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Innovision Featured in TV Technology

8/18/04, Atlanta, Georgia

Innovision’s Shuttle Camera Tracking System Spans 3 Studios at CNN

It’s been over 4 years since CNN opened their new studio facility complete with 104’ of curved overhead track that spans 2 newsrooms with clear views into Studio A and the bustling control room. Gliding along the track is the remote controlled Innovision Shuttle Camera Tracking System carrying a Panasonic AWE 600 camera and Canon H15x6 zoom complete with gyro stabilizer. For a year and a half the world’s audience saw a unique view of CNN’s bustling team every half hour, 24/7, as the Shuttle scooted with ease overhead for the opening sequence of each half hour news report.

It was CNN’s Jake Carreau, who was responsible for getting the system installed. After doing extensive research and meeting with Innovision’s Mark Centkowski at NAB, Jake chose the Shuttle mainly because Innovision was ready to accept the challenge of installing curved track. And indeed today, the track meanders overhead, forming left and right curves.

According to Steve Holzapfel, CNN Robotics supervisor, “For the opening sequence, our shot moved from side to side and ended in a quick zoom in on the CNN logo on the wall. The system allowed us to preprogram 3 or 4 different moves including movement along the track as well as panning (up to 350-degrees) and zooming. We never had to reset the shot because it was stored in the memory. After programming it once, we just hit the button.”

The dynamic Shuttle system is controlled remotely by an operator in the control room.

Today it is likely you’ll find Ola Khristoffersen, CNN Audio/Robotics Operator at the controls. According to Khristoffersen, “Now we use the Shuttle mainly for bump pad shots--going into and out of breaks--and for newsroom overheads. It allows us to pad the cut to break if we come out somewhat early. Essentially it takes the place of a jib camera and it can be run by a Robo operator. With a jib camera you have limited options. The Shuttle allows greater variety and gives me more creativity. And because of the curved track we have greater options and capabilities.” Ola also commented on how easy it is to use they system. Although most of his shots are freehand, he notes that if they want specific opening sequences preprogrammed, he can make it happen in 5 or 10 minutes.

When asked about Innovision’s service support, Steve Holzapfel was unable to comment, because nearly 5 years after installation, the system has never needed service.

For more information about the HD Probe lens visit the product page or contact Innovision-Optics at 1-310-453-4866.

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