The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently awarded former Party Machine DJ Craige Bandy the 2008 Emmy® Engineering Award for developing an innovative new overhead camera jib.
Craige worked as a Party Machine DJ from 1978 until 1986, when I decided to “go solo.” After that, I still referred my overbookings to Craige, knowing that he always did an outstanding job for Party Machine clients.
Craige and I shared the same philosophy of always seeking better ways to do things, as well as being gadget freaks of the highest order. Like so many inventors, Craige was a tinkerer, always building things and re-building them, until he is finally pleased with the outcome. It was this restless perseverance that earned him an Emmy®.
Craige started TriCam Video in 1986, and experienced early success with forensic video for the legal profession. Never one to rest, nor to be happy doing the same thing for very long, Craige built his own mobile video production trailer, and went on the road doing TV sports, award programs, and special events.
Sports like boxing and martial arts offered special challenges for camera operators. Craige saw the need for being able to have a camera overhead, that could swivel 360 degrees around a boxing ring, move smoothly, and zoom in close. This would require a lightweight, remote-controlled camera and a robotically controlled jib crane. Not satisfied with anything that was available, he decided to build his own.
Early prototypes were crude, but effective, with later versions being sleeker, smaller, and more controllable. Concerns for safety and reliability forced some components to be machined from titanium, and others to be fabricated in lightweight carbon fiber. Working with his brother Ed Bandy, who brought in aerospace industry knowledge and experience, they raised overhead camera jib technology to soaring new heights (sorry, just couldn’t help it!) See this high-tech invention here.
Craige operates several 360 Overhead Jibs in his mobile production business, and he has sold units to ESPN and FOX Sports. The 360 Overhead Jib created new Point Of View applications for entertainment video, and was used in the 2007 CMA Awards broadcast and the Concert For Katrina, among other stage applications.
Before being an innovator in TV and video production, Craige began his DJ career at Six Flags Over Texas, and spun records (remember them?) in several area nightclubs including Tiburon in Arlington and Papagayo in Dallas. His DJ business was called Good Times Discos.
Craige lives in Grapevine with his wife Stasia and son Cole, who wants to play Major League Baseball. In his spare time he enjoys tennis, golf, sailing and travel, and has an un-healthy interest in extreme sports. Craige enjoys coaching Little League baseball.