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Behind-the-scenes look at racing

Artist taps Kickstarter for funding help

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:02 pm

Coastside filmmaker and artist Susan Friedman loved horses since, while growing up in upstate New York, she’d eavesdrop on chats between her father and a neighbor who worked at a racetrack.

“I’ve always loved racing,” said the Half Moon Bay resident. She herself rescued a former racehorse and lovingly cared for and rode it until it died at age 24.

For five years, she has focused on making a film of a behind-the-scenes look into the world of horse racing, with the goal of making a film that would be installed in a major metropolitan museum. Now she is turning to Kickstarter.com for funding help for sound mixing and editing.

“Racetrack,” a film that Friedman envisions to be from nine to 11 minutes long, grew out of excursions to Golden Gate Fields. There, in the mornings while grooms cleaned, fed and exercised the racers, or on afternoons when races were run, bets were flying and winners glowed in the winners circle, Friedman was there capturing every nuance.

Holding her special slow-motion camera that captured 300 frames per second, she’d get down and dirty on the track as the racers pounded past. “You see legs and dirt flying,” she said exultantly. “It’s so slow-mo, you can see every muscle.”

She added that slow motion made the film almost a work of art. “It’s almost like a lyrical piece,” she said. “Beautiful because it’s slow-motion.”

With a goal of $6,000 toward installation of the film, Friedman turned to Kickstarter.com, an online support for those seeking funding for a variety of projects. Kickstarter will hold donations while Friedman does the legwork of reaching out to donors.

So far, Friedman says she has enlisted roughly 55 donors and raised nearly $4,000 toward her goal. The donation deadline is midnight, July 21, 2012.

“I’m really excited about it,” Friedman said.

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