To share the magic of Christmas, Horseware is giving fans the chance to make their horsey wish come true with 25 days of #horsewarewishes. To kick off the festivities, EP realised the creative vision of Emma Massingale, whose Connemara ponies took on the new role of Christmas wish granters for Horseware. They made for a useful stepladder and showed off their talents as Christmas tree decorators, oh and they also make a mean noseless snowman.Read More
Equine Productions celebrate success after winning two prestigious awards at leading equine film festival
Equine Productions picked up two awards at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York. Visual Director, Nathan Horrocks, was awarded Best International Director for “Many Clouds, The People’s Horse”, and “Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store”, won Best International Commercial.
A tribute to former Grand National winner, “Many Clouds, The People’s Horse” captures the journey of racing star, Many Clouds, during his acclaimed career - from the rise of his talent on the national hunt circuit, to his triumph at the 2015 Grand National. The story of Many Clouds was closely followed by Equine Productions and the horse holds special memories for Visual Director Nathan Horrocks, the gelding’s former exercise rider and director of the film.
On winning Best International Director, Nathan said he was “completely overwhelmed”. During the weekend, he received high praise from fellow award winning filmmakers from across the globe.
“I entered the film into the festival to share the Many Clouds story with an American audience, to show how much he was loved, but I never expected to win. 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 film was created using interviews and footage, originally commissioned by the Jockey Club in the lead up to the 2016 Grand National and the material was reused by kind permission of ITV Racing and Racing UK.
This is the third year in a row Equine Productions has triumphed at EQUUS Film Festival.
“Thank you to the Equine Productions team who put up with my tears and emotion whilst piecing together the Many Clouds footage. A special thank you to trainer of Many Clouds, Oliver Sherwood, and owner Trevor Hemmings, for bringing him into my life. The investment and hard work that goes into these top horses allows us to appreciate and love these incredible animals.” Nathan Horrocks
Watch Many Clouds, The People’s Horse here.
Moving away from the racetrack, roaming free ponies and other animals were the stars of the show in the “Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store commercial.” Here, Emma Massingale, utilised her unique training methods to create a “Night at the Museum” inspired commercial promoting the launch of a brand new Mole Valley Farmers store in Holsworthy. Featuring ponies, a dog, a chicken and a duck in a shopping takeover, the commercial follows the animals around the store, secretly helping staff members behind the scenes, taking on tasks such as pushing trollies, moving feed sacks and posing as pretend horse mannequins.
“It’s absolutely brilliant to win another award in New York, working with Equine Productions is always great fun and we knew from the cast of horses, ponies, a duck, a chicken, a dog and two Shetlands, that it would be a challenging but entertaining shoot. I love thinking of crazy ideas and then seeing the horses’ amazing ability to bring them to life. You can teach horses and other animals pretty much anything but only when they make it their own does it look truly magical on screen!!” Emma Massingale
“We at Mole Valley Farmers are delighted to be involved in such an exciting and creative production, and we’re thrilled that it has been recognised on a global stage. The combination of Emma Massingale’s brilliant ability with animals, and Equine Productions’ film know-how, created something really special, and we couldn’t be happier with the reaction the film continues to receive.” Andy Skarzynski, Head of Marketing at Mole Valley Farmers
The popular commercial has just under one million views online, watch Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store below:
“Without Emma’s dedication and talent, this film would have been unachievable. The reaction at EQUUS Film Festival was unbelievable and the commercial was incredibly well received. The team at Mole Valley Farmers were brilliant at taking on such a brave creative and allowing us free rein – especially in their brand new store!!” Dave James, Creative Director at Equine Productions
“These awards are a great recognition for our team’s talent and dedication. We’re proud of every film we produce and to have these accolades is really special for everybody.” Sam Fleet, Managing Director at Equine Productions
The EQUUS Film Festival took place at the Helen Mills Theater in New York between 17 – 19 November 2017.
JockeyCam Live receives an overwhelming response at the prestigious Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Del Mar
Racing fans worldwide experienced a new level of spectating at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships through the online stream of live JockeyCam action. JockeyCam – a specially designed helmet camera - is a state-of-the-art device, offering a first-hand perspective in the tactical decision-making process a jockey is faced with on race day, allowing fans a foot in the stirrup sensation. The shots were used on NBC Sports' coverage and streamed live on the Breeders’ Cup website and app.
The JockeyCam footage followed leading U.S jockey Mike Smith, who wore the 74g camera strap on his helmet in most of his Breeders’ Cup rides said: “I don't even realise I have it on". Share the saddle with Smith on route to his win on Caledonia Road in the Juvenile Fillies here.
With an out-of-sync body clock, JockeyCam excitement overload and a stash of American treats for the office, we caught up with EP Managing Director, Sam Fleet, who we’ve placed in the hot seat to face the EP quick-fire Q&A.
JockeyCam Live received unprecedented exposure during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. It clearly went down a storm, you must be delighted with the response from audiences?
There was a massive JockeyCam buzz throughout the event – from the public and the press. We had great exposure as a result of some great interview spots set-up by the Breeders’ Cup team, including my first ever live news TV interview alongside Mike Smith with Erin Myers from KTLA, which was broadcast across LA and south California. We had exciting coverage from Forbes and NBC, even my Uber driver on Saturday night had seen the JockeyCam action thanks to an interview Nathan did with the local San Diego NBC station. Aston Martin sponsored the JockeyCam coverage, and they had a film crew on the Wednesday who followed us around, which was great fun – we enjoyed being the other side of the camera for once!!
How did the team set-up JockeyCam Live at Del Mar and what goes into the production behind JockeyCam Live during an event of this kind?
We did a test trip in August for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar Racecourse, this proved useful in laying a foundation for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. We set-up receive antennas around the racetrack, which picked up the jockey images and fibred them back to our RF (Radio Frequency) team at base, situated at the top of the grandstand. Back in the UK we usually work with a tracking vehicle which the antennas are attached to, however the Racecourse at Del Mar has no road for tracking vehicles so this was a new challenge and we were very pleased with the results.
We arrived in Del Mar on the Monday ahead of the weekend to give us plenty of time to set-up. Due to our testing over the summer, we managed to have everything in position for pre-event testing on Wednesday - we felt very organised and ahead of the game!!
On race day, visual director, Nathan and creative director Dave, based themselves in the jockey’s room to assist Mike Smith. They worked closely with Mike’s valet, keeping everything running as smoothly as possible behind the scenes to ensure we did not disturb his routine. I based myself in the production truck, monitoring the live pictures feed through. This feed was split to NBC for use on TV and to the online stream available worldwide - it was incredibly exciting to watch.
JockeyCam was designed especially for equestrian sports in mind. What makes JockeyCam so unique and why is it different to other head cameras out there?
Genuine POV from the perspective of the jockey, and incredibly light-weight. The point-of-view lens is just above the eye-line, so it truly captures what the jockey is seeing to provide a heightened viewing experience for the audience. The camera weights just 74g so it’s hardly noticeable, a bit like wearing an extra pair of goggles.
Find out more about JockeyCam here.
What was your favourite moment during your week in Del Mar?
I have two favourite moments…
First, having everything up and running on Friday – it was a great thrill to see it in action in our first Breeders’ Cup race!
Secondly, watching Mike Smith in real-time win the Juvenile Fillies on Caledonia Road is something I’ll never forget. It was awesome to cheer them home in the truck, but the reaction from people at home who were watching the live stream was overwhelming. It was great to share these shots, as normally I have watched them just in the truck with one or two engineers, but to know they could be watched live from anywhere in the world was fantastic. I was receiving messages from friends and family back home, including my dad, who lives in a small town in Cornwall, who were watching the live-stream of Mike Smith’s win. That was a very special moment.
You must have big plans for JockeyCam Live, what next?
On one level we’re always looking to improve JockeyCam and what it can deliver – we are constantly looking for technical innovations, what more can the camera do while keeping it as light-weight as possible. On a larger scale, the ambition is to have every rider wearing a live JockeyCam unit in a race, enabling viewers to ride with whoever they want to. It’d also be amazing to see JockeyCam featuring live on the big screen at racecourses. We are confident we will achieve this one day and are aiming for JockeyCam to be a normal part of spectating, allowing audiences an insight to life on the back of a racehorse.
Tell us more about Del Mar, what did you make of the town and racecourse?
Del Mar is a beautiful town and the people there are so warm, friendly and helpful. We are so grateful to the team at Del Mar racecourse for their support. We were made to feel incredibly welcome at the racecourse, behind the scenes in the production TV compound, and down at the track for morning testing with Xavier Aizpuru, and that is something I’ll never forget.
It’s a place I would love to take my family back to one day.
I’d also like to say a special thank you to our team back in the UK, working away behind the scenes on all other aspects of the EP business – they did a great job at keeping the show on the road. This really allowed us to focus on the task ahead at Del Mar, safe in the knowledge things were all good at home. This was so comforting, we really do have a great team.
Equine Productions JockeyCam Live to showcase leading U.S jockey’s perspective at prestigious international thoroughbred racing event in California
JockeyCam Live will feature at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Del Mar on 3rd and 4th November, offering racing fans a first-hand perspective in the decision-making process a jockey is faced with on race day.
As part of the Breeders’ Cup newly enhanced digital platforms, aimed at providing audiences with a real-time insight to the event, Equine Productions were approached by the organisers of Breeders’ Cup and television network NBC to bring their specially designed JockeyCam to this prestigious international event in thoroughbred horseracing. Leading U.S jockey, Mike Smith, who is riding some of this year’s top horses, will wear the helmet camera and transmitter for all of his races. The live feed will be streamed on the Breeders’ Cup website and app, allowing for a seamless experience for fans on-site and at home, as well as playing a part in NBC’s live TV coverage.
Previously featured on Channel 4 and ITV, Equine Productions have designed JockeyCam specifically with equine sports in mind, weighing just 74g including the strap. It delivers full HD pictures and live broadcast streaming via RF (radio frequency) technology:
“The press attention on JockeyCam has been immense since the team arrived on U.S soil. We have TV interviews scheduled alongside setting-up all equipment before the weekend - there’s a real buzz!! ItiIs fantastic to be a part of this prestigious event and are delighted to be working with the Breeders’ Cup and NBC - we now look forward to sharing this visual experience with its audiences.” Sam Fleet, Managing Director at Equine Productions
About the Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 Grade I races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million, will be held November 3-4 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. The Breeders’ Cup culminates with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was rated No. 1 in the world in the final 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race rankings.
Team EP prepare for a day at the races ahead of the highly anticipated Equine Productions Handicap at Newbury Racecourse
Cameras and microphones will be replaced by smart attire and champagne tomorrow when the EP team head to Newbury Racecourse for the Equine Productions Handicap as part of the October Afternoon Racing. This EP sponsored the race is class number four at will start at 4pm. Guest appearances include former Champion Jockey Jim Crowley, Jockey Coach Nick Bentley and World Hurdle winning trainer Warren Greatrex.
There will be a few racing first-timers amongst the team, but with expert knowledge across the rest of the team, they will be in safe hands. The team will be treated to one of the best views in the house from their hospitality box and with sun forecast, it’s set to be a beautiful day. Time to prepare the outfits, pack the binoculars and read up on the racing tips. Stay posted on our FB page for updates throughout the day.
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 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.
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.
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
“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.
Heel, hup and hurdle - paw powered pathfinders were the first on course to tackle Captain Mark Phillips’ four-star cross-country track at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. With fences reaching up to 1.40 metres high and stretching two metres wide, the dogs made light work of the challenge, showing-off their scope, speed and agility.
Watching the film, it’s maybe easy to forget about the team behind the camera lens, who had a tough job keeping up with the dogs. To find out more about the action behind the scenes, we put our EP Production Manager, Kathy Stringer, in the hot seat.
In case you missed it, catch up on Dogs Do Burghley here:
How was the idea of Dogs Do Burghley formed?
Earlier this year the fab team at CAA, Burghley's PR and marketing agency, said they would love to take on the parkour runner film we made for them last year, showing the Burghley cross-country course in a different way. They thought agility dogs could be a great way to show this, and we loved the idea from day one. It was just a case of turning a great idea into a film which worked.
In the film there are no humans in sight, how did you manage this?
It wasn’t easy!! We had to suss out lots of clever camera angles so the dog trainer, Ellena Swift, was not in shot, even though she was with them at all times. Admittedly, there were a few edits needed to cut out the odd arm or leg. The team were all so impressed with Ellena and the dogs who behaved impeccably, especially when they had to sit patiently off-camera and watch their canine friends perform a take. It was a great shoot, lots of fun was had.
How did you plan for this, with seven dogs, thirty-one obstacles, across 6500 metres of parkland, surely there was a fair amount of improvisation on the day?
First up we walked the course, to prepare a plan for each fence, it was a very wet day but it proved incredibly helpful in getting everything prepped properly. On the day of filming, with glorious weather, we gave a time allowance for each fence and at some points we had two groups on different fences to help speed up the process and keep the dogs full of energy. It all worked out really well, we just had to keep things moving.
What was most likely to go wrong, and did it?
Time pressure, losing the sun and the rain. In particular, some of the jumps had become wet and slippery which meant they were unsuitable for jumping on so instead we opted for a ducking or weaving approach!!
Ellena Swift’s dogs were phenomenal and made the four-star track look like a walk in the park, were there any fences they found particularly challenging?
No, they were absolutely fab. There wasn't a lead, collar or whistle in sight.
A highlight of the film has to be Fence 16ab – the Land Rover Dairy Farm. At 1.40 metres high, on an uphill approach, this is an impressive feat for the three Labradors (and William). How many takes did you need for this?
One, it was a bit of a fluke!!
Jack Russell William had a few ideas of his own, including some sneaky detours - how did he cope against the ‘big boys’?
William was the leader of the pack and his quirky character kept up the laughs. He had his own style of jumping and on most fences was lifted on and off by owner Debbie Lee – apart from Fence 33, the Picnic Table where he pinged off all by himself.
What was your favourite moment?
One of the highlights has to be William sitting in his bed at Fence 29ab, the FEI Classics Leaf Pit, just watching smugly as the other dogs sprint past. Overall, it was incredibly special to watch the relationship between Ellena and her dogs, the trust and love was evident. Of course it was also brilliant to see how well the film went down once we'd put it through edit. The Facebook comments were amazing - thousands of shares and likes and it's had almost 400k views to this point which is absolutely fab.
Huge thanks to Ellena Swift, Pumba, Wispa, Nala, Keepa, Tilda, Laddie, Debbie Lee and William.
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! :-)
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.
Watch the trailer to The Island Project - https://vimeo.com/143366649
Watch The Midnight Race here - https://youtu.be/MxsUpzK2XuQ
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1291 630089.
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! :-)
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.
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.”
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
Hello Hannah here, the newest addition to team EP.
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.
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…
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
For all the YouTube videos produced during this year’s Burghley click the link below https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpJWloFKan6b5LSq4UVZ8bg
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To see the Grand National JockeyCam footage click here
We're proud to say that we'll be working with Channel 4 Racing at the Grand National meeting with our Jockey Cam.
Since 2013 we've been working to bring a first person view to see what a jockeys sees while riding in a race, packaged in frame weighing less than 80 grams and delivering a full HD picture.
It's been quite a journey working with our developers, Lyte, and we hope you enjoy seeing the pictures generated over the next three days - and the future.
As mentioned below, we're grateful to all those within the racing industry who have offered their support, including the BHA and PJA, without whom we would never have got to this stage, and of course to all the jockeys who have worked with us.
The Channel 4 press release is below.
Channel 4 to use Jockey Cam at Grand National Festival
2014 Grand National winning jockey, Leighton Aspell, to wear first ever, high definition Jockey Cam
During the three-day Crabbie’s Grand National Festival, four top jump jockeys will wear Channel 4’s new jockey-cam for all races covered on Channel 4 including the spectacular four miles, three and a half furlongs showcase.
The high definition camera will give a jockey’s eye view of the Aintree courses, taking the audience right into the heart of the race – with footage used as part of the post-race analysis.
Leighton Aspell - last year’s Grand National winning jockey, will wear the light-weight purpose-built moulded camera in Saturday’s showcase when he takes up the ride on Hennessy Gold Cup winner and 25/1 fancy, Many Clouds. Gavin Sheehan, Will Kennedy and others have also agreed to wear the jockeycam with the kind support from their owners and trainers.
Thrilled with the opportunity to broadcast an initiative view from the Crabbie’s Grand National and other feature races, Denise Large, Director of Programmes for Channel 4 Racing, explains: “This year, Channel 4 viewers will be able to experience the jockeys point of view when riding around Aintree.
“I would like to thank the British Horseracing Authority and the Profession Jockeys Association for all of their support, and all the jockeys who have tested the camera on the training ground. Without them this would not be possible.
“This technology brings racing to the forefront amongst other sports who have developed on board POV cameras. It has been a major achievement to launch this High Definition jockeycam, and the development of such a small device with sound was paramount to it being able to be used in race riding. The results should give the most dynamic pictures and insight into the Grand National.”
Equine Productions has been working with Channel 4 and IMG to help develop the camera.
Director, Nathan Horrocks, adds: “We're so excited that people across the world are going to see these images and at such an important Festival.
“It’s something which is personally very close to my heart - I’m desperate for as many people as possible to see what a jockey goes through in a race, and also the courage of the horse, at first hand.
“Capturing a true first person perspective opens this up, and we’re grateful for all the support we’ve received from within the industry to help us reach this point.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.