In 2004, Zackary Canepari met Drea Cooper, while they were both pursuing masters degrees. Canepari was a rookie production assistant. Cooper was a veteran production assistant. Thankfully, Cooper showed Canepari where to park on set.
Since then, Cooper earned his masters in filmmaking. He's been a school teacher, he was nearly a bar owner, and he's taken his tennis game a bit too seriously. He's also directed commercials and documentaries for the likes of EA Sports, Google, Nokia, Milk-Bone, K-Swiss and Adidas. His subject matter has ranged from educational reform to mixed martial arts.
In the meantime, Canepari did not earn his masters in photography. He's been a waiter, his basketball skill set has declined, and he has produced a feature horror film that he won't tell you the name of. He also has taken photos for the likes of the NYTimes, WSJournal, TIME, The Financial Times, The LA Times and Le Monde. His subject matter has ranged from Afghani dog-fighting to Indian circus performers to Mexican drug-wars.
Since then, Cooper has worked in Kosovo, India, Taiwan, and Colombia. Canepari has worked in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Mexico. In 2009, Canepari said to Cooper, "Let's work together." Drea responded,"Yes, Zack, let's." They then drove down to Fresno and spent four days sweating and shooting in empty foreclosed swimming pools to create the short Cannonball. One week later they were sweating and shooting all along the California-Mexico border for their next film, titled Borderland. Once the ball got rolling, it wasn't long before the project evolved.