Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Home & Garden show employs Polecam
A Polecam, fitted with a Toshiba SD camera and used as a studio jib alongside traditional studio cameras, was recently used on a multiweek shoot in Hollywood for Home & Garden Television Network (HGTV).
Polecam operator John Gillan completed the job for a competition-style reality television show produced by Pie Town Productions for broadcast in 2009 on HGTV. The Polecam system was chosen for the project because of its portability, its fast set-up time, and its ability to keep pace with the high-intensity shooting schedule.
Although more often used on location than in a traditional studio, Polecam allows a wide range of camera heights and angles. This generates a visual freshness that is missing in studio programs shot predominantly at normal eye level.
Polecam was invented in 1998 by extreme sports cameraman/director Steffan Hewitt. While directing a series of windsurfing kit commercials in Hawaii, he needed to obtain close wide-angle front shots of a windsurfer in action, shot from a tracking boat or jet ski. He improvised a rig comprising a miniature camera on a carbon-fiber windsurfing mast.
Returning to Britain, he developed a lightweight go-anywhere rig with a remote joystick controlling a high precision pan and tilt head.
For more information, visit