Known for MTV hit Teen Wolf and cult series Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, director and actor Stephen Ford has spent the past decade creating indie content with one goal in mind: reinvent the filmmaking process with his production company, Ascender.

Despite a shoestring budget, Ascender wanted to make a grungy, action-packed heist film for the festival circuit. A skeleton crew of five loaded two cars with gear — including the rugged Zoom H6 — and costumes and took off into California’s Yucca Valley.

Crew gathered around a truck at the shoot

Yucca Valley, California

Combining a screen bright enough for daytime viewing with studio-quality sound, the compact H6 helped the team combat harsh, high desert conditions. Over 48 hours, the team shot in 104° heat, in salt flats and live clubs, and even filmed a car chase in remote back roads — capturing all the footage they needed to complete a festival-quality film with striking visuals and sound to match.

Men running with guns

On location in Yucca Valley, California

Ascender has used a wide range of recorders over the years in various short films and series, and according to Stephen none of them combine the reliability and sound quality that the H6 offers.

Stephen Ford in desert with bandana over his face
Stephen Ford driving car with bandana over his face

With a cast and crew of 5, we all wear multiple hats, trading acting and production duties. The H6 is a simple enough device that I can train the whole team to use it. It sets ups quickly and is light enough to use effectively without a full rig."

Stephen FordActor, Director, Content Producer

See work from Stephen Ford and Ascender — produced with the Zoom H6 — on YouTube