Nevada City startup featured in the Sacramento Bee

thumbs_11We’ve written before about Gyro-Stabilized Systems, the Nevada City startup that makes and sells stabilized camera platforms and systems. Now the Sacramento Bee has a profile of the startup by Cathie Anderson titled “Filmmakers, broadcasters fly with Nevada City startup’s technology.”

Jason Fountaine doesn’t blink when he gets a call in Nevada City from a filmmaker in Sweden who wants to nail a cinematic shot that has never been achieved before – a high-velocity shot from a new Saab Gripen fighter jet.

“In the aerial-to-aerial video, a snippet of which can be viewed online at, the Gripen streaks over mountainous terrain at speeds of more than 300 knots, but every image is buttery smooth. There are no plumes of white smoke here. And when the jet pilot turns to glance across his shoulder, directly through the cockpit canopy, and into the lens of the camera, it feels as though he’s looking right back at the viewer.

“The footage got technology blogger Chris Ziegler craving a “Top Gun” sequel and remembering a memorable track from the 1986 film.

“’If ‘Danger Zone’ doesn’t automatically start playing in your head as you’re watching this, you need to check your pulse,’ Ziegler said.

“Fountaine’s 5-year-old company, Gyro-Stabilized Systems, is frequently asked to help film and broadcast companies tackle new frontiers, he said, and that’s just the way his small band of 17 staffers likes it.

“They produce a pivoted support system, known as a ‘gimbal,’ that will keep a camera steady even as plane, helicopter, motor vehicle or boat swerves, spins or bounces. The company integrates off-the-shelf cameras and lenses its customers buy.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

One thought on “Nevada City startup featured in the Sacramento Bee”

  1. Image stabilization has come a long way since the late 1960s and early ‘70s, when my roommate worked at Dynasciences in Blue Bell, PA –– the company that developed the original concept.

    At that time, improved image stabilization was needed in order to accommodate the shaky, vibrating nature of helicopters and jets flying over Vietnam (and probably over Cambodia and Laos as well) while filming activity below.

    In trying to explain the concept, my roomie said to think of it as a camera mounted on a gyroscope. The technology was a lot more complicated than that, but the gyroscope description was easy for a non-technical person like me to visualize.

    Image stabilization has obviously moved far, far beyond shaky helicopters and jets flying over Vietnam, and I’m glad to see that Gyro-Stabilized Systems is doing so well. I hope they continue to grow and that their success encourages other innovative companies to locate in Nevada City.

    With Chris Bishop continuing to inspire young science-minded students at NUHS, there need to be local companies where they can apply their college degrees, raise a family, and perhaps even create their own company (as many Grass Valley Group alumni have done).

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