Automotive Videography: My New Passion Project

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Canon Vixia HF R800 Camcorder. (Photo by Dan Fisher)

I use to record videos on my smartphone, until my brother and his friends got me this Canon Vixia HFR800 Cam Corder.

After shooting video of my friend’s Toyota Truckolla project in February from my cell phone, Nikola Vlacic said to me in a phone conversation that I did very well in shooting video, and I can do even better through the use of a camcorder. He said he believed me using an actual video camera, and editing video would be a great skill set to show on my resume in pursuing a rewarding career.

Since then, I used my new camera for filming car-related activities, such as vlogging about my time at the junk yard and attending an open autocross event in Brooksville, Florida.

Though my first time using the camcorder was at the 65th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring in March, a motor racing venue I have been going to since 2013 — which is a place I call my vacation home because of my interest in cars and racing.

From my experience at Sebring International Raceway, it was hot and dry during the day, and freezing cold at night. Though the weather itself failed to weigh down my drive to film the race from every turn and sector of the 3.74-mile road circuit, for I was determined to capture the best shots based on the perspective of my naked eyes.

After spending time window shopping around the race merchandise huts before the start of the race, I strolled over to the hairpin of Turn 7 to begin my video making expedition — regarded as “Sebring’s most famous turn,” according to my race day viewing guide brochure.

The green flag waved at about 10 a.m. for the 12 hour race, as the field of 46 cars roared through Turn One Suites and Kristensen Corner while each competitor raced each other neck and neck, double filed.

About five laps later, I plotted a course to Cunningham Corner (the 10th turn of the racetrack after the Fangio Chicane) to capture more shots of race cars entering and exiting through sharp turns after driving flat out through the chicane. My desire to capture this shot, and the previous scene at the hairpin is to give a visual of the challenge drivers face in the precision of approaching turns on a racetrack without crashing either into other cars, or into the guard rails near where spectators see the action.

My journey then brings me to Bishop Bend (Turn 14) where I video recorded the cars accelerating after the Tower Turn onto Flying Fortress Straight, with the Cadillac DPi-V.R.’s and Oreca FLM09’s roaring off into the horizon leading toward Gendebien Bend (Turn 15) and the Le Mans Curve (Turn 16). My brochure says Sebring Airport near Turn 13 “gives a unique historic context” of Sebring Raceway, which was a shot I felt eager to capture behind the lenses.

Tired and thirsty from the hot, dry weather, I decided to film the final turn of Sebring near Sunset Bend before heading back to camp to have lunch, and play baseball using random fruit and Nikola Vlacic’s numb chucks for a baseball bat. I would eventually return back to Turn 17 because my brochure said Turn 17 is among the recommended places to shoot by catching “the cars as they accelerate out of Sebring’s longest turn.”

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Me on TV on the left filming footage of post-race celebration, cursor pointed at my face while wearing a University of South Florida. It’s funny that I was filming in the middle of Fox Sports 1’s coverage of the 12 Hours of Sebring — talk about making television history.  (Screenshot by Dan Fisher)

As the sun heads off to bed for the night around 8:18 p.m., the evening skies reveals its natural beauty — in addition to the United Launch Alliance Delta IV complimenting the night skies while blasting off into space. Just the perfect time to film the racing action at night both at Turn 7, and 17.

Although my video did not have the best of quality during the evening, for I am still learning the methods of video making and photography, I believe that the experience of filming a motor racing event was a life-changing moment for myself. I enjoyed it to the extent that I considered video making or photography as another professional career path to pursue. As I filmed the victory celebrations at Sebring, I began reflecting on how far I have come in my life in learning various technical skill sets — not just magazine journalism writing.

Now working part time as a beach attendant at Sharkey’s On The Pier in Venice, Florida while being active on my automotive blog, I feel more motivated than ever to continue this passion project I created in July 2016, even after I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in December. While pursuing my dream career in automotive magazine journalism, I have decided to continue using this blog as a foundation builder to express my passion for cars, and talents in multimedia works while earning money at my job to help sustain my standard of living.

This post is by no means to exaggerate or brag about what I do in my spare time, but rather provide a visual documentation of doing something I love and feel passionate about doing because I love my work while working at my own pace. I love making and presenting these multimedia projects because cars and motor racing are to me a work of art, and a way of life.

 

 

 

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