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movi sighting

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#1 Gregg


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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:27 PM

I was on set yesterday and witnessed for the first time in the Bay Area a Movi in action. After finally getting the rig fired up and handed to the DP they lost signal to the village and some battery issues made it look well, not very user friendly. The first shot was from the top of a 6 foot ladder which looked ok but the next shot had me scratching my head. The had a rickshaw and placed the DP in the front to follow a boy (way low) on bike for 50 feet or so. Starting 3 feet from talent they chased this kid to a skidding stop where at one point the rig bounced off the ground and never really captured the scene, take after take. I thought to myself why didn't they just hire a operator, go low and walk fast next to the kid. They would have had it after 2 takes. FYI- this was a huge production with a major car  brand.

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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 12:54 PM

Did anyone else voice your opinion of steadicam being easier?

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#3 RonBaldwin


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Posted 07 December 2013 - 07:45 PM

There will certainly be growing pains with any new technology...we have a 35 yr head start and had our share of issues in the begining as well. That being said, I agree that often many struggle to get shots the hard way. Who knows...maybe they got it for free to play with?
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#4 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 10:34 PM

I used one for the first time a few weeks ago on a big budget commercial.  They also had me on steadi and a super technocrane.  I used the Movi for a shot or two as did the DP (we both wanted to try it).  We have a guy in town that bought one and went to the classes and knew exactly how to set it up and make it work.  We flew an epic with primes.  It worked perfectly. 

I think it works great.  It's a super cool tool and it does stuff you can not do with either a steadicam or a super technocrane.  Yes, operating one to it's fullest potential will not happen for a while but I can already tell that if I use it another 2 or 3 times I'll be able to do some great stuff with it. 

I guess the big 'issue' a lot of people seem to have is the whole job security thing.  I just want to say that it does not matter what equipment they have or make, a skilled technician/artist operating it will always be in demand.  Much like the concern that the steadicam would replace the dolly (lol) the concern that the movi will replace the steadicam is totally groundless.  Sure, in some cases, might a production opt to get a movi and let their dp operate it for one shot instead of bringing in a steadicam operator and his rig, yes.  Just like I occasionally loose a job because they decided to go with a super technocrane and design shots that would work on that. 


So its a new tool, it does cool stuff, there will be a learning curve and it overlaps some of the things you can do hand held, steadicam, dolly, crane.  No skilled steadicam operator is going to go out of business because of it.


Might I pick one up to have in my kit for certain shots....  Perhaps but having it or not having it will not make or break me.

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#5 thomas-english


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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:31 AM

"Might I pick one up to have in my kit for certain shots....  Perhaps but having it or not having it will not make or break me."


There is kit you want to get straight out of the starting gate so you can maximise profits and there is other kit you want to let roll for a good few years to see if it works and takes off in popularity. I think the Movi falls into the latter. There is definitely a demand for lightweight stabilised heads you could handhold etc. 


I've done 2 jobs now where I have been called at midday. Can you come to set, the Movi's not working. Getting there I am amazed they even considered a Movi as it seemed wholely unsuitable for the job as it was just a lot of tracking shots on super long lenses. 


The great question regarding the Movi is, will there ever be enough power from the motors and gearing to compensate for dropping an ND filter or a Mattbox and Cinetape being put back on differently and longer lenses. With an eye on the Physics involved I am currently concluding that the Movi won't ever be used on jobs with glass NDs and Cinetapes because of the shear rebalance time due to the weak motors and gearing. In this HD world I find I rarely do a job where focus puller doesn't have or has insisted on a cinetape because if this isn't the case its a low-budget job. 


Off course in-camera ND's are coming out and Cinetape technology may change but to me it makes the Movi a flash in the pan for high end jobs for the next 18 months but another danger to my Steadicam Rentals in say 5 years. 

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#6 Gregg


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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:06 PM

The rental and rigging of the rickshaw, time wasted and not really getting the shot, what did that cost? I'm just sharing a story from the set, I would have reported a good experience from this unit but on this job the only decent footage came from on top of a 6 foot ladder.




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#7 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:27 PM

Coming from the 'low end' I find the Movi thing, I dunno, odd. Its like people have forgotten Steadicams. I have a little gopro brushless gimbal and Steadicams too.


To me the first question seems should be 'why cant we do this (shot) with a Steadicam?


It seems a Steadicam is just better - simply because it stabilises the XYZ axes, unlike current Movis.


There are times - pass through a window, whatever, where a Steadicam wont fit, but for the rest why even consider the thing which is just missing 3 axes of stabilisation?


A horrible fad!

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#8 Tuomas Viitakoski

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

The great question regarding the Movi is, will there ever be enough power from the motors and gearing to compensate for dropping an ND filter or a Mattbox and Cinetape being put back on differently and longer lenses.

You are definitely right.. changing the lens is a bigger operation than it should and it's not just a FW update that fixes that problem.
One another downside not often mentioned is that if the shot requires use of MoVi M10 you better have a backup in the van - prebalanced and all set up. Once there's a grain of sand inside the brushless motor or a clamp has got loose and you've lost the balance there wont be time to start disassembling and cleaning it up or readjusting the gimbal.

The motors that Freefly's MoVi M10 is equipped with are significally smaller than the latest motors in the market. (So could say that the motors are already "outdated" although working)
I've tested the MoVi and noticed that the motors can handle some tweaks, pokes and slightly imbalanced camera. This just makes the batteries drain faster and possibly cause jitter but eventually may break (burn) the electronics.

Option #1: Having larger motors.
Option #2: Having two motors (on one or both ends of the axis) to do the job!

Attached File  Slacklinefilms.com.jpg   265.02KB   29 downloadsAttached File  XM5010TE-2.jpg   44.09KB   29 downloadsAttached File  t-motor-gb85-1.jpg   29.4KB   29 downloadsAttached File  TYTO_Red-Epic-FRONT-PROFILE_800.jpg   47.71KB   29 downloads

Image sources:
MoVi brushless motor: slacklinefilms.com
In comparison to MoVi the DualSky motors: area51-distribution.com
Large T-motor GB85: coptersquad.com
TYTO brushless gimbal with single motor: pmgmultirotors.com


Then off-topic rant on Freefly;
Most of the gimbal stuff has been open source in begin with so the modern crowdsourcing allows every sweatshops create cheaper 'variations' and the propellerheads create new ways to think outside the box.
I'm just going to lay back on my chair and wait the next great innovation to be released. That's the beauty of open source.
Freefly taking an open source system and integrating it into their mechanics (yes yes, some software encoding included) didn't make them innovators but damn good marketers.
Before NAB2013 the most of the professionals had never heard of it. It instantly went 'viral' - hate to use that word.. But hats off for that.

The best thing they did was to be the first one to commercialize the system so now others have to come up with better/automated balancing. Spending hours tweaking the yaw and pitch on your PC laptop is also something that hopefully will be dramatically improved in the future releases. Not just Mac/Android support..
Also MoVi's radio control unit DX7s is considered as a joke. I wish they had atleast rehoused it like the other stuff. With $15K I'd expect something more when hitting the professional market.

My personal opinion is that the ridicilous $15K price tag was set because after a year from the release there would be better ones in the market for about $5K retail so it would be better to take the money and run.
Anyhow the patent to the multi-axis handheld stabilizer is owned by Adam Sidman and if there's a patent infringement and he wants his share Freefly and others may need to pay up.. (according to him he had not heard from Freefly or about their MoVi before it's release..)

And after Mr. Sidman has got his $$ and licenced other gear manufacturers like P+S Technik, MYT Works, Kessler Crane etc... I'd expect there to be modular electronics with compatible lens controls and thumbwheels for a single user control along with different mounting systems.

See it yourself:
Youtube video of "Handheld, multi-axis camerastabilization device" by Adam Sidman
Interview with Adam Sidman by Imaging Resource
U.S. Patent 7642741

I'm sorry about hijacking the thread but had to get the weight off my shoulders and obviously this community seemed the most therapeutical place to drop it in ;)
I appreciate Freefly's work and their effect on the business and I sure bet there's an Academy Award coming up. Just some things that could be different and better because I want my world to remain perfect.

Stay good,

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#9 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:17 PM

PjPMa91.gif every time I see a Movi, I think this.

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#10 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:54 AM

I always wonder with online forums where people find those videos to attach to a thread and Why?

In this case...
spot on. Very cool find.
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#11 AndreasKielb


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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:04 AM

Last week I used our new Porta Head 5 system for the first time with the cablecam and the brushless gimbal brought another improvement into the stabilization together with the kenyon gyro I used before. I edited some footage and making-of-material from the shooting with the cablecam. The camera used was a Canon 5D Mark 3 in RAW modus. Focal length mainly used was 50 mm, some shots used 35 mm and up to 85 mm.


Best regards,
Andreas Kielb


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#12 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:45 AM

I have to say the cable cam stuff looks pretty sweet. I'm not a lover or hater of the movi. It's not going to replace steadicams. It's just another tool to throw in the kit. The fact that it can only handle smaller cameras gives it a limitation the steadicam does not. I actually think the movi and movi knock offs are pretty cool. I think that it's only gonna get better over time. I was just in Vancouver on a film and a guy built a set of wheels to operate it. If the response time gets better (which it will) it' could be very useful. And honestly if they built a movi to handle say an Alexa I mean are you really gonna try to muscle that all around? I think not unless you are wearing a easy rig and have plenty lisagav to oil up your spinal cord. For the smaller cameras I say radical stuff!
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#13 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:56 PM


somebody will do one for the MOVI....eventually :ph34r:

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#14 Tuomas Viitakoski

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:06 PM

In this Oliver Stone's soccer world cup spot they made pretty simple contraptions.
Especially the buddycam-like aluminum tube setup. (Flying a multicopter over a crowd is obviously irresponsible and stupid so this is a good option if it's too tight for crane.)
Attached File  DirecTV_soccer_spot_aluminumtube.jpg   76.68KB   16 downloads
The MoVi-shot in The Wolf of the Wall Street where they are cheering in the office and the camera flies over the crowd back and forth may have been similar setup to this one used in the soccer ad?

Rodrigo Prieto says in this BTS commentary; "I think the MoVi is ideal for unusual shots.." and I totally agree :)
I'd wish to see more these "unusual" shots which show brushless gimbal in its element. Share if you got links!

Here's the actual commercial if someone had not seen it yet.


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#15 thomas-english


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Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:46 PM

What is that 8ft x 8ft illuminated silk? How do they do that? 

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