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This New Camera Stabilizer Could Change Cinematography Forever


This is one of those post where you need to watch all the videos posted to really absorb the awesomeness of this product.

Here’s the MōVI gizmo in action:

A new piece of filmmaking gear was just announced that could completely re-invent the complex process of camera stabilization. It’s currently being tested and endorsed byVincent LaForet, who’s given us a little taste of what it’s capable of.

The product is called MōVI, created by Freefly, longtime maker of crazy camera-drone equipment and stabilizers. LaForet is presenting a short film and behind-the-scenes video to illustrate its abilities, which consists of a completely custom-made gimbal and 3-axis gyroscope that digitally stabilizes the camera (a Canon 1DC in this case). It looks to be very light and portable, a far cry from giant metal arms, vests, and weights that almost the entire camera support world is based on.

Here is the behind the scenes of the making of Movi.

“Some of you may not exactly get what this device does at first, why you might need it, or how you would use it.   That is until you get your hands on it – and then your way of thinking about camera movement and general camera support will change.  Guaranteed – everyone who’s handled the device agrees.  It’s going to be difficult not to have one of these tools on your productions going forward.

This device isn’t the end of the sticks, Steadicam, slider, dolly or jib to be sure… but it sure will make you think twice about using those tools on many of your shots when you find out how quickly this device allows you to execute a similar shot but in a fraction of the time.   It can literally take longer to explain a shot,  than it would to execute a perfect shot with the MōVI.    Heck you’ll even think twice about every using a tripod for a quick pan or tilt shot – when you realize you can do that with a “push” or a circular forward movement left (a curved dolly track…)  Except you don’t need to lay track down …

The danger of this device is that you’re going to want to shoot Scorsese’s famous Copacabana shot from Goodfellasevery time you pick this unit up.  You’ll do well to remember that short takes and editing are the key to a nice flow in almost any piece.  Yet that amazing shot you’ve dreamed of accomplishing is closer to becoming a reality than it has before.   Obviously in this short my effort was to string as many long shots together as possible to show off the device – and that can be a challenge as a director.

That being said the beauty of this device is how quickly you can also make more simple shots.   A push or slide is done in seconds and near perfectly.   You can add a tilt or pan to that too to make it even fancier if you’d like with little effort.  And the speed at which you can work is hard for many producers (including a friend and long time producer I worked with on a commercial this week… until he sees the results and how quickly you can get them.)  Then you run down stairs, walk across a busy intersection, or ride in a vehicle and your head will certainly spin…

It’s unbelievably liberating.

Another big factor:  It will be affordable – the initial mid-level (in terms of weight support) MōVI M10 will sell for approx $15K and is already under production.   The second, smaller version, the M5 that will be on sale at some point in the near future (once the production capacity is in full swing) will be sold for a price point under $7,500.    If you consider how much we spend on handheld rigs, sliders, jibs (let alone Glidecams/Steadicams etc.) – the price of this device quickly becomes a no-brainer…  Another huge factor:  it takes quite a bit of time to set up a JIB, let alone weights, crew and skill to operate.  The learning curve on this unit is very very fast”

These are showing up everywhere in the RC world now for aerial stabilization system, and really fairly cheap, like only $100s of dollars.

There’s a variety of these ‘brushless gimbal’ systems on the market, including many for the GoPro Hero Cameras. You can find some small systems for under $200-$300 bucks. Here’s a ready made off-the-shelf product from DJI called the ZenMuse that looks pretty good. They claim to have very fast response time which is important to keeping your video shake free as you move about.

It’s cheaper to go the DIY route if you can tackle the project, because a product like this DJI Zenmuse Gimbal will runs for $3,500 bucks (found here)



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