`2021 American Music Awards’ Deployed Two AGITO Trax Systems for Live Event

(Image credit: AGITO)

BRISTOL, U.K.—BET Awards director Glenn Weiss used two AGITO Trax systems for the live telecast of the 2021 American Music Awards (AMAs) on November 21 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

“Glenn loved the dynamic shots that the AGITO provided on the BET Awards, so he decided to use two of them on the AMAs,” according to John Perry, who owns multiple AGITO systems. 

“Once a director or producer sees the AGITO in action, they always want it for their next show," he added. "Glenn is already requesting multiple AGITO dollies for his next awards show.” 

Perry also just finished the live dual broadcast of the E! People’s Choice Awards 2021 from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica that aired on both on NBC and sister network E! on December 7.  

The People’s Choice Awards was directed by Ryan Polito who used the AGITO for the first time on the show last year and relied on them again this year.

For the AMAs, Perry provided the two AGITO Trax systems on a custom-built track, plus what he refers to as the “blade” attachment for both AGITOs. 

“The two custom tracks were built to match the curves of the unique AMA stage design, with both AGITOs travelling through tunnels in certain parts of the thrusts using our custom blade attachments,” said Perry. “The blade allows the camera to stay above stage level and the AGITO base to be under the stage in tunnels, minimizing our visibility footprint in the wide shots. Best of all, our blade attachments only require a 1-inch gap in the stage, which allows the artists to perform across all areas of the stage without interruption.”

With the custom blade attachments both cameras were able to get “lens heights from six to nine feet from the floor,” Perry said. 

Perry has been working for Dick Clark Production – now DCP Rights, LLC – the production company responsible for the AMAs for several decades. “I started as a Steadicam operator on countless series, awards shows and specials. In recent years, I’ve integrated the AGITO dollies on several of these live shows with great success. It’s a very dynamic tool, especially for live entertainment.”

For the AMAs, the AGITO pilots – who wirelessly control the dollies – were Cody Alderman and Daniel Schade. The AGITO operators – wirelessly controlling the SHOTOVER G1 gyro-stabilized gimbals with Sony HDC-P50 cameras were Danny Bonilla and Danny Webb. Setup took one day, with three days of rehearsals.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.