Defy The Odds is an award winning short film written and directed by Corry Wiens, produced by Gear Seven in collaboration with Shift Dynamics and Arc Studios. Defy The Odds is based on the true story of NASCAR driver Bill Lester, the first African American to compete professionally in the NASCAR sanctioned Grand-Am Series. He was also the first African American to win the race.
Director: Corry Wiens
Production Company: Gear Seven
Virtual Design: MEPTIK
Studio: Arc Studios
Camera Support: Shift Dynamics
and many more..
At the age of 37, Bill Lester decided to leave his job at a prominent engineering firm to pursue his passion for racing full time. With the odds stacked against him, as a black, middle-aged man, in a southern white man's sport, Bill rose above them all and made history time and time again. Defy the Odds is based on Bill Lester’s memoir, Winning in Reverse, and focuses on a man pursuing his passion and letting nothing stand in his way.
Shift Dynamics provided the specialized camera support throughout this project including the pursuit vehicles and expertise needed to capture the car-to-car racetrack scenes. The high octane racetrack scenes were filmed at the Polecat Training Center in Fayetteville, TN, and was captured using the ML63 pursuit vehicle with Motocrane Ultra arm.
The office scenes and interior car shots were all filmed at Arc Studios using the LED volume and extended reality (xR) technology. This solution enabled the production team to efficiently and effectively capture a wide variety of scenes in a limited amount of time.
For the sunset office scene, we worked with Tracie Prichard to design the physical office environment. This environment blended seamlessly with the virtual sunset skyline scene on the LED volume.
Leading up to the shoot, Gear Seven worked in close collaboration with MEPTIK, in order to assemble the virtual scenes. This also included the custom designed cubicle scene which was designed in Unreal Engine.
Having all these production resources (production, pursuit vehicles, camera support, virtual production studio, etc..) holistically available enabled this film to be created in a matter of days with optimal efficiency and coordination.
Corry Wiens also oversaw the editing and post-production process of Defy The Odds. In addition to the final cut, Corry also created shorter versions including this one focused on Chevy.
Defy The Odds has garnered critical acclaim and earned recognition of multiple festivals and awards. The list of accolades include:
Winner of a Berlin Commercial Award
Winner of a Platinum award for the Independent Shorts Awards
Winner Best Microfilm for the IndieX Film Fest
2nd place - 1 Minute Film Festival
Official selection - 3 Minute Film Festival
Official selection - Film Shortage
Official selection - Think Shorts
Official selection - Beyond The Short