Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama to get Skycam-ed

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

He'll be the star on the football field. So why shouldn't their be a SkyCam watching everything Obama does? Only it wasn't so simple:

When Barack Obama accepts his party’s presidential nomination in front of 76,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver on Thursday, an aerial camera will hover above the turf, using a TV technique normally applied at football games.

The unique camera angle – and CNN’s willingness to spend close to $100,000 to have it – exemplifies the theatrics that will accompany Mr. Obama’s historic address. The “skycam” will swoop up and down the field as Mr. Obama addresses the audience from a podium on the 50-yard-line.

The camera had originally been for use exclusively by CNN. “It’s been something I’ve always wanted to have in a convention hall,” David Bohrman, the Washington bureau chief and senior vice president at CNN, said in an interview Friday. “It’s an omnipresent view, gliding in and floating around.”

On a conference call on Friday, other television networks objected to CNN’s planned use of the camera and appealed to the convention organizers to consider revoking its use. After “long discussions” with the Democratic officials who manage the convention TV coverage, CNN said in an e-mail to the other networks that it would share the camera, provided that they pitch in to pay for it.
Working in concert with the Skycam creators, the camera operators will have to maneuver the aerial camera around so-called “no-fly-zones” within the confines of the stadium. For example, the camera will not be allowed to swoop over the podium at the 50-yard-line where Mr. Obama will speak. The camera will also have to watch out for spotlights and cameras. - NY Times