Gearhouse Broadcast, in conjunction with its partners Telescopic, LLC and Big Shot Camera Cranes, has announced that they will unveil SkyTechno, a new kind of camera crane that enables powerful camera moves previously considered impossible, at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show from April 24-27. SkyTechno was developed by Gearhouse Broadcast in collaboration with working operators, motion control experts, engineers and designers with experience in image capture for its many applications. SkyTechno will be on display at the Gearhouse Broadcast booths (OE836 & OE841) in a live-footage demonstration powered and processed by Columbus, their new 4K/UHD mobile unit.
SkyTechno will be supported by a custom stage supplied by Production Resource Group (PRG), who will also provide a high-resolution, automated LED video wall coupled with their innovative and newly patented GroundControl Follow Spot lighting technology. Girraphic lends its expertise in the realm of augmented reality, extending SkyTechno’s capabilities to include high-quality virtual assets, seen from every axis possible.
John Newton, the CEO and founder of Gearhouse, along with its development partners were repotedly inspired to develop SkyTechno during the production of a major television project, when there were missed opportunities for incredible shots. Gearhouse saw the need to help advance crane/jib technology. After two years of research and development in close collaboration with Brian Williams, the renowned developer of the TechnoJib, and Brian Gaetke, a premier industry operator at Big Shot Camera Cranes, SkyTechno is now available in North America. Gearhouse has plans to build more to support global uptake of the new technology.
Williams noted, “The flexibility and sheer creativity enabled by SkyTechno will make this highly desired for so many productions, especially when the community sees what shots are possible with the crane.”
President of PRG Television North America, Brian Edwards, added, “We have seen firsthand the need for SkyTechno. Its powerfully designed and engineered functionality, developed by experts who have years of experience, will be an incredible alternative to many productions. PRG is looking forward to our continued collaboration with the team at Gearhouse.”
With augmented reality and virtual reality production requirements growing, SkyTechno embraces the demands of 360-degree production. SkyTechno employs the very latest encoding technology ensuring that 3D graphics can be inserted into the live camera feed exactly where and when needed. SkyTechno is built upon proprietary encoding software that makes every movement and placement programmable and repeatable with incredible precision.
Grant Werle, general manager of Girraphic USA, said, “Our team at Girraphic is thrilled to work with SkyTechno. From the moment we saw it, we knew what this would bring to AR/VR productions. The technology not only provides stability and programmable movements, but most notably an extensive reach from every axis. A true solution and combination necessary to ensure your show is successful.”
The crane telescopes up to 24 feet, performs multiple 360-degree moves at the head and fulcrum, and inclines to 45 degrees while simultaneously tracking. SkyTechno supports all industry standard TV and film cameras.
Marc Genin, managing director of Gearhouse Broadcast USA, said, “SkyTechno does exponentially more than other cranes, while providing all of the standard features of a high-end rig. With its three-axes movement and balance, operators can capture every possible angle up, down, around, over and under; literally from the floor to the ceiling, and from wall to wall with impeccably smooth movement. Shots that were previously choreographed to avoid background spoilers, such as equipment in shot or other problems that needed to be cleaned up in post, can now be managed with SkyTechno as a seamless, clean, fluid experience.”
Additionally, SkyTechno has the flexibility to support the needs of promoters in highly desirable venues. It’s no longer necessary for production equipment to take actual seats, which are usually the most preferred seats, out of circulation. The first rows of concerts, sporting events, and live stage shots are managed by SkyTechno without blocking rows and views.
“SkyTechno offers unimpeded camera shots from every angle eliminating the need for floor-based track and equipment, that can be repeated exactly, over and over again,” added Gaetke. “Now the world of creative possibilities is truly endless and ready for the future of AR and VR.”