Vault Productions press release (April 18, 2016): Release dates for the Vault Productions documentary series “A Chronological History of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl” have been delayed, with no confirmation yet on when parts 3 through 6 will be available. Parts 1 and 2 were released in late 2015, with initial plans to release the remaining prior to the start of the Speedbowl’s 2016 season. Track historian & executive producer Tom DiMaggio admits that was an over-aggressive plan that wasn’t very realistic.
“This project continues to be quite the experience. I knew from the start it was a huge undertaking, but now that I’m getting deep into the post-production, I’ve realized it’s even more time consuming than I initially thought.” DiMaggio utilizes Vault Productions’ vast amount of Speedbowl archival footage, pictures & news clippings to incorporate into the stories told by the interviewees. “We are so fortunate to have a massive archive of Speedbowl history” DiMaggio explains “Almost every program ever published, thousands upon thousands of photographs, hundreds of events on VHS video or 8mm film or DVD, trade papers & newspapers, reel-to-reel audio, radio broadcast, local TV broadcasts, rule books, track documents… it is honestly quite impressive. And it’s all very organized, which helps. But even while staying very organized, it’s still very time consuming which speaks to just how big this project really is.”
Vault Productions, led by DiMaggio, has been researching Speedbowl history since 2005 and has conducted over 55 interviews with Speedbowl personalities to help tell the story of the track’s continuing history from inaugural season in 1951 to today. Actual production of the documentary series began in 2010 with their very first interview of Don Benvenuti, one of the members of the original ownership group.
“Parts 1 & 2 went relatively smoothly, and then I miscalculated on how quickly I could get the rest done.” DiMaggio said he won’t make the mistake of announcing a release date the rest of the series again until all the editing is completed, and for now, will just concentrate on getting the rest of the project edited. “I really want to be done by the end of this calendar year, but as I’ve learned multiple times already, many things can happen to delay the process so I can’t say for sure yet if that’ll be the case. I need to just concentrate on getting it done, instead of worrying about when I should have it done by.”
There will be one significant change to future releases. DiMaggio confirmed that the series will now be available on a pay-per-view basis via the Sid’s Vault Productions YouTube channel, and admits he should have done that from the beginning. “This project was never about making money, but maybe if I thought about that a little more though, I would’ve had this all planned out right from the beginning. It all started simply as a unique way to preserve the history of my hometown track and, for me personally, to gain invaluable experience as a video editor & producer. But it’s simply become too big of a project to not consider all the monetary options there are out there these days” Each of the 6-part series will be available as a 48-hour rental (99¢) or purchase ($4.99).
DiMaggio admits, by “force of habit so to speak“, that initially trying to release the documentary in similar fashion to the web series “Sid’s View” was not the best approach. “Sid’s View is all about the immediacy of the current events. People leave the track on Saturday night talking about a particular race or a close finish or a wild wreck, and it’s my job to come home and edit it as fast as I can so that it’s out on social media while the buzz is still hot. So I had that philosophy in my head when I was planning the documentary: As soon as part 1 is done, get it out to the masses. But there’s no need for that kind of rush with the documentary… other than I want everyone to see it as soon as possible. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to stuff like that”
Members of the production crew who’ve contributed to the documentary series over the years include Jesse Gleason, Brent Gleason, Steve Appleby, Kathy Courtemanche, Bob Lucas and DiMaggio’s wife Tiesha. Sponsors of the Sid’s View web series who also support the documentary series are Honest John’s Used Cars of North Branford, Michael V. Williams Builders of Old Lyme, Nick’s Service Center of North Branford and Waddell Communications of Plainville, CT. DiMaggio also credits the entire racing community for their collective efforts in loaning Speedbowl memorabilia to use in the project.
Anyone interested in monetarily supporting the documentary series can call the Vault Productions office at 860.598.9319 or email SidsVaultProductions@gmail.com. Anyone willing to provide Speedbowl memorabilia or video footage for this project, can also call or email Vault Productions.
The documentary series is based on Vault Productions research of the Speedbowl found online at speedbowlhistory.com
People can get the latest updates on all of Vault Productions video projects by following the Sid’s Vault Productions Facebook page.