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Rube Goldberg
Jim Rodnunsky dies at 54; developer of Cablecam system used in sporting events, Hollywood films
Jim Rodnunsky dies at 54; developer of Cablecam system used in sporting events, Hollywood films

Filmmaker Jim Rodnunsky took a backward (and face-down) approach to developing Cablecam, among the most revolutionary innovations in the history of sports broadcasting. Rodnunsky's system of using a cat's cradle of synthetic ropes to suspend a remote-controlled camera over an event began in 1989, when he constructed a Rube Goldberg-type contraption to capture footage for a ski simulator. To get his first overhead shots, he strung 1,400 feet of steel cable above Saudan Couloir at Blackcomb Mountain in British Columbia, one of North America's most harrowing ski runs, anchoring the cable to rocks at the top and bottom. Lying face down in an aluminum basket, the onetime...

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