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NEWS CAPTURE & PRODUCE by Will Strauss “ Sometimes, as journalists, in our desperation to find a story, ask the right questions and delve that bit deeper into what people say and do (and analyse what it all means), we forget to celebrate great achievements. Good news is rarely, well, good news. This month we’re going to try to balance that. Polecam, the now ubiquitous lightweight jib that combines camera stabilisation with extended reach, has just achieved its 600th sale, to the Royal College of Surgeons in London (see below). And we think that is worthy of note. The device has come quite a long way since Steffan Hewitt first invented it, in 1998, while on the Windsurfing World Tour. So legend has it, while directing commercials in Hawaii, Hewitt needed to obtain close wide-angle front sequence of a windsurfer in action, shot from a tracking boat or jet ski. To get the shot, he concocted a rig comprising of a miniature camera on a carbon-fibre windsurfing mast. On his return to Britain, he took that idea and developed it into a lightweight go-anywhere rig with a remote joystick controlling a high-precision pan and tilt head. The rest, as they say, is history. The fundamental design has not changed over the past 17 years but technology has, and Polecam has advanced with it, all the way. It is now supplied with a range of options all with precision engineered remote controlled pan/tilt heads. Graeme Chapman, managing director of Polecam Systems, said on selling the 600th rig: “What started out as a light portable alternative to film walruses in the Arctic is now being used in the most prestigious medical training facility in the UK. Whether it’s the Olympic Games in Rio next year, the training of future surgeons or the current Rugby World Cup in the UK, Polecam will be there.” “ The Polecam is unique, ubiquitous and unparalleled. For once, just for a change, let’s celebrate rather than question. Camera tracking Canal+ used Trimaran’s GeoRacing GPS tracking and visualization system to enhance its live coverage of the Tour de Corse 2015, the FIA World Rally Championship held on the island of Corsica. Using a combination of GPS data and both virtual timing and ghost visualization, the GeoRacing technology allowed the French cable broadcaster to track vehicles in real time and improve how it depicted their progression. Francois-Charles Bideaux, head of sports programs at Canal+ Group, said: “Trimaran’s GeoRacing system dramatically improves our ability to deliver live audio commentary about the race, giving viewers a live comparison of the pilots in addition to a variety of other important stats. By allowing us to deliver in-depth sports information and statistics, above and beyond what is traditionally offered by broadcasters, GeoRacing boosts our viewer satisfaction.” During the Tour de Corse race, which took place at the beginning of October, Canal+ used multiple cameras with GPS trackers in cars and helicopters, and at the starting, mid-point, and arriving lines. The GPS tracking system was provided by AMPVisual TV. www.trimaran.com Searching? broadcast cameraman Search with full details of hundreds of GTC accredited Camera Operators, Lighting Cameramen, DoPs and specialist cameramen, why go anywhere else? www.gtc.org.uk/search 06 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 107 NOVEMBER 2015