Above It All: Night Road Paving In Belmont Center [VIDEO]

Photo: A still from a video of the night paving in Belmont Center.

To see up close the paving of Leonard Street and its connecting roads over the past few nights has been to experience the cacophony and heat produced by massive machines as they grind and lay out a new top coat surface for Belmont Center.

But viewed from the air, the same action has an expansive grace, as the equipment appear more accessible and the entire operation has an elegance not before seen.

The video is by Belmont resident Lucas Tragos who last weekend received a national video award for a 22-minute sports documentary on the 2015 Belmont High School football team. His recent aerial video of Boston and Cambridge has been receiving great reviews.

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[VIDEOS] Young Belmont Filmmaker Flying High Winning National Award

Photo: A scene from the video “Boston in 4K,” produced by Belmont’s Lucas Tragos.

The views of Boston and Cambridge are stunning.

In the nearly five minute film dubbed “Boston in 4K” uploaded to the Marauder Media Youtube channel, familiar locations such as the Esplanade, the cities skyline, Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, the Charles River, Fenway Park and Harvard Stadium are captured using a DJI Phantom 3 4K Quadcopter Drone from just off the ground to up several hundred feet in the air during a myriad of times in the day, but particularly in late evening near sunset.

And people are responding to the film, having reached nearly 50,000 views on the Youtube in just over a week on the channel.

“Boston looks better than the music sounds… I’m impressed!” commented one viewer while a photographer noted its “[a]bsolutely amazing footage. Thanks for sharing. Great to see new perspectives of my city.” It has also garnered the attention of a Boston news channel which sought to broadcast some of the images. 

The video is just the latest of several outstanding short subject films created by 18-year-old Belmontian Lucas Tragos of Dartmouth Street. A regular figure along the sidelines and courtside for many Belmont High athletic events filming for the Belmont Media Center, Tragos’ films has the same high qualities of noted video bloggers (vloggers) such as Casey Neistat who is changing how stories are told on film. Just this week, CNN created its own drone/news division with that in mind.

Tragos has been producing videos for the past three years in association with the Media Center, creating nearly 50 short (about three minutes on average) films during his time there. 

And that work has paid off for the high honor roll student. In July, Tragos and his friend and fellow Belmont resident James Neylon were honored by the Alliance for Community Media – which represents more than 3,000 public access and community media centers in the US – with a Hometown Media Award for “Belmont Football 2015: First Look 2.0,” a 22-minute documentary features players and coaches during the 2015 preseason as well as an inside look in the homes of two of the team’s star athletes.

Tragos and Neylon will accept the award on Friday, Aug. 19, in Boston during the ACM’s national convention. 
Born in Boston, Tragos attended Belmont schools K-12, graduating from Belmont High School in June. He lives with his mother in the Harvard Lawn neighborhood. He will soon leave town to begin his college experience at UMass/Amherst. 
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Lucas Tragos.

Q. Describe how you made your stunning video of Boston from the air? How much preparation goes into making a video that runs 4:40 minutes? Do you have an idea how the video will look like while you’re filming it? 

A. I made the video using a drone I bought a couple of weeks ago. There was not too much preparation that took place, I am familiar with Boston because I go there all the time, so I had an idea of the shots I wanted and at the times I wanted too.

I had about three hours of 4k footage but slicing down to 4 minutes wasn’t so difficult because the cuts that needed to be made are so clear and distinct, unlike the documentary I made last summer. I can almost envision how every one of my videos will look and how it will line up with the music. Shooting in 4k was very exciting for me because I could finally get the cinematic shots I’ve always been seeking. 

Q. When did you start producing video? Why did you first approach the Belmont Media Center? Who was helpful in you becoming a filmmaker? 

A. I honestly started producing my videos in sophomore year of high school when my friend, James Neylon (who is heading to Syracuse) and I created a varsity football highlight video for Belmont High and from there everything took off. We created our Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages so everyone at the High School and Belmont could keep tabs on Belmont sports and see them from a new view point: cinematically instead of traditional low-end highlight videos. Creating drama and emotion or hype is a goal I strive for in every video. I want people to feel something, not just see it.

My mom brought me to the media center in 6th grade and that’s when I became involved with the proper production. I always had a passion; I used to film street basketball in elementary school with my neighbors. The Media Center facilitated my growth and ability to become better because of the equiplement that they could offer me but for the most part, I taught myself how to edit and film because I’ve been told I have an “eye” for shots.

Q: You have a great way of creating a video – like your sports projects for Marauder Media – with a clear storyline/narrative but you also an excellent use of visuals and technique. Do you “map out” your video with a story in mind or do you just go with what your gut tells you?

A: For the first and second Belmont football documentaries, those required mapping out and script writing and prep because of their nature and length, but for the average highlight video, I just think of the shots I want to get and then everything clicks and lines in my mind when I bring them into the edit. Shooting shots is just guts, and knowing what will look good and what won’t.

Q: Who is your inspiration for your visual technique: NFL Films, ESPN, or a filmmaker?

A: No one is my inspiration; I never watched TV as a kid, and I still don’t unless its sports. I am my own inspiration. My last video is always the motivation to make a better one. es wasn’t so difficult because the cuts that needed to be made are so clear and distinct, unlike the documentary I made last summer. I can almost envision how every one of my videos will look and how it will line up with the music. Shooting in 4k was very exciting for me because I could finally get the cinematic shots I’ve always been seeking.