Working atop the Skyjack Lift

On March 10, 2015 the body of the fallen soldier Sgt. Andrew Joseph Droin was repatriated to Canada. Although this time it was a full Canadian military funeral, the family preferred to keep media away. Therefore all of us were kept behind the fence during arrival.

Media kept behind the fence at the CFB Trenton during Sgt. Andrew Joseph Droin’s body arrival. Photo by Mark Blanchard, Global TV.

For this live pool camera assignment, Mark Blanchard, Global TV, arranged for the Skyjack lift. Obvious advantage would be staying high and filming above the fence. But there were the problems too.

Selfie from up above. The signal has been tested. Ready to go.

The first one: if the cameraman is afraid of height, it does not look like a good idea.

The second one is work safety. Working with the Skyjack requires using harness, safety vest and some training. One would have to know the do’s and dont’s of how to stay safe and sound, and naturally – the ways to operate the lift. The controls are up above with the cameraman. I had to bring myself down safely. There is also a danger in placing the lift on the working road, next to the traffic. Sizable vehicle losing control and jamming into the lift could possibly knock it off. Nasty.

The Skyjack lift parked on the side of the road for the live signal of the repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton. Photo by Mark Blanchard, Global TV.

The third one, the most important for the broadcasters: the higher the platform, the less steady it is. The wind, the traffic, the cameraman’s breath shakes the platform. And it shows, especially when filming with the telephoto lens.

This is the footage used by Global TV on their live broadcast.

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