Floating on a Dream

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Motivate someone to pick up an oar

Faced with dwindling recruitment numbers, WWU Men’s rowing team needed a way to increase enrollment.

Through a discovery process with WWU Rowing we knew that if we were going to motivate people to join the team, we first had to understand two things. 1) who our audience was and 2) what motivates them. Through conversations with athletes we uncovered an insight that ended up proving crucial to the development of the film.

The best athletes on the team had joined the team because they wanted to prove to themselves they could accomplish what few could. With this insight, we realized that if we wanted people to join the team, we had to provoke potential athletes to rise to the challenge and seek to overcome their own internal demons. This insight informed the rest of the creative process. We wrote a script that captured the grit of the sport, added a little Nike inspiration, some sweat, and trusted that qualified candidates would rise to the challenge if we provoked them.

The film was distributed through a digital release and used at student club fairs for 2019. In 2020 the team saw a 96% increase in enrollment.

Scope of Work
Concept Development
Sound Design
Location Scouting
Shot List
Color Grade


Writer Lucas Johnson

Director Cole Heilborn

Assistant Director Dennis Minor

Cinematographer/DP Chris Swoboda

Assistant Camera Sam Giffin

Field Audio Rory Reshovsky

Sound Designer Colton Jackson

Colorist Anthony Fiorillo 

Grip Keaton Urling-Ehinger

Photography Jake Warren

Voice Over Rob Ricotta

Behind the scenes

Red Dragon on a video set
Video production on water
Film team reviewing a shot
Boom operator on a film set
red Dragon
Mens rowing
Team planning on set
Field audio on film sets
film hero shots
western washington universities rowing team
Director and DP working closely on set
Athletes running up stairs
Freefly Systems on set
WWU mens rowing on lake whatcom
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