Motion Impossible’s AGITO Trax brings dynamic motion to the 2021 BET Awards

June 06, 2021

John Perry, owner of two Agito systems helped bring a new level of creativity to the 2021 BET Awards on Sunday, June 27th with the Motion Impossible AGITO Trax.

“Imagine the capabilities of a camera that can travel, literally, through the stage,” said Perry. “That’s what we were able to do, with a 1-inch slit in the stage thrusts for the show.”

Two months before the live production, the show’s technical producer John Pritchett reached out to Perry about using one of his two AGITO modular dollies — Perry owns an AGITO Trax and AGITO Sports — on a very complex stage design in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles where the show took place.

“The producers had all of the traditional theater seating on the floor completely removed so they could build a very different look from other shows that have been shot in that theater,” explained Perry. “In addition to the main stage, they wanted to have a satellite stage in the middle of the house, connected by two-stage thrusts and surrounded by a mosh pit.”

One of the complex issues faced by Perry and his team was to design the AGITO’s track so that it could travel in the mosh pit with its odd-shaped curves, which were completely divided by two-stage thrusts. They would have to design the system to allow the AGITO Trax to pass underneath both thrusts without interrupting the performances.

“Taking their requirements into consideration, tunnels were designed through the thrusts so that the base of the AGITO could travel underneath on a custom curved track to match the shape of the stage, yet the camera would still be above stage level,” said Perry. “I had a part manufactured that attached to the top of the AGITO tower that allowed it to travel through a 1-inch slit in the thrust, which then allowed the performers and dancers to perform across all areas of the thrust and stage without interruption.”

The BET Awards was directed by Glenn Weiss, one of the top live award show directors in the US. His credits include the Tony® Awards, the Oscars®, and the EMMY® Awards.

“When our equipment is used to help get shots that were previously thought impossible, giving directors more creative freedom, we feel great pride in making that possible,” said Rob Drewett, CEO, and Co-Founder of Motion Impossible.

In addition to the AGITO Trax, Perry also supplied an AeroCrane to the BET Awards — a custom-made inverted 24-foot telescopic arm hanging from the ceiling on 90 feet of track.   “If you are in a situation where a show needs a TechnoCrane in several areas of a room during the course of a live broadcast, and there is not enough floor space or there are different heights of the stage that makes a traditional technocrane prohibitive, then hanging an AeroCrane from the ceiling is a great solution,” Perry says.

“I’ve owned two AGITO systems since November 2019, and I am getting ready to purchase a third,” beams Perry with pride. “I chose the AGITO because I had a need for motorized dollies for specific live broadcasts. After much research, the AGITO was the perfect fit. With live broadcasts, I needed something that is extremely reliable, and the AGITO has proven itself time and time again with zero failures. I really love the versatility of the AGITO and most importantly the excellent customer support from Motion Impossible.”

If you would like to book the AGITO for your next live event, John Perry can be reached at +1.615.414.0065.

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Senior Press Executive at Bubble Agency
A public relations professional with more than 25 years of experience with expertise in the broadcast, entertainment, and media industries, as well as the ProAV sector. Expanding into the VFX, esports, and gaming sectors.
Denise Williams
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource