Equine Productions Attend International Conference

Nathan Speaks at Assises de la filière équine

EP Visual Director, Nathan, was invited to the Assises de la filière équine – an international conference at the Congress Centre in Angers on new innovation within the equine sector.  The day was full of debates, round tables and interviews with experts and entrepreneurs from all areas who came together to share their ideas and knowledge of running a successful business in the equine industry.

Nathan @ Angers 1.jpg

Nathan spoke about the success of EP, which was born out of a desire to serve the equine world with creative films and cinematic production, as seen with other extreme sports.  With a vision to portray the sport in a fresh light, engaging those familiar and unfamiliar with the equine world through the use of film, EP has helped place the equine world on a previously untapped creative platform.

During the speech, the audience were played the following short clip by EP - they were completely blown away and Nathan received numerous compliments afterwards.

Thank you to Fabien Cailler for the invite and to the organisers of Assises de la filière équine for making this event happen.

Many Clouds - The People’s Horse

Many Clouds, The People’s Horse receives double nomination at New York film festival  

A heartfelt film by Equine Productions is up for two awards at the world’s leading equine film festival

Photo by Stephie Prince and Amy Lanigan

Photo by Stephie Prince and Amy Lanigan

“Many Clouds, The People’s Horse”, a short film by Equine Productions receives two nominations ahead of the EQUUS Film Festival in New York next month.  A tribute to former Grand National winner, Many Clouds, the film is selected for two categories - International Documentary and International Director.

A horse of a lifetime, Many Clouds touched the hearts of so many.  The film captures the journey of his acclaimed career - from the rise of his talent on the national hunt circuit, to his triumph at the 2015 Grand National which was documented on the Equine Productions’ JockeyCam, worn by Leighton Aspell. 

As stated in the opening scene, ‘This is his story’.  The story of Many Clouds was closely followed by Equine Productions and the horse holds special memories for Nathan Horrocks, the gelding’s former exercise rider and director of the film, who is delighted with the nominations at the EQUUS Film Festival:

"Many Clouds meant the world to me and thousands of others, I am so happy that an American audience will get to see how much he was loved but also the amazing athlete that he was. This is my tribute to him to say thank you for what he has done for me, both personally and professionally, he literally changed my life." Nathan Horrocks

The EQUUS Film Festival takes place at the Helen Mills Theater in New York on 17 – 18 November 2017. 

Photo by Stephie Prince and Amy Lanigan

Photo by Stephie Prince and Amy Lanigan

Photo by Stephie Prince and Amy Lanigan

Photo by Stephie Prince and Amy Lanigan

Award winners!

We're back from an awesome trip to NYC where we won two awards at the Equus Film Festival 2016! We're really thrilled. Our press release with all the details is below! :-)

PRESS RELEASE

UK HORSE FILM MAKERS NEW YORK DOUBLE TRIUMPH

A UK video production company is celebrating winning two awards at the world’s leading equine film festival in New York.

Equine Productions, based in Chepstow, took honours at the Equus Film Festival for The Island Project, in the international documentary category, and also for the Midnight Race, which won best equestrian commercial – mini.

The Island Project tells the story of Emma Massingale, a horse trainer who survives for a month on an island off the west coast of Ireland, training two unbroken Connemara ponies without using any equipment - just her voice and natural horsemanship skills.

Emma was also heavily involved in ‘The Midnight Race’ - a promotional film made for QIPCO British Champions Series.

In it, former racehorses from the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, were trained by Emma to let themselves out of their stables, walk up to a gallop, and race by themselves – all under the light of the moon.

There were more than 150 entries.

Sam Fleet, Managing Director of Equine Productions, said; “We’re so delighted to win these awards. Every film we produce we’re proud of, and to get recognition like this is so special.

“We’re so grateful to Emma for asking us to help tell her story, she did such a brilliant job with The Island Project also being able to show how awesome and versatile former racehorses can be with training.”

Emma, who lives in Bradworthy, near Barnstaple in North Devon, filmed much of The Island Project herself while alone on the island.

Emma said: “You don’t normally win prizes for working with horses in this way, so to win two awards for ideas I dreamt up is just awesome! The Island Project was a way of challenging myself without challenging my horses and I loved every second of living, filming and surviving whilst being completely alone.

“The Midnight Race was equally challenging as we had to turn it around in six weeks. I was absolutely thrilled with how well the racehorses did in such a short space of time, and with the final film!” Emma said.

Harriet Collins from QIPCO British Champions Series, who commissioned The Midnight Race, said, “We wanted to create something that was really innovative and that captured the excitement of the Series which features the top 35 races in the UK and were delighted with the results.

“Since launch the film has been viewed nearly a million times and we are thrilled that Equine Productions who created the film have been recognised with this prestigious award,” Harriet said.

Gillian Carlisle, Chief Executive of the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre (BTRC), said, “We’re dedicated to retraining of retired racehorses and the involvement of three horses from the BTRC in The Midnight Race demonstrates just how incredibly versatile these amazing animals are, and the range of things they can be trained to do, once their careers on track have ended.”

Dave James, Equine Productions Creative Director, the director for The Midnight Race, said, “It was a project that presented many challenges, none more so than doing it in the dark. It was technically demanding on all fronts and wouldn't have been achievable without the talents of the horses and Emma.

“It's also brave of our client QBCS to green light such an exciting and demanding project. I'd like to thank all involved, in a promo that we at EP are incredibly proud of,” said Dave.

Equine Productions, which was formed in 2012, had six films in total showing at the four-day long festival.

The others were: The Colours of Caulfield, produced for the Melbourne Racing Club; Many Clouds – A Week to Make History, produced for The Jockey Club; How To Win the Grand National, produced for Great British Racing; and The Original Horsepower – behind the scenes, produced for The Jockey Club.

Sam Fleet said, “The reaction we got from everyone we spoke to while we were there was brilliant – but we couldn’t do it without our clients asking us first, so we’ll always be grateful to everyone who works with us, at every level.”

The Equus Film Festival, which took place over the weekend, is the world’s premier showcase for horse related films and documentaries. The awards ceremony took place on Sunday November 20.

ENDS

Watch the trailer to The Island Project - https://vimeo.com/143366649

Watch The Midnight Race here - https://youtu.be/MxsUpzK2XuQ

 

From Jet Setting to Jet Lag

Hi, Hannah here! 

It’s really kicking on here at EP. Last week saw the JockeyCam amaze and excite again at Royal Ascot with four winners across the week, if I were a betting person, I would put money on JockeyCam riders.

The week opened with the glitz and glam of the Goffs London Sales, at Kensington Palace. EP was there in two capacities - to provide the live filming on site and large screen tech and also to capture the atmosphere and interviews with the world's buyers, sellers and jet-setters. Indeed, it was Jet Setting who made the highest lot, selling for a cool £1.3 mill.

Whilst Mike Cattermole interviewed the happy seller, I was trotting across the lush green lawns of Kensington, aerating the lawn with my heels (totally inappropriate footwear for lugging camera tripods and sound equipment) hunting down our next interview victim. 

Lot 53. Lady Penko in foal to Golden Horn 

Lot 53. Lady Penko in foal to Golden Horn 

From Kensington to Ascot, the EP team spilt; I headed back to Wales whilst Sam and Chris went onto Royal Ascot with the JockeyCam. 

In the meantime, Nathan was making his way back across the Atlantic from the Belmont Stakes, where he had taken a few JockeyCams for the week. I experienced first hand the success of the JockeyCam in the US as my mobile kept lighting up during the depths of the night with new ‘Likes’ and thumps up from our escalating friends from across the pond. I’m sure Nathan, when he gets the chance, will bring you up to speed with Belmont.

For myself and Dave, we were off to the Emerald Isle for a commission by the Irish National Stud. The stallion Free Eagle, is currently standing at INS and was looking in fine fettle, so we got the call. What a place! Sometimes, this job doesn’t seem like work when you’re admiring such fine equine specimens standing with a backdrop of freshly planted begonias (especially for our arrival). Although that thought was quickly washed away as we spent the day dodging in and out between showers.

Invincible Spirit

Invincible Spirit

We also filmed the charismatic Invincible Spirit, the 19 yr-old stallion was an old hat in front of the camera and also in producing successful progeny; sire of 12 Gr1. winners, sire of 12 sons who are successfully standing at stud, one of whom EP have worked with on several occasions, Charm Spirit, who is returning to Tweenhills for 2017.

We arrived in Ireland on Tuesday evening and departed on Thursday after a successful but very wet two days. I managed to twist Dave’s arm into driving into Dublin to allow me to skip around the city whilst he sat in a pub, next door to the Guineas factory, to watch England beat Wales in the football, I believe it’s the ‘Euros’, the less talk about that the better.

Horse and cart on the streets of Dublin

Horse and cart on the streets of Dublin

We landed back on Liverpool tarmac on Thursday evening, found our hotel and got a good night’s kip before heading down to Bolesworth the next morning. The international event has really made its mark on the showjumping calendar, the iconic lake arena is the perfect playground to watch top horses and riders jump against the clock and the reason why we where there. As part of the series, Join the Journey, commissioned by the British Equestrian Federation, we interviewed, amongst others; Di Lampard, Nick Skelton (who had just jumped a very impressive round on Big Star #olympicselection) Scott Brash, his groom Hannah and Jess Mendoza, to find out more about how horses fly with the flight to Rio only a few weeks away - watch this space for it’s release in the next week.

Down the lens at Bolesworth

Down the lens at Bolesworth

From the £1.3m Jet Setting, to showjumping jet-setters and our own EP jet-setters, it’s been another week to remember for Equine Productions. Time to get back behind a desk for a few days to recover from the jet-lag!

Hannah x

The Island Project DVD Released Today

It’s arrived! All of us here at Equine Productions are delighted to announce the launch of The Island Project DVD, available to purchase from Amazon by clicking on the link below 

http://amzn.to/293CY6r

The Island Project DVD

The Island Project DVD

 

We’re sure our avid equine followers will be familiar with horse trainer Emma Massingale and the journeys we have been on together. From the outset, Emma has fascinated, inspired and left us in awe with her incredible way with horses. So when Emma first came to us with the immense idea of the The Island Project, the whole team began to get really excited.

 

Discussing logistics of the project

Discussing logistics of the project

The challenge Emma presented to us was for her to go back to Connemara, the homeland of her beloved Connies, to purchase two unbacked, unhanded ponies from the Connermara sales in Clifton, take theses two new ponies, along with four of her Connemara Liberty team, to a deserted island off the west coast of Ireland.

Taken from aerial footage of the island

Taken from aerial footage of the island

‘Piece of cake’ as Emma would say. We had roughly a year in which to make this plan work, the challenged of the ponies we left down to the expert, but capturing this incredible adventure was up to us and as it turned out a large part to Emma. After several discussion Emma felt that to be truly ‘alone’ on the island, she would have to be just that, alone. We decided that we would follow Emma’s journey from the purchase of the ponies, the long lorry drive, the ferry trip and the depositing of Emma and the six ponies on the island. After that, it was up to Em. With a handful of GoPros, a small high quality camera and a few other cool bits of filming kit we waved goodbye to Emma. 

Emma, waving goodbye to us on the ferry

Emma, waving goodbye to us on the ferry

We kept in close contact with Emma throughout and when the month was finally up both our team and Emma had quite and emotional experience capturing those final goodbyes to the island that Emma had spent such a challenging month on.

An emotional ferry crossing back to the mainland 

An emotional ferry crossing back to the mainland 

When the rushes came back, our editor set to work re-telling the immense story of The Island Project. Everyone at Equine Productions is so proud of what we have managed to create and what a pleasure and a privilege it has been to work alongside the incredibly talented Emma Massingale.

Riding high - Emma and her six Connies

Riding high - Emma and her six Connies

We are sure you will love immersing yourself in The Island Project, experiencing the immense highs and lows that surviving on a deserted island brings. Once more here is the link to buy your very own copy of Island Project - enjoy!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018R7QY2A

Equus Film Festival NYC

We're so thrilled to play our part in winning three new awards - this time the Equus Film Festival at NYC! Here's our press release! :)

EQUINE FILM COMPANY SCOOPS NEW AWARDS

November 24 2015

UK film-makers Equine Productions is celebrating this week after winning three international awards at a film festival in New York.

The Equus Film Festival which took place over the weekend, is the world’s premier showcase for horse related films and documentaries, this year attracting 146 entries from 20 countries.

Chepstow based Equine Productions, has a growing reputation as a company making the highest quality horse related films using the latest cameras and technology and shot with stunning clarity. The company scooped the top prize in each of the categories they entered.

Former jockey and now film director Nathan Horrocks, said: “Making these films is a dream come true for me.  We absolutely love what we do, and enjoy using the latest technology and the skills of our production team to tell the stories of horses in a different way, and it seemed the panel of judges in New York enjoyed what we do too

“Emma Massingale - No Rules, No Reins, No Limits, ” won the Winny Award Equestrian Director Short (under 30 minutes) category for Equine Productions and Director Nathan Horrocks. It is a first person story of Devon behaviourist and trainer Emma Massingale, showing her extraordinary gift for working with horses at liberty.

It was their behind the scenes film that won the Winnie award in the category for the best documentary under 15 minutes. This mini documentary told about the making of “Get Your Heart Jumping,” which itself won an award at a film festival in Montana earlier this year.

 “Get Your Heart Jumping” was commissioned by The Jockey Club, and featured six jockeys with their horses in a schooling session. Equine Productions used innovative filming angles and latest technology to capture the athleticism of the racehorse and the skill of jump jockeys.

Horseware Ireland commissioned 30 year Anniversary film won the Equus Non Broadcast Winnie award for its spoof tv report made by Equine Productions starring four Connemara ponies ‘helping’ in the Horseware rug factory in County Louth, Ireland.

Sam Fleet, Equine Productions’ Managing Director, Dave James, Creative Director and Emma Massingale were with Nathan Horrocks in New York last week to see their films shown at the three-day Equus Film Festival before the awards were made.

“It was a brilliant experience for us,” said Sam Fleet. “There was a real buzz about the festival, and a wonderful chance to meet film makers from all over the world and to see their work too.  For us to come away with three awards was amazing, and the whole team is thrilled to bits.”

Equine Productions never likes to let the grass grow under its feet.  Following the success in the UK when ‘No Rules, No Reins, No Limits’ was aired on British television, it has been working with Emma Massingale on the follow up film “The Island Project” which shows Emma’s lone adventure on a island off the coast of Ireland when she attempts to train two new ponies with four of her trained Connemara ponies, without reins or equipment of any kind.

The Equus Film Festival which describes itself as the home to the storytellers of the horse world, celebrates film, fine art and authors. Founded in 2013, it aims to be the world’s premier showcase for domestic and international feature films, documentaries and shorts, and this year had a record entry of films.

About Equine Productions

Equine Productions is a video production company based in the UK that produces high quality, bespoke films for all equine-related industries; combining our passion and knowledge of horses with our expert film-making and qualified production techniques.

Our range of production is diverse, from shorter promotional films for equine related companies and yards, to television commercials and bespoke features for TV or online. Equine Productions is dedicated to producing high-end films with stunning clarity and a profound appearance.

For enquires or more information about our products and services, please contact us on contact@equine-productions.com or call +44 (0) 1291  630089. 

 

 

Award winners!

Hi, Sam here, just wanted to share this press release below, which we've sent out to a few outlets after we received two awards at a ceremony in the States on Sunday, so exciting! :-)

PRESS RELEASE

VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANY SCOOPS

TWO INTERNATIONAL HONOURS

A video production company from Chepstow has won two international film awards at a ceremony in the United States.

The fabulous Emma Massingale

The fabulous Emma Massingale

Equine Productions received the accolades at the Equus International Film Festival, held in Missoula, Montana – the heart of the Northern American Rockies.

Its documentary ‘Emma Massingale – No Reins, No Rules, No Limits’ was tied first for Best Documentary Short.

Commissioned by supplement company NAF, the 22-minute feature introduces Emma’s incredible relationship with horses and her connection with them.

The firm was also honored for Best Public Service Announcement/Commercial, for their film ‘Get Your Heart Jumping’ for The Jockey Club.

This featured six jockeys with their horses in a schooling session, filmed from different angles including from the air.

Janet Rose, Founder/Director of the Festival, said of the Emma Massingale documentary: “Audiences were enraptured by Emma, they were inspired by her and they left the theatre wanting more from and about her.  To many, Emma is an equine heroine and we, the festival, want to recognize her as such.

“Audiences are looking for more stories about Emma in the future and feel that she through her incredible communication with horses and her deep understanding and relationship with them, really exemplifies the mission of the film festival in many ways.”

Getting some aerial shots for Get Your Heart Jumping. Picture courtesy of Stephie Horrocks Photography

Getting some aerial shots for Get Your Heart Jumping. Picture courtesy of Stephie Horrocks Photography

Janet continued; “In terms of Get Your Heart Jumping, with a former jockey and industry professionals in there, the team at Equine Productions has a perspective and understanding of their film and television subjects better than many. But their ability to capture the “essence” of the sport and various disciplines is truly spectacular. Their technical film work is simply breathtaking.”

The award ceremony took place on Sunday 20th September 2015.

Sam Fleet, Equine Productions Managing Director, said; “It’s a great thrill to win these awards, we’re proud of every film we produce and to get special recognition for these two is just fantastic. 

“We love working with Emma, and The Jockey Club, and of course we couldn’t have won these awards without them, and we’re so grateful to them both for that.” 

Emma Massingale, said; “Meeting Equine Productions last year through Lisa at The Brand Wagon and one of my Sponsors NAF was a huge leap in the direction I wanted to go, I was loving being creative with horses and Equine Productions enabled me to bring my adventures to the TV screen.

“It’s awesome that No Reins, No Rules, No Limits has won, for me what’s really awesome is all the people who have watched it, and sent messages saying they have been inspired to continue to follow their dreams with horses. I literally can’t wait to share the next one!” she said.

Abigail Sawyer, Group Head of Digital Content for The Jockey Club, said, “We are absolutely delighted that Get Your Heart Jumping has been honoured with this award. We set out to make a beautiful film that would not only get racing fans excited for the Jump season, but would highlight the the athleticism of both horse and jockey. State of the art cameras and talented cast and crew delivered a resulting film we are truly proud of.

“A big thank you to the jockeys, horses, the team at Equine Productions and the team at Jockey Club Estates, Lambourn who brought the idea to life in such spectacular fashion,” she said.

Watch Emma Massingale - No Reins, No Rules, No Limits - https://vimeo.com/107055806

Watch Get Your Heart Jumping - https://vimeo.com/110242973

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015

Hello Hannah here, the newest addition to team EP.

Presenting from the Trot-Up

Presenting from the Trot-Up

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015, where to start !?

Equine Productions was approached by BrandRapport (BR), the company behind much of the social media at Burghley. One of their members of staff saw our videos and really wanted us to apply for the YouTube channel videos for this year’s Burghley. 

Having originated more in the world of racing, my EP colleagues, Sam and Nathan, knew that I was the woman for the job. Being a home grown Leicestershire lass, Burghley has been my stomping ground since the year dot! So we devised a plan of attack for the YouTube channel. “Han, if we are going to do this, we need to do it really well as this could open up the world of eventing etc for us” ….. OK no pressure! But I knew we could do it with the fantastic team we had lined up.

Burghley House - a shot taken from our aerial filming day

Burghley House - a shot taken from our aerial filming day

Sitting down to think about what Burghley meant to me, it became apparent that this YouTube channel had the potential to be awesome, providing that it was fun, quirky and a little bit different from the pomp and ceremony that is stereotypically associated with all equestrian events. But where to start, there is SO much to see! And therein lay the answer, let’s show the things we don’t usually see. Several of the videos took inspiration from just that - Burghley From A Box, the faces behind the legendary voices, A Judge’s View, the characters behind the whistles and stop watches, A Groom’s View, the shear adoration the grooms at Burghley have towards their talented steeds … I could go on!

Anyway, in the lead up to Burghley there were many phone calls back and forth between EP and BR, fine tuning and really nailing down the plan for each video. The old saying, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, haunted me in the run up to Burghley. Everything looked fantastic on paper but as they say - never work with animals or children - anything could happen! And it did on a couple of occasions… 

The fantastic judge and stewards at fence 17 - The Maltings

The fantastic judge and stewards at fence 17 - The Maltings

Burghley From A Box - turned out to be a little ambiguous. When the crew and I turned up on the morning to catch Richard Taylor and Adrian Dant open Burghley 2015, they were in a tent not a box! Don’t panic Hannah, there must be an explanation. After being enraptured by the infamous tones of Richard’s voice explaining that they commentate from all over the place during Burghley and only on the Sunday do they actually go into the traditional commentary box for the Showjumping. With no other option, we pressed on with the filming and I think the result is great. https://youtu.be/-v_PL8jSv2w

The faces behind the voices of Burghley Horse Trials

The faces behind the voices of Burghley Horse Trials

I had several different riders lined up for the the Dubarry Burghley Young Event horse, one had got colic (the horse, not the rider) and was withdrawn, another horse was sold with the DBYEH ride, then on the Friday morning as I was having my Weetabix (other brands are available) I had a feeling that something was going to go wrong that day. Low and behold I rang Sarah Bullimore, who we were due to follow, and she informed me that the DBYEH class clashed with her competing in the four star. All was not lost as Sarah informed me that she had roped in Ginny Turnbull to take the ride on her stunning but rather sharp chestnut. Phew! Having grown-up in the village next door to Ginny I luckily had a few contacts who I could call on. After speaking with Ginny, everything for “Up & Coming” video was back on track. https://youtu.be/cLNM8-Hsrdo

Interviewing the lovely Ginny Turnbull

Interviewing the lovely Ginny Turnbull

When asked, which is my favourite video from the week, it’s tough to say as they all have their own wonderful imagery, catchy soundtracks, which I spent hours choosing, I have an affiliation and love for every video. But for me, the Groom’s View has to be the one. Cross Country Saturday is always the most manic of the four days at Burghley and we had promised three videos that day as well as the press conferences, the best round and a last minute addition of the RiderCam https://youtu.be/RZzQ3o9AYXg?list=PL-ZxRLiRl39Bsg08ZfY6LjWew8GBs_24I. I had blocked out from 1pm until 3:30pm for myself and our fantastic camera operator Adam to follow Charlie Walker, William Fox-Pitt’s groom. Adam and I met Charlie and Fernhill Pimms at the stables. I was in awe of Charlie’s cool, calm and collected character. Her manner around Fernhill Pimms AKA Fernie made filming her such a pleasure, Fernie was a chilled out dude - not what you’d expect for a horse who in 40 minutes time would be flying around Cpt Mark Philips’ beefy cross country course. 

Charlie in action getting the ice boots ready for Fernhill's return

Charlie in action getting the ice boots ready for Fernhill's return

As the starter counted William down, my heart was pounding, I can only imagine how Charlie must have felt. As William left the start box we ran over to the rider’s marquee where there are five TV screens showing every rider at every fence. Charlie’s reactions as her ‘baby’ flew around the Burghley course was just wonderful, I had goose bumps watching her, thinking this is brilliant! Riding high on the elation of potential TV gold, the legendary voice I had interviewed earlier in the week came echoing over the tannoy. William Fox Pitt has gone past the B element at the Discovery Valley. My heart thudded as it hit the bottom of my belly. Nudging Adam to keep filming Charlie. The toils of being a producer, the selfishness of wanting to capture the raw emotion of someone, when all they really want is to push the camera away. 

Dismay as William misses out a fence

Dismay as William misses out a fence

After several minutes of waiting, Richard delivered the news we had all been waiting for - William had not been penalised at fence 24, he didn’t cross his tracks. Euphoria swiftly turned into frenzied action as William crossed the finish line. Fernie had come back in fine fettle but as all horses do after galloping around Burghley, he was hot. Charlie and her team went into over drive with buckets upon buckets of ice cold water. Visually it was a dream; nostrils flared, ears pricked, a network of veins standing proud across Fern’s entire body, steam rising from his glossy bay coat, droplets tumbling from his toned flanks. Enraptured by this and with my idol Clare Balding behind interviewing one of the world’s best event riders - I was in heaven. My brain greedily absorbing the events flashing past my eyes, every now and again regaining composure to check my cameraman was safe.

Clare Balding interviewing William Fox-Pitt 

Clare Balding interviewing William Fox-Pitt 

Within minutes, it was all over. Charlie causally walked Fernie back to his box, William had gone off to be interviewed by the throbbing hoards of press, desperate to interrogate him on his ‘slip up’ at fence 24 b. And there was me.

Taking the footage back to our cabin, I hoped that what we had captured could do Charlie and Fernie justice and I really think it does. https://youtu.be/rqIP86c2PEE

The final morning - Richard Jefferies and Cpt Mark Philips striding out the showjumping course

The final morning - Richard Jefferies and Cpt Mark Philips striding out the showjumping course

After the most incredible five days at the Land Rover Burghley 2015 Horse Trials, I’d like to thank my ‘Dream Team’ for delivering what has been reported as the best YouTube videos Burghley has ever had. Our videos were played out to the thousands of people who attended Burghley on the big screens, the BBC used a substantial amount of footage from the RiderCam on William Fox-Pitt’s cross country round as well as our fantastic aerial footage from our course previews https://youtu.be/XQm1n5nxHDo?list=PL-ZxRLiRl39Bsg08ZfY6LjWew8GBs_24I. Equine Productions has really made an impression on the eventing world. I am so proud of what we achieved. EP is a seriously exciting place to be right now and I can’t wait for what’s next - watch this space!

William Fox-Pitt wearing the RiderCam

William Fox-Pitt wearing the RiderCam

For all the YouTube videos produced during this year’s Burghley click the link below https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpJWloFKan6b5LSq4UVZ8bg

 

Launching The JockeyCam & Riding The Winner Of The Grand National

Hi it's Nathan here, I hope you're enjoying the sunshine!

Well, if Carlsberg did launches I don't think they could even match what has happened to Equine productions and I during the week of the Grand National.

The reaction to the JockeyCam at Aintree has far exceeded what we expected. This whole journey with EP bringing first person perspective to horse racing started more than two years ago at a trade show in Birmingham and to think that throughout this whole experience, I would be involved with the 2015 Grand National winner. I know, you couldn't write it could you? But I'm going to try.

When asked how easy is it to ride in a horse race, a question I'm asked on a regular basis, I find it very hard to explain, because to be honest it looks pretty easy when watching on the TV. So I'm often defending jockeys as athletes because there isn't a way for a person who has never ridden of relating to what they do and how hard it is.

So when first person perspective, or POV cameras came on the scene, I was desperate to get them on a race-track to show what a rider goes through when competing. So in 2013, when Equine Productions was exhibiting at BETA International, a trade-fair at the Birmingham NEC, we had a quiet moment to take a look around at the other stands. One of them took my eye immediately, a stand exhibiting sun glasses with a built-in camera. This immediately got my head spinning, as all the POV cameras that had been on the market - and we at EP have used on many of our shoots for commercial or features - were slightly intrusive and all needed to be stuck to the helmet, which aren't allowed to be used in most professional sports.

So we needed to make something that would be safe for a rider to use, so when we spoke to the guys from Lyte we asked if it was possible to make the camera into a goggle, something jockeys use all the time.

The immediate answer was yes, so we went to work with our tech partners to bring it to market.

Leighton Aspell wearing our first test model.

Leighton Aspell wearing our first test model.

Now I'm not going to say this has been an easy journey, in fact this whole process of getting this project to come off has aged me and my Equine Productions colleague Sam Fleet ten years and almost didn't happen several times, but to cut a very long story short, two years later we were there. 

One of the interesting challenges along the way was to produce a goggle that would meet the approval of all of the jockeys, and that in turn led to us changing direction a little and actually producing something which worked even better than our original idea.

Rather than having the unit built into a goggle, the unit could be attached to the top of a goggle, or actually strapped around the helmet as a very light camera unit in its own right. We are talking about something which is very strong but weighs just 74 grams and, crucially delivers a brilliant HD image. 

The unit was/is designed to sit underneath the cap's silk leaving the camera appearing on the front of their helmet to capture what the jockey was seeing, the device was light, safe and recorded a great image.

Prior to Cheltenham, the device flew through safety tests and was also sent to the British Racing School where it had been used on a machine to show jockeys how to fall properly, we were ticking off all of the agreements and permissions we needed. 

The camera itself had a few glitches that caused Sam, (our MD) and I to nearly have a number of heart attacks but we were delighted with the images it was providing, but we needed to know what it would work like while riding a horse? Well that would be easy to test, the only easy part of this whole journey was to test the camera on a horse - and that horses name was Many Clouds.

Pressing rewind on my little story. Eight years ago I moved to to Lambourn to start working with Betfair as an on-course executive. When moving south, I became great friends with Warren Greatrex, now a very successful trainer, who was assistant at Oliver Sherwood's, and kindly organised for Oliver and I to meet. 

Me tacking up Clouds before a piece of work. Photo provided by my wife Stephie.

Me tacking up Clouds before a piece of work. Photo provided by my wife Stephie.

I was desperate to ride out somewhere as I have always been around horses all my life and I miss having a working connection with them and I love the atmosphere in the yard. Little did I know that that meeting would lead me to riding out the 2015 Grand National winner every morning, it's a funny world.

I'm often asked what Many Clouds is like and the only way I can describe him is that he is a warrior, he wouldn't know what quitting is, if you were going to war, you would want him by your side, but he is also a gentleman, a horse that is kind and gentle but has an amazing work ethic, so when it came to testing the camera while on horse back I had the perfect partner.

The camera was ready, so we tested it at the Cheltenham Festival with Channel 4 Racing to see how it would work logistically and the camera managed to capture some magic moments. 

Many Clouds and I after a morning workout before his win in the Hennesy. Photo provided by my wife Stephie Horrocks Photography

Many Clouds and I after a morning workout before his win in the Hennesy. Photo provided by my wife Stephie Horrocks Photography

One of them was on the Thursday, we asked Warren Greatrex if Gavin Sheehan his stable jockey could wear the camera in the World Hurdle? He said “Yes sure you can - but you won't see another horse though.” Excited with Warren's statement, we then used it.  

Wazzer was right, we didn't see another horse, Cole Harden won the World Hurdle from the front given an amazing ride by Gavin and the footage was awesome, even if we didn't see another horse, the most exciting part of the footage was watching Gavin coming into the winner enclosure, the shouting and the cheering from the public was amazing. Oh and by the way, Sam and I had a fiver each way, Thanks Waz.

The following day we had the camera on Leighton Aspell who be riding my mate Cloudy, he was running in the Gold Cup and I have to say I really fancied him to win, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

Leighton said that he didn't travel as well as he had done in his previous races and only his brave jumping kept him in the race, but he finished a respectful sixth, but Coneygree the winner was trained over the hill from Lambourn, so we were all delighted for him and the Bradstock team.

Oliver and the team at Rhonehurst were disappointed, but we were happy that he came back safe and sound and would live to fight another day, so the decision was wether he would run again and if he did, the Grand National was going to the race.

Oliver and I celebrating after Clouds win at the Hennesy. Photo provided by Dan Abrahams.

Oliver and I celebrating after Clouds win at the Hennesy. Photo provided by Dan Abrahams.

The decision to run Cloudy in the National came through on the 27th of March, my 40th Birthday. Now I'm not going to pretend I was happy about this, not because of the National, I think the National is an amazing race, but just because I was worried Cloudy had a long season and his pieces of work weren't filling me with confidence as they had done before he won the Hennessy earlier on in the season. I always thought Clouds would be a National horse, just not this year, how wrong was I going to be?

The Aintree meeting had arrived, we were ready to launch the JockeyCam for C4 Racing and Many Clouds was running in the National, what were these three days going to provide?

JockeyCam all ready for the three days at Aintree.

JockeyCam all ready for the three days at Aintree.

Thursday morning, I was requested to be at the track early because Noel Fehily was guest on C4's Morning Line. Noel and Will Kennedy have been a huge part of our testing process leading up to the launch, and they wanted talk to Noel about the JockeyCam and his ride on Silviniaco Conti. The show went great and it was lovely for me to see what when on behind the scenes.

Day One.

Day One.

Because Noel had been helping us with JockeyCam we all decided to use a number of his rides across the meeting, the first being Silviniaco Conti and Paul Nicholls had kindly given us permission for him to wear the camera.

It was like Cole Harden all over again, Noel had won the race from the front and the images we got were great. We also tested the camera on other runners throughout the Thursday and unfortunately for poor Wayne Hutchinson our camera had its first fall, luckily Wayne and the Horse Winner Massagot were both ok.

JockeyCamera men Will Kennedy and Aidan Coleman ready for the Topham.

JockeyCamera men Will Kennedy and Aidan Coleman ready for the Topham.

On the Friday Aidan Coleman along with Will Kennedy had agreed to wear the camera for us in the Topham chase, what we were about to capture would be in my opinion the best two minutes in racing.

Aidan who was riding Benny’s Mist was getting a little detached from the leaders and then coming towards a fence, one of the loose horses ran across him, causing Aidan to fly off and land the other side of the fence, with the camera still rolling, Aidan lying on the other side of the fence and being told to “Stay There” by one of the medical staff, he captured all the other runners that were behind him flying over his head.

View from Aidan Coleman's Camera.

View from Aidan Coleman's Camera.

This then illustrated perfectly the extreme nature of the sport as never before. If this wasn't exciting enough we then got to see what every other jockey would have done in the same situation, Aidan went to catch some of the other loose horses that had lost their riders earlier in the race, but came across Benny, with a loving pat on the neck and an apology for coming off him, Aidan then climbed aboard and trotted him and another riderless horse back to the stables. This gave everyone a glimpse into the love an affection of what these jockeys have for their fellow athletes and the public were all able to see this the following day on C4.

Sam and I ready for the big day.

Sam and I ready for the big day.

Saturday was the big day, National day and I was nervous for two reasons, one, we were organising the four cameras to be worn in the big race and two, my good friend Many Clouds was having his first attempt at the big fences.

The jockeys changing room is a magical place, in fact its the only place I miss from my riding days as a jockey. The banter and camaraderie from all the riders is unbeatable and the fifteen minuets before the big race is a very tense environment, so I wanted to make the process of attaching the cameras and turning them all on an easy process. 

Once the cameras where turned on and all recording, my work was done and all I could do was watch and see what happened.

I parked myself on one of the seats in the changing room with the valets and a handful of jockeys that didn't have a ride in the race. My colleague Sam had asked me to help keep an eye on what happened within the race so we could see what the cameras might be capturing and make notes if possible.

This went out of the window heading to the first, there was only one horse I was watching, and that was Clouds.

After the first circuit, I can't begin to tell you the emotions I was feeling. Sick, excited, and anxious, all at he same time. I couldn't stand or sit still, one of the valets Craig asked my why I was so fidgety, with me then explaining my connection to Cloudy we were both glued to the Green, Yellow and White colours that Leighton was wearing. When Many Clouds hit the front at the fourth last, I went into melt-down, I completely lost my self and my voice. 

Leighton and Many Clouds past the post first in the 2015 Crabbies Grand National, with, if you look closely, Leighton wearing the JockeyCam. Photo from Dan Abrahams.

Leighton and Many Clouds past the post first in the 2015 Crabbies Grand National, with, if you look closely, Leighton wearing the JockeyCam. Photo from Dan Abrahams.

I have never shouted or cheered and put as much energy into the next thirty seconds of Many Clouds jumping the last three fences than anything else in my life and when he past the line I didn't know what to do with myself.

The first person to congratulate me was Nico De Boinville the winning rider of Coneygree, and told me immediately to go outside to the winners enclosure, but before I would get there I bumped into Sam my colleague. The person that has been on this whole Equine Productions journey with me from the start and the look on his face when I saw him described the words that came out of my mouth, What The F**k Just Happened!!!! apologise for my language but thats what I said and continued saying to myself for the next few days.

Once I managed to get into the winners enclosure I was bear hugged by one of my best friends Josh Apiafi and then a microphone thrust under my nose by Radio 5 Live presenter Cornelius Lysaght. To this day I don't know what I said in fact the next few hours were all a blur.

Leighton Aspell wearing the JockeyCam with Trevor Hemmings, owner of Many Clouds. Photo provided by Dan Abrahams.

Leighton Aspell wearing the JockeyCam with Trevor Hemmings, owner of Many Clouds. Photo provided by Dan Abrahams.

What I do know is that I completely forgot about the cameras that were out on all the jockeys and luckily Sam had managed to get all four of them and get them back to the C4 truck to be uploaded. At least one of us in this business knows what to do in the heat of excitement.

One thing I didn't know was going on was Cloudy had been a bit wobbly after the race, something he has done on a number of occasions, but ten minutes after the race he appeared in the winners enclosure looking fine and all I could do was run and hug him and Lisa, Oliver’s traveling head girl who I have worked with and known for over ten years.

Sam and I in the aftermath of the National.

Sam and I in the aftermath of the National.

This was by far the best day of my racing life, the only down side to all of this experience was the fact that my wife Stephie, a professional photographer who had been at Aintree for the first two days couldn't be there. But she would join in the celebrations once we got back to Lambourn.

Oliver, Tarnya and I celebrating Cloudy's win. What a day.

Oliver, Tarnya and I celebrating Cloudy's win. What a day.

The reaction to the JockeyCam over the next few days was amazing and has continued to very positive, we even managed to get AP to wear it on his last ride at Cheltenham. One comment that was constantly used throughout all social media and publicly was that the amazement of what a jockey and horse endures during a race, the bravery and skill of riders and horse where now being shown in a completely different way.

We had done it, we had managed to show what we had set out to do two years ago and I have to say, I couldn't be prouder of all the people that have helped us reach our goal.

AP McCoy wearing the JockeyCam for his last ride at Cheltenham.

AP McCoy wearing the JockeyCam for his last ride at Cheltenham.

C4 were delighted with what EP had delivered, all we needed to do know was celebrate Many Clouds win back in Lambourn and celebrate we did, for the day after the National, Oliver organised for Cloudy to walk down from Rhonehurst in Upper Lambourn to the George pub in the heart of the village, hundreds of people turned up to celebrate Cloudy’s win, something I will never forget and be thankful that I played a tiny part of this wonderful few days.

Grand National Winners. Team Rhonehurst.

Grand National Winners. Team Rhonehurst.

To see the Grand National JockeyCam footage click here

 

Get Your Heart Jumping

Hi Everyone, Nathan here,

So the summer has come to an end, the nights are closing in and we are getting out our  jumpers for the winter ahead, that means one thing, the jump season is upon us and this year I got the opportunity to help create some excitement about it.

On a hot Monday afternoon at Windsor Racecourse in August, Dave James and I had a meeting with Abigail Sawyer who is the Group Digital Manager from The Jockey Club. Her task was to ask us to come up with a visual idea to get everyone excited about the upcoming jump season.

After an hour of going back and forth with ideas, nothing was quite hitting the mark, then it came to me, something i had wanted to do from the first time we started Equine Productions back in 2012. 

I had seen a promo film done by a company called Kopter Kids and it was show how the new Sony FS700 “camera” worked from the air attached to a remote control helicopter.

We at EP have been doing aerial filming for a long time now and its been a huge asset to our business, but I've never had the opportunity to use our aerial drone while filming horses schooling over fences. Abi and Scott Bowers (TJC Group Director of Communications) loved the idea.

Abi was keen to see how quickly we could achieve this, she asked me to get started with the organisation of it all, what jockeys would we use, what horses, what type of camera, where would we film it and what would it look and sound like? 

The answer to all those questions were easy - I have had this whole shoot planned and executed in my head for two years, I even had the music picked out, I just wanted the opportunity and the project to make it, Abi was sold, she could see my vision and passion to get this concept off the ground.

Straight away I knew who I would get involved to help me choose the riders to feature in the film.

Will Kennedy and i have been friends for a number of years now and we both want the sport of horse racing to look a certain way, we don't want to change racing, we just want it to be attractive to a younger audience and the way to do that is to make it look cool. The idea wasn't a hard sell to Will, he could see how it would work, we just needed the riders and the horses to help achieve our goal.

For me I wanted to make it look young and fresh – we wanted the next generation of champions to be the stars.

Will made a few calls to the boys we had in mind and it was a big yes all round, we had the guys we wanted. Coleman, Powell Jnr, McLernon, Sheehan, O’Farrell and Kennedy, the next step was choosing horses.

I had organised grooms to look after horses as well as a vet on site to make sure all the care they needed was at hand. I went into my phone for contacts of trainers and friends for advice on what horses I could use and I had a great response.

The one thing I love about this sport is the community and the pulling together of it, we found six perfect horses for the job within days, three of them were ex-racehorses and the other three were current racehorses and my worry about the potential of them being mentally tired after the long filming day would be blown out of the water - but that will be revealed later in the blog.

The location to shoot the film was an easy one for me. I've lived in Lambourn for more than seven years now, I know the gallops well and I've often thought about certain shots I would do if I ever got he opportunity, the summer months had dried the ground out, so we weren't able to school the horses on the grass for fear of injuring them, so the all weather schooling ground which is owned by the Jockey Club made perfect sense to me to use.

 


The filming day had come - 23rd of September - everything was organised, the weather couldn't have been nicer, mist in the valley, a bright blue sky and not a breath of wind, conditions were perfect. 

The storyboard had been planned and double planned, we had organised everything we needed to keep all the crew, jockeys and horses happy on the day, all we needed now to stat filming.


Our first shot to organise was the tracking shot, this was where we had a vehicle traveling alongside the horses, while Simon would hold the MOVI (a stabilised camera mount) and Ben who was sat in the car with the driver would be controlling the camera with a remote control.

While this was going on I had Dave our other camera op tucked by some trees that ran along side the schooling ground to get some reveal shots on the slider.

After a number of goes with the tracking vehicle we were really happy with what we were getting - and the jockeys were all blown away with the images they where looking in the play back. I had kept communicating with each jockey to let me how the horses where reacting to what was going on around them and if they thought we need to rest them or if we were getting to close, then let us know, fortunately the never happened, the horses where awesome the weren't bothered by any of it. In fact it seemed to me that they were really enjoying the day.   

After we had ticked all the MOVI shots of the list, it was on to the close ups of the fence, we had Brendan Powell Jnr on Morestead and Conor O’Farrell on Scotts Dragoon. I asked them both to jump as close to Dave and I as possible. The shot I wanted was a head on shot, but we would be stood on the opposite side of the fence. I was expecting both horses to be a little wary of Dave and I stood there, but to get both as close as they safely could be - it was amazing.

 

 

We were getting through the shot list and all we had left to do on the day was the aerial scenes. We have done a lot of filming with the drone around horses and for what ever reason it doesn't seem to bother them, but I'm still very cautious about letting it take off near them, so i always like it in the air before we get close the horses.

The shot I was keen to get, was as the horses are cantering away from us and over the fences, the drone would follow them at around twenty feet from the ground and then over take them in the air - this would give Ben the opportunity to pan the camera downwards, enabling us to see the horses jump underneath us. This was easier said than done, horses travel at around thirty five to forty miles per hour, the drone can easily go quicker than that, and it takes a skilled camera op/pilot team to keep all the horses in shot when you’re looking at the drone from the ground.     

 

Simon our drone pilot has had years of experience and after a couple of attempts he nailed the shot. Ben and Simon our aerial and MOVI team are amazing, when it comes to getting shot with all this modern technology they certainly do shine. 

So the day had come to and end and we got all the shots we wanted from that day, all the horses were taken home and we then started the long process of getting all the footage onto hard drives.

After we had converted all the footage into files we could work with, we started on the process of putting all these jig-saw pieces together, the only thing we were missing was to see if we could get the music I wanted.

The song i had in mind was a track by Hooray For Earth called “True Loves” https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/true-loves/id456694638?i=456694777 its a track i have been a fan of for some years and when I heard it, i knew it would be great to cut this film to, the hard thing was getting to use it. I searched the band on the internet and found an email address for one the guys in the band, I contacted him explaining what i wanted the track for and why it was so important to me to use, he then forwarded me onto his licensing company here in the UK and we struck up a deal, happy days I had my music, all I needed now was the opening shot.

This whole shoot was storyboarded to every shot and the only two shots we physically couldn't do on the main filming day was the start, this was going to be what we call a time-lapse, now i wont go into all the technical aspects of how a time-lapse works, so to put it simply, we set up a camera to take a picture every ten seconds over a number of hours and when this is put together and played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. These moving images have always amazed me especially when done well, you get to see the world in fast motion and it great for sunrises and clouds moving at speed.

What Ben and I had planned to do was a little different, we didn't want just a sunrise, we also wanted to set up a camera to film the stars at night. So a few days after the main shoot Ben and I waited for a clear night and headed back up to the schooling ground, we set up two cameras, one next to the fence and another set back from the fence to get all the start in the back ground. 

   

 

After around eight hours, we went back to the cameras and put the footage into the editing suite - what we got looked amazing, I sent Ben home to Bournemouth and I decided head back up to the gallops to get the sunrise. 

The edit was coming together, we were now in the position to send the rough cut to Abi and Scott. They were thrilled with the way it was coming together, the only thing that was missing was the Jockey Club branding - they was keen for the branding to be subtle but effective. 

We decided to put the JC branding on the landing side of the fences, we got our graphics team to start creating this, but it wasn’t an easy task and our team did an amazing job, we didn't want the logo to look like a graphic, we wanted it to look authentic and look like the branding boards you see sponsors use on all the jumps at all UK racecourses, the results were great, Abi and Scott were really happy the how it all looked and they were happy to sign the project off.

The release date was an exciting time for us all at EP, we had sent the finished version out to all the jockeys, they were really happy with the finished version and we were excited about the fact that Channel 4 Racing had seen it and wanted to air it on live TV.

It’s a funny feeling seeing something that you have created shown on TV, before all these images that were appearing in front of me on the screen, where the images that only existed in my head, the feeling was getting must be the same as when musician writes a song then hears it on the radio for the first time, it was very surreal, but the whole thing couldn't have happened without all the people involved and i must say a huge thank you to them and also a huge thank you to the Jockey Club for believing in my vision. I know its no Gone With The Wind and I wont be collecting any award for it, but it was something that we had created and it looked “Cool” so it was job done as far as I was concerned.

Get Your Heart Jumping http://po.st/jumps1415

Remember earlier in the blog i mentioned that i was worried about the current racehorses being mentally tired after the shoot? Well seven days after the shoot Brendan Powell's Keychain won at Sedgfield and Oliver Sherwood’s Milgen Bay won four days after that at Huntingdon, Brendan and Oliver both asked me when the next filming day was?

They truly are amazing animals and I will never get tired of filming them.

Nathan

Emma Massingale

An exciting evening with the first part of our documentary with Emma Massingale going live! Her connection with horses is just amazing, and it's lovely to be able to help share her story. Part one is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_p23Y7zyog

 

Emma's archive footage is fantastic, and it was a pleasure to interview her and watch her in action. The sky's the limit with Emma and we are very excited to be working with her. We'd love to hear what you think, and please look out for part two next Friday! 

 

 

Inspirations

Hi, Sam here, I hope you're well.

Inspiration for film or video can come in many forms. Maybe it's something you've seen, a music video or the intro for a movie, or just an awesome TV programme or feature. Do you love the way something has been shot, or the way graphics have been used, or maybe a piece of music has just got you?

All that kind of inspiration is a great launch pad for making film to suit you, your company or brand. It might just be a little of something, and a little of something else and then a great bunch of something new. Whatever, anything is possible with film and the fact that there are so many inspirations are one of the things which makes it such an exciting and compelling genre to work in, and what makes it produce such great results in the world of marketing.

But what about inspirations which aren't something you've already seen on screen somewhere else? Say you're looking to promote a yard or facility.  Well maybe you've noticed the way the first morning summer light bounces through a tack room window. Or maybe how a horse's reflection shouts from your still pond on a calm day when you look from a certain angle. Or what about just that view, from that spot, when you take a ride or a walk down that path

These are the sort of things we love to be told about, capture and embrace in our films. Some of the shots that made the cut in our recent film for Newsells Park Stud would likely never have seen the light of day without us being given the lead by the great team there who know the lay of their land so well. Of course, sometimes a fresh pair of eyes will spot new things too, but everything helps. 

And sometimes, it isn't what you see, but what you feel.

We've been fortunate to have been asked on a number of occasions now to produce review films for various sales at DBS. This was our latest, from the Spring Sales, back in May this year. To turn around these pieces as quickly as we can, we take an edit team on site, and work into the evening to produce the content. This means we have seen the terrific complex up there in a pretty unusual state, i.e at night - lit only by floodlights and the stables empty.

It looks great like this, pristine. 

But it's more than just how it looks, it's how it feels. The place has a sense of "what is to come", it's poised with the sense of purpose and occasion but somehow calm. An extraordinary feel.

We have used this inspirational feel as the basis of our latest TV commercial for DBS, to be screened on Racing UK from next Monday, for their upcoming Premier Sales.

Last month we went to film. The brilliant ground staff there set the place up beautifully, flowers prepped, in a sales-ready state, even though we were a few weeks away from the action. The restaurant was readied too with places laid, wine glasses out. It was great.

We set our alarm for 1.00am, and filmed through the night, and as the sun came up. We filmed the empty stables and the flood-lit arena. We flew our heli drone 30 minutes before sun-rise (to comply with aviation rules - 4.36am on that day, if you're wondering), and we flew around the arena.

It was a fun shoot, the time went by quickly (doesn't it always, when you're against the clock?), and we are thrilled with the results. We hope you like it - you can view it here.

This inspiration we were able to turn into what we hope will be a highly effective and memorable commercial, thanks to the confidence the DBS team have in us, and we are so grateful to them for that. 

In the meantime, below are some pics from the shoot, click each shot to cycle through!

Hope you have a great day. Remember, look out for inspirations, they're everywhere :). And if you'd like to share your inspirations with us, please do.



The right now or the right camera?

Its my turn (Dave) to share my thoughts, first though a bit about me.

My background isn't strictly equine related, my parents rode while we lived in South Africa and I was left to play at the stables. I grew up with a fascination of wildlife spending many weeks in the Kruger National Park and hunting down chongololo (a millipede) In my garden. In school I developed a passion for photography, this developed in to moving imagery through university with me ending up as a freelance camera operator.

I ended up meeting Sam on a beach on a Scottish Hebridean Isle, Tiree. Not as romantic as it sounds, it was cold and wet, we were covering a windsurfing event for the same client with a different remit. Sam had noticed I was using a DSLR on a particular occasion and came over to ask about it. A friend of his had been producing high end tourism pieces with similar kit, he was intrigued by the results you could get from such a ‘small’ camera. 

On that job I was also using a Sony PMW 500, a more traditional looking broadcast camera. So why was i using the Canon 5D ll on this occasion? Well in short its about using the right camera for the right job.

Im not going to make this a technical blog because frankly too many numbers, facts and figures bores me. 

I am asked often about what camera to buy, both by people entering the stills world and motion picture. The questions are always about the camera very infrequently do I get asked about the glass that is going on the camera. 

When capturing an image, motion or still, the very first thing the light you are recording hits is your lens, your lens/glass will define its journey. You can pick your favourite camera, sort the one with the best specs, choose the one that shot the latest blockbuster, if you put a milk bottle on any of those your going to end up with a poor image. Good glass will carry you far.

Choosing the right camera to buy can be an incredibly tough decision, how do you choose the right one?

Many people in the industry get frustrated with the amount of money they spend hiring cameras, however with the vast array of cameras out there all with different qualities it becomes an expensive hobby to own them all. Hiring is often the way to getting the best camera for the job.

Hiring though isn't always the most cost effective way, it pushes rates up and leaves less room for manoeuvre. Owning the kit is better for the business, what camera will work for the business is a very important question to ask yourself. Is choosing the latest camera on the market the right choice? Do we chase technology and get a camera that has a longer shelf life? 

Im all in favour of pushing technology and striving to achieve a better image, new cameras, new glass and new gadgets are the very reason we have been able to achieve the shots that ten years ago would have been out of budget for most.

My thoughts are that you choose you kit that will suit your clients, and hire in for those jobs that require something else. Only the individual or the company will know what suits their needs, that wont always be the latest camera to hit the shelves. The influences on what you chose will be as wide and varied as the cameras out there to chose from.

Visual Impact

Hi Everyone,

Nathan here,

Unlike my colleague Sam, I'm not a blogger in fact I'm not even a writer, to be honest the amount of time it will take me to write this blog, the next Sea Biscuit could have been made, so bear with me.

My only gift really is talking, well gift is aiming a bit high, but my friends often tell me I'm a great talker, I'm sure it's just a nice way of saying I never shut the hell up, but either way I'm much more confident talking rather than writing.

Now, the reason for the blog is to give you a feel of why I'm passionate about film and horses and why we have combined the two in this company, I don't like to think of us as a company, but more a passion that we get paid for, whatever its is, it’s what we call Equine Productions, EP for short.

In our last blog Sam went into some depth about what EP is and what we do, but before Sam, Dave and I embarked on this adventure together, I want to go into some depth about why I am involved in this dream of ours. 

Without me going into a page long history lesson on the life and love of Nathan Horrocks, to cut a short story even shorter I didn't go to film school, I didn't work in a production house and I haven't ever worked a camera, well, apart from the one on my iPhone, I have had nothing to do with producing moving images until three years ago when I bought a head cam to go skiing.

In a nutshell, I am a movie fan, always have been, always will be, it’s an obsession of mine. I'm the local film critic and it can be any type of movie, drama, thriller, comedy, documentary, in fact my favourite part of most films, are the making of, you know when the DVD always had some extra options on the menu for you to watch and there it was at the bottom, how they made the film. 

I loved every minute of how the director and crew made the images tell a story and it wasn't just cinema, commercial breaks were always great to watch, my Dad would always come out with “adverts are better than some the programmes” and he was right, they were.

While watching all these amazing images, it never occurred to me to get involved into the art of filmmaking, why would it, I'm from a council estate from a tiny village in North Yorkshire, men in my village either became builders or farmers, so film school wasn't exactly on my radar, in fact nothing was on my radar, well, apart from being champion jockey, but that’s another blog.

So why would this love of moving images have anything to do with horses? Well horses in my opinion are one of the most beautiful creatures on this earth, so when they appear on your screens I want their beauty to stay that way. 

At the moment EP is generally known as a video marketing company, we help promote the equine world visually, whether that be in a TV commercial or a feature on Channel 4 Racing. 

My vision isn't just promotion. One day I would like EP to get into making documentaries or even feature films, I know I'm aiming high, but I truly believe that when it comes to creating beautiful images when involving the horse, we can get that shot. 

Now, I am a huge extreme sports fan, not because of the danger of what these people put themselves through, but the way that extreme sports is shown to us visually, it has that high energy, cinematic, cool engaging look, the stuff that makes the hairs on my neck stand up. 

So when I see the way these sports are shown to us, I'm always wondering, why isn't the equine world shown in the same way, is this the reason why our sport is looked on by some as elitist? 

So I ask myself on a regular basis, how do I inspire people visually when it comes to the equine world, what if we filmed horses in the same way extreme sports is filmed, what if I replaced that motor cycle rider or snowboarder with a horse and rider, how would our audience react by showing our love of horses in the same way extreme sports is shown visually. 

Would we inspire a different audience, or even a generation of kids to look at our sport and say “how cool was that?”, “How do I get involved?” “Horse riding is cool” which to all of us who have ever ridden horses, it is cool, it is exiting, so that’s what I bring to the table, a different outlook of how we show horses visually.

One production company that I’m a huge fan of and has inspired me more than any other is a company called Brain Farm http://www.brainfarmcinema.com, they are based in Jackson Wyoming, they have brought the art of film making to the extreme sports world, with the use of cinema cameras and high end production values, they have put themselves on the map as leaders in filming snowboarding. 

Brain Farm is run by a guy called Curt Morgan, now he started out like me, a person that was involved in the sport he is now filming, for me it was horse racing, for Curt it was snowboarding, but after an unfortunate accident Curt broke his back and had to hang up his snow boots and pick up a camera, as for me, I got sick of the taste of hospital food and tired of looking up at St Johns ambulance men while lying on the ground, I decided to hang up my riding boots. 

So when I saw the film Art Of Flight http://youtu.be/kh29_SERH0Y, a snowboarding film made by Brain Farm that was my eureka moment - that’s when it came to me to try and show the world of horses in the same way this film has shown me snowboarding. 

Anyway hopefully you haven't started snoring yet with the boredom of my blog, I hope it’s given you an insight to why some of our videos have a certain look, I have to say I have enjoyed writing this even though its taken me hours, unfortunately for you our next blog is from the Welsh wizard, our very own Dave James.

Nathan

Exciting times

Sam here. Apologies for this being a little bit self-indulgent, but I just wanted to write a quick line on reflecting on how excited we are by how things are progressing for us, and for the video production world generally. 

When we started this company in the spring of 2012, it was borne out of a joint vision of growth. I'm not even sure the phrase "a joint vision of growth" really means anything, so let me try to explain.

Three things were the case at that time.

  1. DSLR video production was growing, creating beautiful, filmic content that was within even the most modest of budgets
  2. Video online was growing rapidly generally
  3. The equine world, generally speaking, was a little bit behind the game in terms of quality and quantity of content

If we could only marry these three things together, we felt sure we could be onto a winner. So, driven by a love of wanting to show our passion, our pursuit, in the best way possible, and try new things, we set upon our journey.

By the end of 2012, we had produced promotional videos for a string of racing trainers, several promos for different organisations and even made two TV commercials. The vision was beginning to pay dividends. 

In 2013 we took out a stand at BETA International (http://www.beta-int.com) and continued to grow, travelling internationally for our clients while we pushed out as far and wide as we could. In this year we moved into bigger offices as things began to get really serious. 

And here we are half way through 2014, and things are thriving. Our client list reads like a who's-who of horseracing, and we are thrilled to be working with some of the biggest equestrian brands in the UK as well. Our work is being shown regularly on Channel 4 Racing (thanks to our work with the QIPCO British Champions Series), and we have adverts running on Horse & Country TV and Racing UK. At Royal Ascot 2014, our work was being shown to tens of thousands on the big screens. Really, sometimes we have to pinch ourselves.

All the while, we are continuing to innovate, always trying new angles, rigs, cameras and techniques as we look to push the boundaries as far as we can, while always, always keeping horse-care central to everything we do. 

We've moved again into bigger offices as our team grows, and we have massive plans for the future. The economy widely is continuing to improve, demand for video online is booming, and more and more equine firms are realising the importance of advertising on TV. We're producing more content than ever before for a brilliantly wide range of clients. There is a realisation now that video content is something that can make a brand, really sell a facility, or can translate a personality, like no other medium. Crucially, within the equine world we're in, there is also a growing thirst for quality. A "that'll do" attitude is almost a thing of the past. We're not there yet, but we nearly are. 

So, as the title says, we're in exciting times. Roll on the future.