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Polecam Helps Celebrate Mustang's 50th

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One of the auto industry's most iconic muscle cars has just turned 50. Ford Motor Co. unveiled the first Mustang at the New York World's Fair on April 17, 1964, causing a sensation when it was introduced with 22,000 orders taken on the first day. It was priced at US $2,368.

The celebration started at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show in January with the release of the latest Mustang model, then continued at the New York International Motor Show in April, with the release of a Limited Edition of just 1,964 cars. Polecam was right there in Detroit and in New York to aid the celebrations and raise the production values of the corporate, press and public presentations.
UK-based Polecam owner operator John Gillan was approached by Ford to provide rigs and operators for the shows. "Ford came to me as I had done Polecam work for them before in Europe. I've done car shows in Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris. The Detroit show requirement was for two Polecams doing moves around two new Ford Mustangs, and the New York Show required one Polecam working around the new Limited Edition car."
"The Ford stand in Detroit played host to two custom built Polecam podiums, the platforms being around 1.2m (4ft) off the ground. Both Polecams were 8m (26ft) long with wire strut systems, one with a Toshiba HD1 camera and one with a Camera Corps camera with x10 zoom lens. We did a 10-minute live show with presenters and cars being featured on Jumbotron screens around the booth. It was live for 10 minutes every 45 minutes. The rigs were part of the show. All the moves were blocked out and the rigs were moving and adding to the excitement and build up of the presentation. It was like a ballet for two Polecams! Both cameras and rigs worked beautifully and without fault for the entire two weeks of press and public shows."
"The New York show is again a repeating presentation but for one Polecam, although I also had a couple of Polecams working on the Jaguar-Land Rover booth. To operate the other rigs I enlisted the help of fellow operators US-based Greg Salman and Steve Rausch.
"Why do they want to use Polecam? Well, lots of good reasons. To begin with, logistics. If you want crane type moves in a public show situation you have to consider the risk factor - Polecam gets all the shots and moves of a crane to increase audience appeal, but it is low risk in the field of jibs and cranes because of its lightweight design. Also, most importantly, because of its low profile Polecam doesn't get in the way and block the view of what's going on.
"There is now a wide range of high end cameras that will mount on Polecam but for car work there's a lot to be said for using an HD minicam and megapixel wide angle lens, which gets you a wide depth of focus and amazing POV shots and moves as you move around the bodywork. Because of the small size of the camera you can even move right into wheel arches or other areas, and if it’s a convertible you can start or end your move right inside."
The designer of Polecam, Steffan Hewitt, initially an extreme sports cameraman, has been associated with motor sport, as he says: "Since day one", and, somewhat appropriately, when we phoned him for comment he was at Infiniti Red Bull Racing HQ in Milton Keynes. "I'm helping them to carry out pit stop analysis with the new Antelope PICO high speed slow motion camera that we supply mounted on a Polecam which I can hover overhead or quickly fly into a good position to observe the action. This can then be replayed in super slo mo on a 50 inch screen, not only to the management but also to the team themselves for analysis.
"Polecam at motor trade shows is a no brainer. Not only is it giving hugely increased production values to the big show that is a new car launch, it's also incredibly unobtrusive.
"Polecam is a great production tool like any crane, but you can't have the crane getting in the way. That's why we are doing so well, not only at car shows, but same thing applies to all types of events like concerts, TV shows, festivals - wherever there are people watching - the show is for the people there, and the people want to see the show, not the crane. John Gillan is pioneering this work at car shows by providing this facility to more and more people and I think we will only see this grow more and more."

The article is also available to read in Broadcast Film & Video online.


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