In the days leading up to the Stakes our team went to Belmont Park to meet with our clients, walk through the park, and go over their needs and expectations for this event. While this was our third year covering the event, it was also our most exciting. Our team along with over 90,000 spectators were able to witness history as American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown, a rare sporting feat that has not been accomplished in 37 years.
Producers created a very strict and detailed schedule for the day, splitting the crew into 6 teams capturing different events throughout the weekend. 4 camera operators, each paired up with an AC, were the four main crews. The fifth was a floating producer responsible for running lenses and equipment, relaying information, and transferring footage. Finally, we had a fifth camera operator strictly capturing time lapses of the day.
Friday we spent most of the day capturing B roll of the park. The exterior of the stadium and the track, interviews with the Taste of NY vendors, footage of each dining room, restaurants, bars, sponsors, excited fans, the trophy room, and of course some horse racing. It all led up to the Belmont Stakes Eve concert featuring platinum-selling recording artists, O.A.R. We provided our client with some amazing and unique aerial shots of the grounds and concert using a drone, or helicam.
Our drone operator had a field day capturing beautiful aerial shots of the park and the track. In between races, he flew the drone around the track at horse level to imitate a horse running in a race. The biggest thing was keeping the drone away from the horses to avoid spooking them and costing someone a race!
Drone Operator Rod
On the day of the Stakes, everyone had a certain excitement in their bones, knowing we all had the potential to be a part of history. On top of that, there were dozens of unique events planned throughout the day. Our multiple crews had a blast filming various bands, parachute jumpers, a barbershop quartet, the military band, a special performance by the cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys and the food truck village (where True Film also stopped off for lunch).
Producer Anthony with Donna Barton Brothers of NBC Sports
Finally, it was time for the main event. We were in the Paddock shooting all the preparation as Major League Baseball’s Joe Torre told the jockey’s, “Rider’s up!” One of our camera operators focused on reaction shots of the crowd, which was going insane as the horses marched onto the track. The anticipation of the race was so intense. Never have I been to an event where the excitement level was so high. All ninety thousand people were on the edge of their seats as American Pharaoh. This atmosphere, this excitement, was exactly the feeling we were trying to capture. Our team just had to stay focused on their duties as the chaos ensued.
Overall, it was a unique opportunity to see Belmont Park behind the scenes, and just be a part of all the exciting happenings throughout the entire weekend. Our team was focused on getting quality footage that showcased the experience of the Belmont Stakes weekend. The Belmont event and our gig both came to a head during the Goo Goo Dolls performance that closed out the night. With all the horses back in the stable, we broke out the drone once more for awesome aerial coverage of the show. The 20,000 or so people who stayed for the concert were loving the opportunity to see the drone in action, screaming and waving as it flew by.
Drone ready for takeoff right before the Goo Goo Dolls
We wanted to give NYRA as much diverse and quality footage as possible so they could have a lot to work with when creating advertisements, sizzle reels, and promotional material. Together True Film and NYRA were able to accomplish mutual video marketing goals. We look forward to working with them at Saratoga for those races, and next year’s Belmont Stakes as well.
FOUNDER AND CEO/CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Stanley is an experienced professional in video production, marketing, and social media. He is a highly innovative and compelling visual storyteller who turns businesses into brands.
He is adept at establishing company images, transforming businesses into recognizable and exciting icons. Stanley’s passion for bringing ideas to life is evident in every video and animation created by True Film Production.
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