April 12, 2022
The 64th Annual Grammy® Awards ceremony, presented live on April 3rd by CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, featured three Motion Impossible AGITO Sports fully modular dolly systems provided by John Perry of Los Angeles for Fulwell 73 Productions.
“I have a long history of working with director Hamish Hamilton and technical manager John Pritchett, who was in charge of all technical aspects of the Grammys,” explained Perry. “Hamish wanted to experiment and try something different for this year’s broadcast: Three AGITOs in Sports mode.”
According to Perry, Hamilton chose to use the remote-controlled free-roaming AGITO Sports because he didn’t want to see dolly tracks in his wide shots, and he also did not want to limit where the AGITOs could go for certain performances.
“He wanted the AGITOs to have the ability and freedom to go anywhere in the venue, including backstage,” said Perry. “As long as we have highly skilled pilots and several safety measures in place, we knew we could accomplish Hamish’s vision.”
Perry, along with AGITO camera operators Danny Bonilla, Chad Smith, and David Plakos, plus AGITO pilots Daniel Schade, Xavier Mercado, and Cody Alderman were given two days of setup and three days of rehearsal.
Each of the three AGITO Sports was equipped with SHOTOVER G1 gyro-stabilized gimbals and Sony HDC-P50 compact system cameras in a wireless configuration, provided by Aerial Video Systems (AVS) out of Van Nuys, California, located outside of Burbank.
The AGITO Sports platforms were each set for different heights for artistic flexibility for Hamilton. “One was in low-mode with a lens height of 18 inches,” said Perry. “The second was on a standard tower with a height range of 3-6 feet, while the third was on a tower with a riser giving the camera 6-9 feet of height.”
And how did this use of multiple AGITOs in Sports mode work? “Hamish was very happy that this experiment was a tremendous success, and that it contributed significantly to the look of the show,” said Perry.
“This is yet another live awards broadcast that has relied on AGITO to provide directors with shots that engage and captivate audiences,” said Rob Drewett, CEO and Co-Founder of Motion Impossible. “As directors, producers and executive producers see the capabilities of the AGITO, the call goes out because they want to use the AGITO as well. Plus, with our new MagTrax systems (which was recently used in combination with our Shotover G1 at the 94th Oscars), AGITO Sports users have the option of having the system follow a magnetic strip laid on a surface, underneath a carpet, or embedded within a set. The magnetic strip can be arranged in various creative ways beyond what you can do with a regular track, including moving from one strip to another.”
The AGITO MagTrax autonomously follows each path while freeing up camera movement control for single operator capability.
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