Niche Productions relies on Panasonic P2 for Indy video

Niche Productions, based in Dayton, OH, recently shot a music video for Kenny Brack’s “Legend of the Speedway,” a song honoring famed racer A.J.Foyt’s fifty years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his five historic Indy 500 wins. Director/DP Allen Farst, principal of Niche Productions, shot the video on-site at the Speedway with Panasonic AG-HVX200 DVCPRO P2 HD camcorders — one camcorder was used handheld, the second airborne in a remote-controlled heli-cam from Dayton-based Perfect Perspectives Aerial.

The video is currently airing as a promo on ABC affiliates nationwide (ABC will broadcast the 2007 Indy 500—the world’s largest one-day sporting event–beginning noon on Sunday, May 27), and is shown multiple times daily at the Speedway’s hundreds of play-out devices, including 35 large-scale LED displays. (See the music video on line at www.brackmusic.com.)

Farst and Brack’s new band (simply called Brack) were given only three days to shoot, edit and complete the rock video. Essential props included the five vintage race cars with which Foyt won the Indy 500 (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977, 1999), along with his original helmets, goggles and racing suits. (In 1999, Foyt served as team owner while racer-turned-rocker Kenny Brack drove the car.) The Speedway’s turn four served as a backdrop while Farst shot Brack and his band performing “Legend,” their debut single.

On day two, working in the basement of the Speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum, Farst shot greenscreen work with contemporary racer Tyler Walker, who resembles Foyt as a young man. The music video also makes use of archival footage of Foyt at the Speedway.

“I love the immediacy of the camera and its small size,” Farst said. “I make considerable use of its off-speed effects, and I have come to count on the fact that there’s no need to digitize before editing. Saving editing time was critical to the Brack video as we had to deliver the finished project less than 36 hours after we finished shooting.”

Farst shoots with 8GB cards, which he offloads either to his Apple MacBook Pro or Lacie drives. He edits in Final Cut Pro and, on the Brack project, used Apple’s Shake to assemble composited scenes.

Farst owns two HVX200s, which he has used to shoot a full-length DVD profiling NASCAR sensation Kasey Kahne, a “Get Real Wine” Bordeaux DVD in France last fall, and commercial spots with Keith Urban to promote the singer’s charitable work in Nashville, TN, among other projects.