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TV-BAY Questions... with Richard Hookings Q. How did you get in to the Broadcast business? Q. How did you get interested in Polecam? When I was 12 I went to a Michael Faraday lecture; they were demonstrating the latest TV technology of the day– how they made Superman fly with green screen, how they did the weather - I got the bug, and from then on I wanted to get into television. I wrote to the BBC, - ‘how do I become a cameraman?’ They said A level Physics but it wasn’t my thing. I did Media Studies at A level then a Film & Video degree at Portsmouth University. In 2004 I did a 3 camera car and bike shoot. There was a Polecam guy on it too – John Gillan. I was immediately impressed with the speed that he could set up and the great sexy car shots he was getting. I’d seen Polecam at shows when it was in its infancy, but this was the first time I’d worked close to it. I wanted one. I set up a partnership with 2 other Uni guys; our final year documentary was commissioned by Meridian TV; we did a couple of other projects and were picked up for an RTS Best Local Documentary award. Q. When did you buy your first kit? I decided to go freelance and we split up. I bought a Sony DSR-500 DVCAM camcorder, which served me well for 12 years. I even used it as recently as last year for a project. I think I spent £25 K at the time on kit, but I certainly got my value from it. I inundated John with a hundred questions then went to Polecam and ended up buying a full rig just a few weeks after that shoot. The camera was a Toshiba TU-63. It was SD and 4x3, so I bought an anamorphic adaptor for when I needed widescreen. Polecam is an amazing bit of kit; you can achieve so much with it in a very short time; you can do some really creative things - I could see all this in my mind, but I needed to spend some time to be able to accomplish it. I practiced in the garden and all over, and in a short time it came to me. I was approached to make a Corporate Video for a client who used a large Scalectrix track as a corporate bonding exercise. This was a perfect job for Polecam with the small camera head and extreme depth of focus. It was very well received and that boosted my Polecam confidence. I then did a European concert tour with Dido, not in arenas but in great venues like an old Roman Amphitheatre. I was then fortunate to be chosen with my Polecam to cover the Games in Athens. This was an incredible experience. I was on the finish line when Kelly Holmes won the 800 metres. I covered some cycling too, and the Triathlon. Would you believe this was in SD and 4x3? – and that’s just eight years ago! Q. What’s the next milestone? HD. It was a slow transition because it was slow in the industry too. I got a few enquiries but I couldn’t justify the spend, so I waited. In time, around 2009, I bought a Toshiba IK-HD1 small profile camera and the Convergent Design FlashXDR recorder. I upgraded my Polecam monitor to HD and the rig poles as well to a new more rigid carbon fibre. I did a ‘Dream Homes’ shoot for Discovery with my new Polecam HD. This HD upgrade was an important stepping stone to where I am today. I found myself in 44 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY075MAR13.indd 44 11/03/2013 16:51