July 18, 2018

The Making of “Ethos”

Ethos has won over 15 awards and been selected to be a part of over 20 film festivals within it its first year while still growing and gaining exposure. Footage from Ethos has been licensed for use in several ads and films throughout the world. Licensing footage from Ethos can now be done through Filmsupply.

The Story and Purpose

Ethos was filmed through out Arizona, California, and Oregon. My goal with Ethos was so much more than just a flashy aerial film. I wanted to let the audience feel something. Feel a connection to the visuals they just saw.

Ethos is now my third “aerial cinematography film”. As story tellers, we all want to do just that… tell a story. What is the point of just having “cool” footage? There needs to be purpose and meaning and intention behind these kinds of films. Or any film for that matter.

Anyone can get cool footage. So what makes it different?

With Ethos, I was beyond challenged with making a film that conveyed emotion I was feeling when I was in these different locations. That was my main goal and intention with the film, to share that emotion and have the viewer feel the same thing I was feeling.

The Process

Light can really affect mood. With that in mind, I wanted to get to Monument Valley at sunrise. However, Monument Valley is about 5 hours away from where I live. One think i’ve learned is that there are people willing to get uncomfortable and do the extra work, and others who are too lazy or don’t want to put the effort in. Needless to say, I woke up at midnight, hopped in the car with a buddy of mine, and drove out to beat the sunrise.

There was something so peaceful and calming about being here at sunrise. No one around with a stillness in the air.

Creating the storyline to Ethos was a challenge because I knew it in my head, I felt it with my own emotion, but I couldn’t quite put it out on paper.

Looking to poetry for inspiration and combining two poems to articulate the message I was trying to convey. With the voice of Tom O’Bedlem telling this story in a way that truly makes you feel connected with what you watching.


Editing Ethos was truly an exciting thing. I know that sound super nerdy, but it was! Putting the scenes together, and adding in the sound design to help bring this story to life was incredibly rewarding.

I want to touch back on sound design. For those that know me, it has become an obsession of mine. If you rewatch the film, really pay attention to the sound that isn’t the music or the voice. Listen to the waves crashing, the birds chirping, the sound of the wind, even the sound of a sub bass drop when there is a speed ramp into another scene. Sound design can truly make your film stand out and become believable and real.

The Locations. The Gear. The Software.

- California along the Sierra Nevada mountain range
- California coastline near Malibu
- Oregon coastline from Ecola State Park all the way down to Brookings
- Arizona/Utah border
- Arizona Coal Mine Canyon