• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Video aims to capture ‘goodness’ of Versailles, Woodford County

People wondering why North Main Street was shut down one morning last week may be comforted to know that their temporary inconvenience could soon lead to others coming here with money to spend.

On Wednesday, July 11, the Versailles Police Department closed much of North Main Street in order to allow a Lexington production company to shoot parts of a video promoting Versailles and county tourism. The $7,800 cost is being footed by the City of Versailles and Woodford Tourist Commission, with the city paying most of the bill.

Scenes outside the Amsden Building, and on North Main and Morgan streets will appear in the video, along with a scene in the Woodford Theatre.

The North Main Street scenes were shot by an ultra-high definition 6-K video camera and, to the delight of at least one onlooker, a drone with a 4-K camera following a young boy on a bicycle. A large silk screen on the corner of North Main and Court Street to help with lighting made the area look a bit like the set of a movie.

For Casey Cooley, the producer of the video – which might be described as a 90-second movie – it was a homecoming. Cooley, of the Wrigley Media Group in Lexington, is a 2009 graduate of Woodford County High School and lives here now. The community members who served as supporting actors included his wife, Sara pushing their young son, Jacob, in a stroller.

The goal of the video is to welcome tourists and potential new residents, Cooley said.

The story is told through the eyes of a young boy “riding his bike through town, hitting all the hot spots, all the recognizable places throughout downtown (and) some beautiful neighborhoods and houses. But the driving force is that this is a very vibrant community here, there are a lot of people and organizations that help one another… to build each other up and take us to the next level as a community,” Cooley said. “This is a kid that has dreams and hopes and aspirations for something… and he has a very specific goal of something he wants to achieve from his life.”

The boy’s dreams and goals are made accessible through resources provided by the community, according to Cooley.

Ken Kerkhoff, chair of the Tourist Commission, said the video will be posted on the commission’s website, with links provided to the city and county websites, Facebook, and other sites, including YouTube. Businesses wanting to add the video to their website can also link to it. Kerkhoff said it should be finished and ready to “air” by the end of July, with the majority of viewers watching via smart phone.

“The thought process is that people live on phones, and when they go to figure out where to go somewhere, video is what they watch. And so having a 90-second video that sees a small town with huge aspirations depicted through the eyes of a young boy… will help promote Woodford County, promote tourism, and promote Versailles as a great place to live, work and play,” said Tourist Commission head Ken Kerkhoff. “The primary goodness of Woodford County is what we’re trying to capture.”

Cooley said he’s wanted to do a project like this for a long time. “I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to use what I’ve been trained for to help my community, and my mother, Jeri Hartley, helped me wrangle some extras to serve as pedestrians…” Cooley said. “Everybody there was just as motivated to make this video the best it can be and the most authentic it can be in order to reinforce this idea that our community is one of the best. And that we’ll do whatever it takes to improve our own community.”

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