Every so often an innovation comes along in the field of sports broadcasting that really helps bring the fans closer to the action. In 2020, the stand out introduction of new technology probably goes to the Major League Baseball (MLB) Network’s Speed Cam; a rail mounted camera that rides on specially constructed tracks built on top of the first base dugout.
Its ability to track a runner as they head from home out of the batter’s box to first base has brought fans closer to the action than ever before and manages perfectly to convey the sheer speed and athleticism of the players involved, as the camera keeps pace with these athletes. At the heart of this nightly drama is the AGITO remote modular dolly system.
“This has been MLB Network’s dream shot to do and they’ve been working on it for a long time,” says Patrick Kligel, owner of Las Vegas-based specialty camera support company, JIB TEK LLC., who builds and operates the system for MLB Network. “When I met with the producers of MLB’s Game of the Week and discussed what our options were, I thought of several platforms that could do the shot, but I picked the one that could do it the best, for me that was the AGITO.”
Kligel says he chose the AGITO for a number of reasons, notably the lack of cables, its higher top speeds, its modular design, and its adaptability. The result is a new perspective on the glorious game.
“It was the wireless ability that made this work, because when you’re moving at speed, the last thing you need is caught up and twisted cables!”
“AGITO is used to show the speed of the game at a lower eye level, an angle nobody has ever seen before, meaning the audience feels like they are a part of the game, and not just a spectator,” says Kligel. “It is also used to show the beauty of the Park, the interaction of the fans, and other new angles at replays during the game.”
Kligel is a big fan of the AGITO — “Nobody matches its versatility in being able to go from track to sport mode,” he says — and enthuses about all the different shots it can produce when working as the Speed Cam, including tracking the Pitcher on and off the field, catching meetings on the mound, following the pitch to the plate, and more. It doesn’t stop there, as JIB TEK is in negotiations to use the AGITO in several creative ways in several major upcoming US sporting events.
“With the AGITO I feel like it’s a tool that can do a lot of jobs, and it can do a lot of those jobs very, very well,” he concludes. “Also, the tech support that you get from Motion Impossible one ups everyone else too, because you can get an immediate response.”
AGITO offers multiple configurations to suit your filming needs, it’s a swiss army knife for film-makers. When you add the Trax to the AGITO Core, your system becomes a remotely operated track dolly that is ideal for use in studios or venues where the safety of a pre-set path is required. The compact and low profile design means the camera becomes as invisible as possible in the environment.