Chaffee County Commissioners approved a special permit allowing Red Bull Media to conduct short road closures in the county while shooting video of their Formula One racing car. The permit will allow for six- to seven-minute closures of county roads 307, 371 and 375 at the Midland Tunnel and county road 187 between U.S. 24 and county road 307, between 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 27.
“We’ll be arriving in the county around 1 to 2 p.m. on Aug. 27 to shoot video for a web episode of the Red Bull F1 race car,” said Brooke Johnson of Colorado Film locations, contracted to Red Bull to scout the video sites. “This video documents the Colorado portion of a cross country trip to Miami for a Formula 1 race. It’s a very unique project. We’ll be running through the Midland Tunnels and we’ve had to get a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) permit too.”
He explained that the video will capture the trip up Independence Pass and in Leadville before heading south to Chaffee County. “This is a shortcut, that’s why we’re using gravel roads. We’ll be shooting video at 307 where it leaves the gravel.
“When I scouted this with the director, who’s from Aspen, we found the the Midland Tunnels. They are just dynamite. Our Pikes Peak driver, drove back this way and I told him to look at the tunnels. Well, he fell in love – there is nothing else anywhere like that sheer rock wall where CR 168 cuts off CR 307. We’re going to be using drones to shoot there from the air.”
Videotaping such a complicated shoot requires an agreement with Chaffee County that includes Emergency Medical Services crews, two sheriff’s deputies, road signage and agreements with the Colorado Department of Transportation, the town of Buena Vista and the Colorado state patrol. Johnson, who has 20 years of location work experience, said he personally oversees the video site. “I’m there with a stopwatch, listening to how much traffic is backed up so we keep things as smooth as possible.” Johnson stressed that they want people to avoid the area during the shoot. “This isn’t a spectator shoot. We’ll be sure to get web links to the media here so you can view the finished video.”
The arrival of a notable production company in Chaffee County may be no accident. “For years I’ve been coordinating shoots up in the Leadville area,” said Johnson, who last year did 15 car commercials in Colorado, including shoots for Tesla and Mercedes. “Until now Fraser and Leadville have been our go-to spots, but beetle kill has knocked out our country roads up there. We’ve used the Twin Lakes gas station, the airport. We’re looking further south. I’d like to see us do a lot more video work in Chaffee County.”