NEFR 2017 | SRTUSA
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
I'm very lucky to have been able to travel to North America over the past couple of years and packing my gear is always a priority.
A good friend of mine is a Rally Co-Driver (how cool is that) and he is part of the Subaru Rally Team USA. He is in North America throughout the year, competing for the ARA Championship (6/7 time champion, soon to be 7/8 - I can't remember).
Last year he invited me to come a long for a week and experience what he does for a living. I was buzzing about it. I knew very little about motorsport videography and had never been to a Rally before...I can assure you it wasn't my last.
I took a Canon 5DIII and a couple of lenses without any intention of doing anything with the footage. Over the course of the weekend I went from stage to stage with the media team, learning and shooting what I could. I missed a lot - it was my first Rally..but once I got into the swing of things, I managed to get some pretty rad stuff.
The thing about motorsport videography/photography is that you have one shot. You don't have time to test, you just have to know and trust in your abilities (The two Subaru cars were always first out). These guys have 5/6 shots per day of each of their cars (they have two in the SRT). I admire what they do so much. What they capture is outstanding and some of the guys that are doing it for a hobby capture some insane stuff. I know Craig has bought a couple of stills of photographers over the years and the sit very proudly on his wall.
..and this is the thing.
Whenever you shoot, you never know what will happen to that image/film. Get it on social media with a watermark, tag it to high hell and someone important might see it! I shot the shakedown (test day) and absolutely loved it. I annoyed the hell out of Craig and on a couple of occasions he got pretty hacked off with my filming (I suppose it didn't help that they were having issues with the car). That night, after we had some food and a bottle of Malbec, I went through the rushes and immediately conceptualised the footage, so at 1am I set to work on piecing together a short cut for social media of the day. I finally exported at 5.30am - it was pretty rushed, but I thought it looked pretty cool.
The result? Craig and David (Higgins - the driver') loved it, and it got the shit shared out of it. I didn't have to do it, I wasn't being paid to do it - I did it because I loved it. When you are freelance you have to look for every kind of angle and opportunity to get your work noticed. You'd be surprised how many doors this way of working can open for you.