Focusbug Technologies Inc. developed the Cine RT in response to an on-set climate where run & gun production, rehearsal shooting and an apparent disdain for the appearance of tape measures indicated the need for a new tool.
Our idea was to create an alternative measuring device to enable assistants to get traditional marks quickly and discreetly - the concept being that marks help define the “playing field” and assist the focus puller even when they are working off a monitor; especially when low lighting conditions, atmosphere and/or diffusion can compromise the monitor image. We wanted to add a tool to the 1st AC’s kit that would eliminate the need to pull tape or sight lasers and dispel the notion that there is no time to get useful marks.
We quickly realized that a multi-faceted approach to the use of ultrasonic technology and native RF communication within the Cine RT toolset would expand its versatility. The system's proprietary software was built from the ground up, tailored to the unique requirements of focus pulling.
Over two years of design evolution and revision through industry beta brought the Cine RT System to market in 2017. With over 800 units sold around the world, we have since seen the Cine RT welcomed onto sets of all sizes and are thankful to the international 1st Assistant community, whose valuable feedback and input through all phases of development has helped continue to guide our product ecosystem.
Most recently we have had the pleasure of working with various LCS manufacturers to improve serial data rates and overall lens control compatibility for reference and focus tracking applications. Our most recent venture is in the form of Bi-Directional Communication with the new Arri Hi-5. We look forward to strengthing relations with other industry players such as c motion, Heden and Teradek RT through uni-directional improvements such as distinct custom protocols directly designed with each individual manufacturer.
With new system firmware updates and the development of several new Cine RT System products, we plan to add further value to our family of Focusbug products and expand our client's set of focus tools.
Laird Pierce is an IATSE 669 1st Assistant who has been working in the camera department since the late 90's on feature films, episodic television and documentary production.
Jonathan Ritchie is a computer programmer with a 20 year multi-disciplinary background in film production as a sound engineer and a drone specialist. His company, Fourth Dimension Aerials was amongst the first of it's kind to build and pilot drones for use in world-class documentary productions.