|John Dynes and an all Canadian crew keep CTV’s Spun Out in focus|
Thinking of heading to the set of Spun Out to watch the taping of a sitcom? The CTV comedy stars Dave Foley and tapes Fridays at the Pinewood Studios in Toronto. When you look up at the four pedestal cameramen, contrary to an earlier report here, you will be looking at an all-Canadian crew.
Cameraman John “J.D.” Dynes wrote to correct an impression left a few weeks ago by one of the producers on the sitcom. “The cameramen in question on the set are not seasoned LA professionals, they are actually a Toronto area group of 6-8 freelance professionals capable of doing intricate dolly moves on a pedestal camera,” writes Dynes of JDCameraWorks Inc.
The producer speculated that, given how few four-camera sitcoms have been shot in Canada the past 25 years, there just wasn’t a home grown team up to the task. Dynes concedes it takes “years of experience to be able to work on a sitcom or drama format such as you witnessed,” but he and the other Spun Out shooters have been doing just this kind of camera work for over 35 years. “LA has no worries about shooting in Toronto,” he says. “We’ve got you covered!”
Joining Dynes on the pedestal cameras are Simon Dalrymple, Steve Cruickshank, John Fox, Ted Hart and Frank Harbor. These guys go all the way back to the 1985 – ’88 CTV comedy Check it Out, now being rerun on Comedy Gold. That series began as a four-camera, studio audience comedy but switched to a one-camera show without an audience when it became clear star Don Adams (Get Smart) simply could not remember his lines!
Other comedies and kid shows shot by Dynes and the other Canadian cameramen include The David Steinberg Show, Bizarre, Learning the Ropes (another late-’80s sitcom starring ex-NFL star Lyle Alzado), The Big Comfy Couch, Noddy, Super Dave Osbourne (another Comedy Gold staple), The Holmes Show, Sharon, Lois & Bram and Eric’s World.
Dyne says they also covered soaps and dramas as well as multicam sports and music shows such as Kurt Browning figure skating specials. “L.A. isn’t the only town with with highly-trained, experienced camera ops that know a thing or two about a thing or two,” says Dynes. “As pedestal ops we truck, dolly, zoom and focus and usually at the same time! No extra crew required. We do it all!”
Happy to stand corrected John. Go Canada.
There are four more Spun Out tapings beginning Friday June 28. To request tickets, write to email@example.com. The series premieres in the 2013-14 season.