Behind The Scenes

Spidercam goes where a spider can – and beyond

On the old cartoon series and in the movies, Spiderman flies all over New York City doing what no mortal man can.

It’s much the same at the US Open in New York.

In a small room at the top of Arthur Ashe Stadium, Thomas Meckel and Felix Werremeir are the camera operator and the pilot, respectively, of Spidercam, the creation of a company of the same name based in Hamburg, Germany.

Since 2005 when the firm first created the system, these two have travelled the world to provide overhead views with a camera that moves in all three dimensions — left/right, forward/backward and up/down — all thanks to a four-point system of cables attached to light poles high above the crowd. The dynamic duo work a variety of sporting events — soccer (including this summer’s EUROs), tennis and even boxing — plus concerts.

This is the third year they have been at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for ESPN.

The video above introduces the cam’s operator and pilot.

Video produced by Dave Nagle.

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