News Production & Post

SpeedWinch premieres at Eurovision

6 June 2012
SpeedWinch premieres at Eurovision

An innovative specialised camera system SpeedWinch made its world premiere at last month’s Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Almost noiselessly the fully stabilised Nettmann StabC Compact including camera sped down from the ceiling of the Chrystal Hall in Baku. Held by two ropes running through a winch, being powered by a 7000 watt motor, the camera system can reach top speeds of about 6 m/s. Even at this speed the pictures remain completely smooth and stable at the total distance of 15 metres, due to the 5-axis-stabilised remote head.

SpeedWinch was invented by German developer RTS Rail&Tracking Systems in Winnweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz.

“After the last ESC in Duesseldorf in 2011 we noticed that there was a strong demand for a high speed winch system for vertical tracks climbing down from the ceiling. On a long night in January with endless discussions, calculations and lots of pizza after midnight we came to the decision: yes, we can!“ said Daniel Pfleger, CEO RTS, retrospectively.

Two SpeedWinch systems were required by the client as installation for the Eurovision Song Contest and the set up of the SpeedWinches took only three hours.

“Latest camera technology and pictures the world hasn’t ever seen before,” Joerg Grabosch, CEO Brainpool, announced. The system is approved and accepted according to BGV C1, so it is licensed to operate above the audience.

Beside two SpeedWinch systems, RTS also provided a dolly with two Suptertower6 mounted on top, running on 70 metres Trackrunner rails. With this application, two different points of view could be realised with only one movement, as one camera focused on the interpreter while the other caught the enthusiasm of the audience. Finally RTS supplied a special Liftarm, just developed the other year, delivering emotional impressions close to centre stage.

“Accuracy and perfection is our first command at any time, no matter if developing new solutions or on a production,” described Pfleger. “When time allows, we will also enhance the features of SpeedWinch. For example, I see unimaginable options for film: just imagine a truss rig overhanging the top of a high-rise building. The SpeedWinch could fall down vertically from this construction, closely running down the face of the building. Wouldn’t that be a spectacular point of view?“

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