day's footage. While dumping the footage from the camera to the hard drive, all of the files appeared corrupt while trying to play them on the computer. We retried it several different ways, but nothing seemed to work. Our 1st assistant camera, David Morales, searched everywhere to try to find a solution. Our director of photography checked multiple forums and contacted the camera's designer. After a few hours that felt like an eternity, we found a solution and safely dumped our footage. 

Now that all of our files are triple backed up, we can start the post production process for Zeal. We cannot wait to see how it all comes together. 


Production Day 5

April 11, 2016

The final day of principle photography has come! The past 5 days feel like a complete blur as we prepare for the last day of shooting. Exhaustion has set in. The crew was up early again as they arrived at El Patio Cantina at 7 am. The generous owner, Altie met us there even though he was feeling a little under the weather. We had the entire bar to ourselves so everyone got to work right away. The production design team went strait to setting up the stage for the burlesque scene as the camera team and director began rehearsing the fight scene. Day 5 required alot of preparation and choreography. The fight scene was choreographed by our director and Antonio Valles and our burlesque scene was choreographed by the amazingly talented Megan Thompson. Andrew and Jorge Barahona along with Jovan Williams were extremely helpful in getting a ton of background actors for these crucial scenes. What made the task particularly challenging was finding background actors that were over 30 years old. We do not want this film looking like a student film so extras that looked too young could not be in the bar scene. 

We had lunch donated by La Posta. The generously fed our crew and kept us energized. 

After filming the bar scene, we went back to the apartment to pickup shots that we did not get to on Day 2. It was a long day as the crew struggled to find the energy to finish everything. It was our last day with the crew, actors, camera, and equipment so everything had to be finished that day. We released the crew at 9 pm as the skeleton crew remained. At 11:45pm, we all sat around as the director reviewed playback from the last shot. When he said he was happy with it, we all celebrated as we had officially wrapped principle photography on Zeal. 

It was a feeling of relief, exhaustion, excitement, and shock as we realized that we managed to shoot our most ambitious project yet. As always, the crew went to Village Inn to celebrate. We were tired, but we smiled the entire time because we knew that we had just accomplished something amazing. 

To see live updates from set, add us on snapchat username ZealTheFilm. 

photo by Jessica Haring

Production Day 4

April 10, 2016

We are close to the end as we hit the fourth day of production. Our amazing second assistant director was well prepared for the last half of the shoot as she had caffeine ready for everyone. The crew had the earliest call time of the shoot as they arrived at the Main Street Bistro at 6 am. We had to be efficient with our work because we had 6 hours to film before business hours and 5 hours to film during business hours. We made sure to get the most important shots before the customers arrived. While shooting during regular business is not ideal, the kind manager, Zion, worked with us so that we could get the shots we needed. He helped seat customers away from where we were filming and allowed us to film in sensitive locations such as the bar and kitchen. 

We spent a majority of our afternoon time getting everything ready for our opening scene. The director and director of photography wanted the entire scene to take place in one shot. It took us 11 takes to get everything coordinated just right. Because this film is a learning experience for all of us, we switched our first and second assistant director for this one shot.

Our dedicated production assistant left back to Roswell today. He had to get ready to go back to school on Monday. He called Zeal one of the top three moments of his life and he said that he learned so much. We were sad to see him leave, but we were happy to hear that he had a great time with us. 

After filming at the restaurant, the skeleton crew set out to pick up the shot we couldn't film on Friday. We ended up filming at our wonderful professor, Ilana's beautiful home. She generously opened her doors to us and we had a fun time. The scene we filmed took place in Aiden's imagination so the crew had fun putting together abstract shots. 

To see live updates from set, add us on snapchat username ZealTheFilm. 

photo by Chris Bylsma

Production Day 3

April 9, 2016

Day three came quickly with a 7 am call time at Las Cruces Tower. We were able to work with NAI 1st Valley to help secure some beautiful office spaces for our film to take place in. Las Cruces tower is the tallest building in the city and we had a magnificent view from the second to highest floor. We used the 9th floor office space as a hallway and used a 1st floor space as Hazel's office. The world of Zeal does not take place in Las Cruces so the ATL crew had to be very careful while planning, shooting, and production designing the locations. 

The day was long with a 14 hour shoot. The crew kept spirits high and stayed energized. The film is coming together and looking amazing! The end of day three means we crossed the half way point! We look forward to seeing it all come together. 

To see live updates from set, add us on snapchat username ZealTheFilm. 

photo by Chris Bylsma

Production Day 2

April 8, 2016

Its impossible to make a film and expect everything to go through without any hiccups. On day 2 we hit our first major road bump of the weekend. One of our locations was a home owned by a man who was currently trying to sell it. When we woke to a very rainy morning, the home owner did not want us tracking mud and dirt into his home. Because the 6 am call time only involved a skeleton crew and our two lead actors, our director and producer cancelled the morning shoot and had the entire crew meet at the second location for the day at 9 am. They worked quickly to let everyone know. The change only caused the crew to lose 2 hours, but it required a pickup shoot to be added to an already tight schedule. 

Our actress, Jessica Haring joined us. Her bright smile and positive energy was just what the set needed. The production design team, costume designer, and makeup artist worked hard to keep everything looking perfect. Our director of photography worked tirelessly with his team to create beautiful shots. The director worked with Chris and Jessica to pull off some key performances as we shot the second to last scene in the script, one that needed to be absolutely perfect. Our producer and assistant directors worked to keep our well oiled machine running smoothly. Our production assistant was able to spend time with each department helping out and learning about how each contributes to the final film. 

Day two finished on time and the crew went home to get some rest. The ATL crew went back to the director's apartment and relaxed for a bit before getting everything ready for the next day.

To see live updates from set, add us on snapchat username ZealTheFilm. 


photo by Chris Bylsma

Production Day 1

April 7, 2016

This journey began on April 2015 with only a small idea of what the story would turn into. A year later we began production on Zeal. We started at 2 pm and worked until 12 pm. Our lovely second assistant director organized an amazing array of food to keep the crew energized. We shot our apartment scenes and everything looked absolutely spectacular. The production design looked perfect and our director of photography captured it beautifully. Our director's hours of rehearsal paid off well as the performance couldn't be more on point. Our entire crew worked tirelessly as they helped us pull everything together. We had a blast and are looking forward to day two. 

To see live updates from set, add us on snapchat username ZealTheFilm 


One Last Road Trip

April 5, 2016

Our director and director of photography made one last road trip to Albuquerque to rehearse with the actors and sign for the equipment rental. Back in Las Cruces, insurance was finalized and our PD team began working on some of our sets. Our actors are well prepared, our locations are ready for us, our equipment is being transported and organized, and our crew is ready to go! We are equally nervous and excited, but we are doing what we love to do. 

Thank You Hotel Encanto and La Posta

April 4, 2016

We received amazing news today! We met with Hotel Encanto and they are generously donating rooms for our actors to stay while traveling to Las Cruces. In addition, La Posta Restaurant in Mesilla will be donating a meal to feed our crew on the final day of shooting. We are so exited and grateful to have the community's support. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 11.41.17 AM

Crew Surprises

April 3, 2016

Throughout the process, our producer and production designer have been planning fun gifts to surprise the crew with. In December, they decorated clip boards for the assistant directors, script supervisor, and production assistants. In February, they engraved c-47s (clothespins) to say "Zeal." In March they ordered water bottles for the crew to have, while also cutting down on using so many disposable plastic water bottles during production. In April they printed out personalized thank you letters for the crew on watermarked resume paper and had the ATL team sign them. Today they plan to give their gifts to the crew members at a crew bonding party they planned. Our producer and production designer truly believe that people work harder when they feel appreciated and they want to ensure that the crew knows how much we value their work. 

Endless Support

April 2, 2016

This film began as a senior thesis at NMSU. In October of last year, that changed. After some alterations in the code regarding the allowance of graduates and out of department film makers on crew, we made the difficult decision to pull the project from the class and shoot it independently. What made the situation much better was the continuous support from our professors. They continued to give us advice and guidance as they truly want us to succeed in this endeavor.

In addition, we had the support of our friends. Whenever we had a bake sale, give back night, or silent auction, our friends helped without hesitation. Those who have succeeded in making ambitious films in the past let us learn from their experiences and gave us their invaluable advice.

Finally, our families have been a strong support system from the beginning. Whether they understand everything we're doing or not, they have always been our biggest fans. 

This film will be the result of hundreds of people coming together in a multitude of ways. We are forever indebted to those around us and we want to express our unending gratitude. We promise to make you proud.  


Location Swaps

April 1, 2016

We learned that it is always good to double check with locations the week before shooting. Sometimes things come up that the building owners did not plan for when agreeing to let us film. As it turned out, we had to have a few last minute location scouts to accommodate for the changes. We worked quickly and found beautiful locations for our film to take place in. We would like to thank all of our locations including Main Street Bistro, NAI 1st Valley, Las Cruces Tower, El Patio Cantina, Ed from Radium Springs, Noe Gomez and Ryan Riddle. We are one week from shooting and we couldn't be more excited! 

We Have a Cast!!

March 22, 2016

After several casting calls and call backs, we have our cast!! We are thrilled to have so many talented actors bringing our characters to life. Chris Bylsma, Jessica Harring, Talia Leilani, and Thomas Kemp will be playing Aiden, Hazel, Casey, and Luis. 

T Shirts Are In! 

March 21, 2016

We have our t shirts ready for our kickstarter backers and crew! It took many edits to get the final design and our Director of Photography spent hours researching the perfect material for the shirt. IMG_1408

Casting Round 3

March 18, 2016

This week our director traveled to Albuquerque again in search of our ideal cast. We had some truly talented individuals come to the audition. There are some excellent options to consider. 

Next week, we go into our third casting call. This time we will be in Las Cruces in search of our supporting roles. Auditions will be held Monday, March 21st at 2915 McFie Circle (Milton Hall, NMSU) in room 167 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. With so much acting talent in Las Cruces and El Paso we are confident in finding the perfect actors for the parts. 


Crew Road Trip

February 28, 2016

Our Director, Director of Photography, Producer, and Production Designer went on a road trip to Albuquerque to hold our first open casting call. We met some exceptionally talented actors; however, none were quite right for the role of Aiden and Hazel. After our casting call, we had an an unbelievable number of emails from actors that were unable to make the original call. We are in the process of scheduling a second casting call and call back to have actors read together. It is so important that we find two people with the perfect chemistry.

On the trip, the crew bonded and had an amazing time. We are adrenalized for our next adventure in our mission to find the perfect cast.


Casting Call

February 24, 2016

We are excited to announce Zeal's first casting call! Although we are a Las Cruces based production, we will hold our auditions in Albuquerque. Auditions will be February 27 from 1pm to 4 pm at Far Horizon Studios 304 Washington SE Albuquerque. Zeal Casting

Weekly Meetings

February 11, 2016

Our Director, Director of Photography, Producer, Production Designer, and Sound Designer are now meeting weekly with our Director and Director of Photography meeting biweekly. We're in the last few months before shooting and we are excited to make this film happen. 

Studio G

February 10, 2016

As of today, our project has been accepted into Studio G at NMSU! They are a company that partners with entrepreneurs, both undergraduate and alumni, to help them become successful in their endeavors. They will help find investors to raise the extra funds we need to make this project the best it can possibly be. Studio_G_Logo_Best

Kickstarter Backers

January 23, 2016

We finished filming all of the personalized Thank You videos for our Kick Starter backers! There were many to make, but we were more than happy to film them. You can view them on Our Facebook page .


Shooting Dates Locked

January 10, 2016

We will officially be shooting on April 7th through 11th. Our crew is working hard to make sure it will be a success!


We made our Kickstarter Goal!!!!!!!!

December 15, 2015

We are extremely excited to announce that we have met our Kickstarter goal! The crew and some of our friends went to dinner to celebrate this milestone in our film. The crew would like to thank every person that invested in our talents. We will make you proud.



One More Day of Kickstarter!

December 14, 2015

We are down to 33 hours left on our Kickstarter! At $1820, we are only $680 away from our goal. We are in the final push for the campaign. Unfortunately, if we do not make our goal by tomorrow, we will not receive any of the money we have raised. All the support is very appreciated. Keep checking to see if we make our goal in time. Wish us luck!!! 

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.42.33 AM

Last Week of Our Kickstarter!

December 9, 2015

Although we are making this film independently from the university, we can not forget about working toward graduation. Scheduling the last week Kickstarter at the same time as finals week has not been easy. We are spending hundreds of hours on film sets and in the post production lab, but it only inspires us to work even harder on Zeal. We know that we would love nothing more than to work on films as a profession. 

In the midst of studying for final exams and preparing final projects, we are also in the final push for our Kickstarter campaign. We are halfway to our goal! We can not show enough appreciation for all of our friends and family who have shared and donated to the campaign. They are truly the backbone of this film.  

Silent Auction

December 5, 2015

We would like to thank the Las Cruces Farmers Market for letting us set up our silent auction at their fair on Saturday. It was an early and very chilly morning, but we kept our spirits high. We would like to thank everyone that donated to our auction. We will announce our winners soon! 



Giving Back

November 24, 2015

We already started giving back to our generous backers! Our snapchat account has been created and we have been updating it with behind the scenes videos from pre production. We also filmed the first set of "Personalized Thank You Videos" to everyone who donated $25 or more. We will be posting them daily on our Facebook Page over the next few weeks. Please go to Our Facebook page to see our thank you videos. 

Feeling the Love

November 20, 2015

We are so fortunate to have so many generous supporters donate to our film over the past week. We are almost half way to our goal in just under 5 days! We're well on our way to meeting our fundraising goal and are extremely appreciative for every donation. With so many people investing in our talents, we are inspired to work so much harder. 
Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 10.10.11 PM

Kickstarter Starting Strong

November 16, 2015

After the first 24 hours, we raised $805 toward our goal!! So many of our friends and family are sharing the campaign and we could not be more grateful. Below is a live update on how close we are too our goal.

We launched our Kickstarter!!!!!!!

November 15, 2015

Our Kickstarter has launched!! We have 30 days to raise $2500!! Please share our campaign with as many people as possible. We would love your support.

Kickstarter Video is Complete

November 14, 2015

Our Kickstarter video is ready! After endless dedicated hours, our director and director of photography completed a spectacular video to help raise funds for our project. We would like to thank everyone that helped us film this week and we are excited to share the video with everyone tomorrow!

cover photo still kstarter

Silent Auction Date Set

November 10, 2015

Our Silent Auction is set for December 5, 2015 at the Las Cruces Farmers Market from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Main Street. We are so grateful to have the community's support with our project! 

Silent Auction

November 4, 2015

We are in the process of planning our Silent Auction! So far, we have received over $1500 in donations. We would like to thank our generous donators. Currently, we are speaking to the Las Cruces Farmer's Market to let us set up a table for our auction at one of their weekly events. 

We will announce a soon as we have a set date for our auction. Thank you so much for your continued support of our project!

Bake Sale Complete

October 22, 2015

Our bake sale has come to a close and we are very appreciative for all of the help and donations we have received the past few days. Our friends' support is invaluable and we cold not have done this without them. 

With week two of fundraising down, we are already onto our next fundraiser. Next week we will be having a silent auction after a film showcase at White Sands Missile Range. We are currently accepting donations and hope to see many people at the event. 

Fundraising Success 

October 21, 2015

Our Panda Express Fundraiser was very successful! Thank you to Panda Express and everyone that came out to support us. 

We also had a great first day of the bake sale! Our top salesman was Dom Brown. Thank you to everyone that helped us by setting up the table, running the table, or buying our treats. We could not do this without the unceasing support from our friends. We will be back at it today from 10am-2pm by Milton Hall!IMG_9897

Bake Sale

October 7, 2015

Our bake sale has been approved! Look for us outside of Milton Hall at NMSU on October 20th and 21st between 10am and 2pm. We will have cookies, brownies, rice krispy treats, fudge, and cupcakes for sale. All funds will go toward supporting Zeal.

Bake Sale

Panda Express Fundraiser 

October 1, 2015

Panda Event Flyer

If you present this flyer (either digital or printed) at Panda Express on October 14th, 20% of your meal will go toward funding our film! 

Getting Started

September 28, 2015

Our website is launched! We are excited to use this website to share updates and get everyone excited about the film.