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This year's Grammy awards was - as it always is - an excellent example of how to get events right, but for us, the real star of the show was the high-speed camera robot used on the red carpet. Camera robots will be coming to an event near you soon.
What Are Camera Robots?
The clue is in the name but in this case, we're talking about the Bolt CineBot, or "GlamBot" as E! (TV channel) call it. GlamBot, created in partnership with Camera Control, is a high-speed camera rig on a huge robotic arm which was used to capture the red carpet glamour shots at the Grammys and Golden Globes. What makes Bolt so special is its ability to get up to speed almost instantly (Bolt's manufacturers claim that it's the fastest in the world) and its accuracy in doing so. This gives it the ability to perform complex movements on the fly, whilst producing stunning slow-mo footage.
Drone cameras also fit neatly into this category. Drones give viewers a literal bird's eye view and although not nearly as accurate as the CineBot, they can still do plenty of things humans can't. Long tracking shots, birds-eye views and epic cinematic pans are where the drone cam comes into its own. These days you can even carry one in a mobile phone case to make sure you never miss a photo opportunity. Photos taken by robots are the new selfie.
Camera Robots At Award Ceremonies
The red carpet is one of the most important parts of a high-profile awards ceremony so it stands to reason that capturing it in the right way is equally important. Until now, most of this activity was captured by either static EFP (electronic field production) cameras or ENG (electronic news gathering) cameras mounted on steadicam rigs or the operator's shoulder.
E! do things differently. Some of you may remember their Mani Cam, which filmed stars' manicured hands walking down a miniature red carpet. Slightly odd but people liked it and due to its weirdness, created a lot of extra buzz around the event.
For the past two Grammy award ceremonies, GlamBot has taken care of things on the red carpet and the results are simply stunning. Its high-speed motion, combined with slow-motion capture and the classic vertigo push-pull zoom effect is quite a thing to behold. If you didn't see it, just watch the clip of Lady Gaga below. It's truly mesmerizing
Creative Event Coverage
With the plethora of live video streaming tools now available, it's never been easier to broadcast and there's a real opportunity to get creative with it. The difference between a good viewing experience and a great viewing experience is creativity.
Another technology we're rather fond of, that's starting to get a lot of use in event coverage is 360º video. Like virtual reality, 360º video offers an immersive experience that almost puts the viewer inside the picture.
These days, it's so easy to broadcast, there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't. Whether you choose to use traditional cameras, social media based streaming tools or TV broadcast, creativity is your best weapon. So, without further ado, the award for most creative event coverage goes to camera robots.