Filmed Locally; Shown Globally

Blogger: Tessa Higgs

It’s a normal day in the office. A meeting request pops up on my screen: “SRPGA Commercial Planning.” I’m not sure what this is all about, but I coordinate photo/video shoots all the time. I’m sure it’s not a big deal. We’ll write a short script, get a few shots around the resort and we’ll call it a day. What I didn’t know, it was going to be the largest video production at the resort to date.

I attend the meeting and learn that the resort has partnered with Visit French Lick West Baden to produce our first-ever international commercial. Director Jacob Sherry, from New York, will lead the production of the 30-second spot (We hired a director for this? This IS a big deal). The commercial would air during the Senior PGA Championship Presented by KitchenAid on the Golf Channel and NBC.

30 seconds – that doesn’t seem too long, right? Little did I know the hundreds of hours that are put into that half-minute. Three days of scouting took place before production actually began. The crew spent countless hours walking the resort and touring the towns of French Lick and West Baden to find the perfect locations. A fellow marketing colleague even drove Jacob around the curvy and hilly roads of Orange County for eight hours just to find the most picturesque setting (it, of course, had to be the very last place they visited).

A couple of longer days ensued as filming began. On day one, shooting started at sunrise when the crew of 20 or more shut down S.R. 145 as they filmed near Patoka Lake. The end of the day was every bit as pretty as the start as they set up for a sunset shot on The Pete Dye Course. A golf model was hired and a vintage Ferrari was rented for the day.

Day two was entirely filmed in the library at West Baden Springs Hotel. Here, an illustrator and a Pete Dye look-alike were used to recreate the scene of Pete sketching the course on his now legendary napkin. That shot alone took ten hours and numerous napkins to stage.

I was amazed by the amount of manpower and equipment used during the entire week they were here. Scenes were shot in a variety of ways with a drone, body camera, car-mounted chase camera and a track-mounted camera. Basically, if a camera could be mounted on it, it was probably used!

After filming, Jacob flew back to his New York studio to work his magic. He spent the next week trimming hours of video to a mere 30 seconds. We received the final version of the commercial last week and we’ve been anxiously waiting to show it off to the world (literally).

Look for our commercial during the coverage of the Senior PGA Championship Presented by KitchenAid. Tune in to the Golf Channel from 1 – 4pm on Thursday and Friday and on NBC from 1:30 – 4:30pm on Saturday and 3:30 – 6pm on Sunday.