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Old 12-19-2013, 02:41 PM
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Robert Shepard Robert Shepard is offline
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Default 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.
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Robert Shepard
President - Golden State Chapter
PCS Website Administrator
1975 Miller-Meteor Criterion Ambulance

Last edited by Robert Shepard; 12-19-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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