Charlotte Apprentice Teams up with NASCAR

Written by Roger Woodruff

If someone asked me to describe the last six months of my life in one word, it would be NASCAR. While some people might find this assignment a radical adjustment from their daily life, I was in my element. NASCAR has always been a part of my life. In fact, Skip says I’m the first apprentice to work for Go To Team who is a NASCAR fan. Being able to work in the infield and travel from race to race, I experienced the awesome wonder of working in an environment I always dreamed of being in. This makes me one lucky dog!

The season starts out in February with a few intense days known as the Hanger Shoot.  Fox Sports literally rents out an entire airplane hanger in Daytona.  Then about five rooms are constructed for the various shoots that will be going on there.  Throughout the day every NASCAR driver makes his way through the hanger.  During this shoot, Fox produces all the footage the network uses for bumps, promos, and b-roll.  The amount of people and the energy required for this shoot is truly incredible.  I may have been the new kid on the block, but I jumped in and, among other tasks, helped construct the truss.

The hanger shoot kicked off my year of incredible moments. For example, if you think the hanger shoot sounds like a great time, the track is even better. There my dreams came true—I worked with the likes of NASCAR legends D.W. and Jeff Hammond! As a dedicated NASCAR fan, I watched these guys on television for nearly a decade. Now, I was mic’n them up and working with them on a weekly basis. How surreal! Actually, almost everything about the last few months have been a bit surreal. Traveling to all the tracks, being in victory lane, and mic’n up drivers still seems strange. There are definitely times when I have to pinch myself!

The shoot later that day was with Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood.  They attempted to fish in the bay and of course the outcome was a comical one.  It was a great shoot, not just because classic landmarks like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge surrounded us; but because I thrived on the challenge of getting good audio—wind and water certainly threaten anyone’s ability to achieve superior sound quality during a shoot.

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Staff Director of Photography, Roger Woodruff is based in Waco, TX.

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