Jim Rodnunsky

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James Lewis "Jim" Rodnunsky (July 18, 1956 – June 10, 2011) was a Canadian-born technician, cinematographer and inventor of the Cablecam system. Cablecam consists of cable-suspended, remote control cameras to film overhead shots. Rodnunsky's Cablecam is now widely used in sporting events, film and television.[1][2] Rodnunsky's Cablecam is a direct competitor of the Skycam system, which was invented by Garrett Brown.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Rodnunsky was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta.[1] He moved to the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California, as a teen with his parents.[1] He earned bachelor's degrees in economics and political science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After college, Rodnunsky further studied both filmmaking and acting.[1]

Rodnunsky first used an early Cablecam prototype to film skiers in the Blackcomb Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, in 1989.[1] Cablecam has since evolved into an "industry standard" for sporting events, according to Variety.

The operator of Cablecam used a joystick to move the camera approximately twelve feet above players at sporting events, such as football games, allowing the camera to film from nearly any angle needed by the director.[1] Variety Magazine called Rodnunsky's Cablecam as one of the technological inventions which permanently changed television coverage of sports events, along instant replays and handheld cameras.[1]

Rodnunsky won several Emmy Awards and three Academy Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during his career.[1]

Jim Rodnunsky died from brain cancer on June 10, 2011, at the age of 54. A resident of Granada Hills, Los Angeles, he was survived by his wife, Lisa; three children - Tatiana, Daniel and Alexandra; and two brothers, Serge and Pierre.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Cablecam developer Jim Rodnunsky dies". Variety. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-07-05.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Farmer, Sam (2011-06-16). "Jim Rodnunsky dies at 54; developer of Cablecam system used in sporting events, Hollywood films". Variety. Retrieved 2011-07-05.

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