Does size matter? with Polecam


TV-Bay Magazine
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It’s simple. Horses for Courses!

Scenario
When shooting Anything, Anywhere, there is always a trade between budget, performance, manpower, speed and space – the production company and client will inevitably want quite simply “the best they can get and at the best price”. However when the application and location of the shoot dictate over and above the Wants! of the production company and client, then the Needs! become of paramount importance.
There are many different ways of achieving the same shot? – not necessarily so, and certainly if you wish to achieve the best shot from what could be quite a formidable position for the cameraman and crew. They may well be tucked in to a tight corner on a Music Festival, in between moving industrial robots and machines, maybe tied precariously to a rock face (face to face with a puffin) or trying to get that dramatic racing line close up shot.
This is when all sense tends to drain away and the chase is on to get the best shot!
Traditional Solution
Typically cameramen have used what has been available to them “off the shelf” and have and do regularly work on the make do and mend principle. It does not matter if you are given big clunky cameras to film an Ant up a 200’ tree in the rainforest, given a pedestal mounted camera to film an overhead shot! or shoot the principal actor in a car chase side by side with just a handheld handycam – cameramen have always created their own elaborate systems of wires, pulleys, ropes, poles and much much more. All of what we have mentioned can be overcome with a little bit of lateral thinking and applying the correct tool for job.
That correct tool might well be suction cups, clamps and minicams for cars, remote heads for remote locations and inspections, jibs and cranes for stunning sweeping shots, minute bullet cameras for built-in close ups, pedestal cameras for studios and not forgetting the ever expanding availability of quadra and octa copters that bring affordable aerial shooting to the hands of many without always requiring the use of helicopters or aeroplanes.
Pros and Cons
Like everything there are always pros and cons to any solution.
These can be attributed equally to a multitude of things and could be interpreted as merely affording too much time to rigging and setup, having unskilled operators missing the shot and resulting in yet another take , otherwise whilst the budget might be right, the product is not; or vice versa. Alternatively the advantages of say filming a super slo-mo may be compromised or even lost if it is not possible to position the camera into the required location.
Whilst using a minicam for an on-board might be ideal for a car chase, but if the camera or lens performance is below par then the shots are a worthless expense.
Results in poor performance are equally mirrored in poor production value.
Economies of each
Any solution, whichever one you opt for through budget or performance must be both viable and economical. Whilst you need to ensure that you have the right tool for the job, you also need to think smart – ask yourself can I utilise the equipment for more than one shot?. If the answer is yes, then you can guarantee you will be on the next production.
The Solution
So back to the theme – Horses for Courses! the right tool for the job! or any other old adage you may prefer, it does not alter the fact that the use of a Polecam covers pretty well much all of the above (ok we don’t have a helicopter!, but hey we do have cameras and systems to mount on them!)
Polecam, although generic for “a camera on a stick” is a UK based Systems Company which prides itself with more than 15 years of direct experience in the Film and TV Industry. Polecam with its global sales is synonymous with the Design & Manufacture of its super lightweight, cost effective carbon fibre, highly portable, modular camera crane platform.
The company have been exposed to a variety of unique challenges by cameramen and clients alike over the years. Finding its roots in the extreme sports, both in air and water, the Polecam has developed dramatically to accommodate the ever demanding changes of not only the broadcast industry but many others too. The challenges range from filming medical procedures in busy compact operation theatres with images relayed live all round the world to doctors, getting down and dirty in among industrial applications providing many leading International manufacturers with otherwise unseen and near impossible shots.
There are currently 5 different remote pan & tilt heads available; selecting the right head for the camera you wish to use is easy and each head provides a highly controllable platform to fly such cameras as the Red Epic, Canon C300, Blackmagic Cinema Camera all the way through to a variety of minicams such as IO Industries, Toshiba, Indiecam, Panasonic, LMC, LMP, Camera Corp and more – even with underwater capabilities.
Polecam was used extensively again at this year’s Chelsea flower show by John Gillan owner operator. John was required to shoot many different show gardens during his time on site, he was able to accomplish this by using his Polecam in many easily changeable configurations.

Tags: iss078 | polecam | remote locations | review | explained | steffan | john gillan | cameras | guide | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus

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Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
GoPro HERO 7 Review
Tim Bearder When I heard I was filming a nature restoration project in the pouring rain this week I was excited. WHY? No Cameraman enjoys the rain, surely but this time I was enthusiastic because I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the brand new GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition.
Tags: iss134 | gopro | hero 7 | review | liberal media | Tim Bearder
Contributing Author Tim Bearder Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation - November 2018
Dick Hobbs - new There is an interesting seminar called Size Matters at the KitPlus Show – organised by the publishers of this fine magazine – at MediaCityUK in Salford on 6 November. It’s a talk by cinematographer Alistair Chapman on the way that camera technology is changing, and in particular the size of the electronic device which creates the image is growing.
Tags: iss134 | cmos | 35mm | AJA | Arri | Blackmagic | Canon | Datavideo | GoPro | Grass Valley | Hitachi | Ikegami | JVC | Kinefinity | Nikon | Panasonic | Red | Sony | jpeg2000 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF