From John Henshall
Back on page 147 we told a story which was gradually expanded by the various performers. Here it is again, with a rather important addition...
First Mike Cotton -
".....the experiment we did for John Henshall with a small video camera mounted on the end of a boom, with the connivance of the studio mechanic and VT. During one supper break, I operated the boom cam with John chatting. We started with an overhead shot, rotated through 360 degrees, came down to eye level and went through the rung of a ladder and looked back out and finally ended up in a drape basket with the lid shut and looking out through a hole in the side. It was very hard work considering the weight of the camera and it caused the strings to go so we had to replace the whole boom for transmission.
Was this the forerunner of the ubiquitous device everyone uses nowadays ?"
...and my (Bernie) version -
"...some years after this, in 1975, a cameraman colleague, John Henshall, who used to make those fancy star filters for TOTP, bought an early 'lipstick' monochrome camera.
He chatted up the mechanical workshop chaps and they built a mic boom mount for it. One evening in TC6, during dinner break on a drama, he chatted up the shift supervisor in VT, and we did a demo for a lecture John was going to give. He was on camera, ace boom operator Mike Cotton operated the 'crane', and I directed. I have no idea whether or not John still has the recording, but that was probably the first real 'lightweight camera on a long arm', and as John said on camera - 'one day...'"
John Henshall, having read the orginal page, said -
" I think you're right - it probably was the first real 'lightweight camera on a long arm'. It was shot for the Royal Television Society lecture I gave with Dick Hibberd (Founder and then Chairman of the Guild of Television Cameramen - I was his Vice Chairman) and Bill Vinten (MD of W. Vinten Ltd) and I needed something which would shock and really 'take the blinkers off'. The camera was part of a black-and-white Sony Portapack (Vidicon, half-inch recorder) from West Surrey College of Art and Design, where I worked part-time).
Bill Millar was the always enthusiastic TM1 on the day. I remember that the whole crew was interested and stayed behind during the dinner break. So - unfortunately - did Laurie Duley (manager), who spied on us from the Observation Gallery. I say 'unfortunately' because I was carpeted - for using Corporation studio facilities, crew, electricity and VT facilities without permission. Luckily I wasn't charged for the broken boom, eh?"
As it turns out, and the reason for repeating the story - John did have the original recording, and here it is - the world's first remote camera crane -
...and Roger Bunce, having read all this, said -
It was shot on the set of "Strife" by John Galsworthy, a Play of the Month from 1975. If I'm translating an old diary correctly, it was rehearsed 9th - 11th May and recorded on the 12th. John's experiment would have been on one of the rehearsal days. And I'm pretty sure that I did the other camera
And here it is....
John also found another video - a guide to the EMI 2001 camera