My project-crush for the day goes to the FlyRig. This thing was designed and built by Real Art for the University of Dayton's basketball team hype videos, and despite having interest in neither professional photography or ball sports, I really want one. It's a 360-degree rig with the camera mounted below a rotating 16-foot arm, mounted to the ceiling of their workshop. Modeled after a massive ceiling fan and powered by an electric wheelchair motor, it allows for fast, smooth centripetal pans of the subject. In this case the subject—the University of Dayton Flyers themselves—came out looking great.
Better yet, Real Art documented the making-of the rig in a short case study:
It's nice seeing a creative agency do its own fabrication, and I'm particularly into the problem-solving around lighting. As the camera arm spins it would block light from a light source mounted above or at the side of the shooting space—wasting a hearty chunk of each rotation's footage. They needed the lights to be below the helicoptering arm and within the circle cut by the camera, but without the necessary wiring getting in the way. Solution? Brush contacts, powering a stationary set of lights suspended below the rotating arm. Nicely done.
While a lot of the dynamism in this kind of shooting comes from the subject, the high speed circling really is engaging. Just add a curtain and a 40 square foot chunk of court flooring and you're ready for the buzzer.