Honor of the Boy Scouts
Film crews don’t just show up coldly and start filming. Weeks before the event, the folks at Visit Indy will be compiling a comprehensive and up-to-date list of potential locations, from IMS to Plump’s Last Shot, for the Network Reconnaissance Team arriving before the game. “We’ll give them as much as they can use,” says Morgan Snyder, public relations manager at Visit Indy. “It can be as simple as refreshing the flyover and updating the skyline B roll. “
In the can
While it certainly feels like we’re getting a live look at what the city is doing during the game, nearly all of the cutaway footage is filmed in the days leading up to the event, if not earlier. The crews take care to obtain pictures adapted to the season and the climate expected on the day of the match.
Ready for our close-up
Once the crew chooses their spots, Visit Indy will work with the location to put their best face to the world. Sometimes this involves creating specific logos or graphics to display, such as with the scoring pylon at IMS or a design cut in the grass at Victory Field; other times, it’s as simple as installing lights in the colors of the competing teams as they do with the Lighthouse of Hope atop the zoo’s International Orangutan Center.
Film crews will rarely ask for a specific location that is not on the list provided, but sometimes they will ask to shoot an old standard from a different perspective. Visit Indy responded with big ideas like a flyby of the pyramids south to downtown, and small nuances like arranging access to residences atop Conrad for drone footage of Monument Circle and the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Lap it Up
Once for one Sunday night football game, Visit Indy went the extra mile to help NBC get a unique view of Lucas Oil by enlisting the street-legal IndyCar to slap a GoPro and drive around the stadium. “It took 10 rounds to get the right shot,” says Snyder.
During the game, you will notice that it is not just about flyovers. Sometimes the cameras take us inside, behind the scenes at some of Indy’s institutions. In the past, this has included walking Blue inside the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse or accessing the Underground Railroad stop in the basement of the Slippery Noodle. They even woke up the crew early in the morning to walk into St. Elmo’s kitchen and film the chefs slicing fresh horseradish for their iconic shrimp cocktail.
While the cutaway images aren’t always live, what commentators say to caption these shots generally is. In order to help the talking heads stay on point (and remember what city they’re in this week), Visit Indy is putting together what he calls a ‘soap opera’ full of stats, facts, details. and stories behind the scene. which will appear on the screen. “When you see the Indiana World War Memorial and hear them say something like, ‘Indy is right behind Washington, DC in number of monuments,’ they usually read our leaflet verbatim,” Snyder explains. .
Advertisers can pretty much say whatever they want about a city, on live TV and off, and Visit Indy doesn’t shy away from trying to win the favor of their guests. Once, legendary CBS commentator Jim Nantz was in town for March Madness. Visit Indy learned he had a strange taste for burnt toast and convinced the Conrad to burn bread and have it sent to his room on the morning of the game. Flattered, Nantz turned to social networks. “He said Hoosier Hospitality was alive and well,” Snyder says. “He said Indy is a city that understands.”