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Robert Shepard 12-19-2013 03:41 PM

Filming a commerical with Hagerty Insurance
Several weeks ago I received a phone call from a marketing executive with Hargerty Insurance. He asked if I would be interested in having my 1975 Miller-Meteor Criterion ambulance and my 1972 Honda CB350K4 Super Sport motorcycle appear in Hagerty Insurance commercials and print ads. He explained that he, along with their in-house film crew, were scheduled for a shoot at South Mountain Park in Phoenix. Upon further discussion, I accepted his invitation and cleared my calendar for the day of the shoot.

It was a clear and warm day when the transporter arrived to pick up my motorcycle. The operator took great care with loading and securing the old Honda. I am very fond of the bike, as it has just 6,000 original miles on the odometer, and has always been garaged. The transporter then departed to pick up 2 additional classic motorcycles. I then got behind the wheel of my ambulance and began the 45 minute trip to the park. Upon arrival at the park ranger station; I was greeted by the Hagerty executive. He had me follow him to the film location high atop the mountain. The feeder road leading to the filming area was blocked by a ranger, who was stationed there to keep out pedestrians and vehicles not associated with the shoot. The feeder road ended at a circular lookout area that offered dramatic views of the “Valley of the Sun” and the surrounding mountains. A film crew had set-up to get shots of the road leading to the lookout area, which is across a gorge.

My ambulance was the only car present, although they may have filmed others the day before. In addition to my Honda there was a 1960’s vintage Triumph T-100, a 1950’s era Harley-Davidson, and an early 80’s BMW R series. The BMW was filmed prior to the arrival of the other motorcycles, and was not included in the session I was there for.
The filming and still photography sessions took 5 hours to complete. We were filmed riding up and down the mountain road, around turns, as well as on level straightaways. This included following the film truck, as well as riding by prepositioned cameras. At one point the cameraman was lying on the pavement and filmed us from a low angle.

After the motorcycle session had concluded, they instructed me to drive my ambulance around the mountain and stop on the straightaway in front of the crew. They also asked me to come to a stop by blocking both lanes of the road. I then asked the ranger who was assigned to us for security if the park had a noise abatement policy. Knowing where I was going with my question, he said I could make all the noise I wanted.

I fired up the Criterion and turned on all its emergency lights and drove away using just the B&M Super Chief Siro-Drift siren. The crew later told me the wail of the siren echoed through the canyons and gorges, and was really something to hear.

The ambulance was filmed from across the gorge as it climbed the mountain, and then, by another camera, as it rounded the turn leading to the straightaway. Once I was on level ground, I could see the crew down the road. The cameramen were standing, as was the sound technician with his boom microphone. However, there was something out of place with the other members of the crew. One was supine on the road with another appearing to perform CPR. Yet another was standing waving his arms above his head. Not wanting to spoil their fun, I continued forward while I goosed the siren. As it was winding down, I pulled across both lanes and came to a stop. They loved it!
The still photographer continued taking shots for another 20 minutes. We all then returned to the lookout area for refreshments and fellowship. Hagerty gave each of us a large insulated swag bag filled with Logo clothing and a host of other goodies and our honorarium.

The Hagerty marketing team are a fun group and very professional in their work. It was a pleasure to share time with them. I received a Christmas card this week, signed by the entire crew, thanking me for my participation.

The commercials and print ads associated with this shoot will start to appear in January 2014. The commercials will be aired on the channels owned by Discovery. They will be shown during the televised portions of the Barrett-Jackson (Westworld) auction, as well as “Chasing Classic Cars”. The print ads will be featured in Hemming’s and other collectible automobile related publications.

David Martin 12-19-2013 05:28 PM

Congrat's Robert. I'm sure you had more than one blast that day :D

Most residents/visitors never know that South Mountain park is the second largest park in a City, behind New York's.

Bill Marsh 12-19-2013 05:43 PM

That DOES sound like a lot of fun! Let us know when and where the commercials will air.

Robert Shepard 12-19-2013 07:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by David Martin (Post 117382)
Congrat's Robert. I'm sure you had more than one blast that day :D

Most residents/visitors never know that South Mountain park is the second largest park in a City, behind New York's.

16,000 acres, and outstanding vistas.

Russell Street 12-19-2013 07:45 PM

We always enjoyed the view(s) from up on South Mountain. We went up there one year on the Fourth of July, not nearly as impressive as we booms!!

Bill Marcy 12-19-2013 07:55 PM

Congratulations Robert! It seems that you had a good time, while showing off your gorgeous ambulance.

John ED Renstrom 12-19-2013 10:36 PM

it will be nice to see how they use what they got. how long has it been since you did one of those one man code calls?

John Burchfield 12-19-2013 11:58 PM

Wow, how cool is that that from all the classic cars Hagerty had to choose from they would pick a classic ambulance! And how lucky for you Robert that they were interested in your beautiful Criterion! This seems to be more evidence that our cars are much more accepted and appreciated in the old car hobby than they once were.

Robert Shepard 12-20-2013 11:50 AM

Update: Hagerty has informed me that they will be sending me a DVD containing some of the video shot during the filming of the commercial. Additionally, they will also provide me a host of still photos. It is my understanding that the aforementioned will be sent prior to the first commercial airing and print ad releases.

Hargerty will soon provide me with an airing schedule that will include the programs the commercials will be featured on, along with the dates and times. I also expect to get a print ad campaign schedule.

Also, I failed to mention in my earlier post that each video take had the motorcycles in the same riding formation. This was done to allow for easy editing. We used a 3 bike staggered formation. The first bike (Triumph) was positioned near the centerline of the road. I filled in the 2nd position (Honda)on the outside of the lane, and the Harley-Davidson was riding near the centerline.

Noah Dorsey 12-20-2013 03:59 PM

That's going to be an awesome commercial!

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