I asked question I thought you guys might ask.

My friend James Drake invited to a shoot, he was using his Red Epic and they were also using a MōVI stabilizer, I thought it would fun to see it in action and ask a few of the most commonly asked questions along the way.

I can’t afford one of these and I figure most of my audience can’t either ($15k), so when I sat down to ask them questions about it I tried to keep it as generic as possible, so when the less expensive models start being more popular this video might be helpful to you guys.

The shoot took place inside a recording studio in Denver, directed by Wade Yamaguchi who I didn’t get to talk to much since he was so busy. I mostly spoke with Seth Schaeffer of Hoptocopter Films and Cory Reynolds of Contrast who operated the Movi.

They let me copy the footage from the shoot and share it here in my video, I gotta say it looks very smooth when you compare it to my horrible Glidecam skills. I can tell you I am not Devin Graham if you know who he is. Devin is a freak of nature on how he can operate a Glidecam device. While it is a lot better than a Glidecam I could still sense the walking footsteps.

When the stabilizer has a wireless feed for the video, and a follow focus, it gets complex fast. And to adjust the balance doesn’t seem to be the type of quick adjustments you would find on a Glidecam.

Common Questions for the MōVI

  1. How to you light your talent while they are moving?
  2. How long it takes to re-balance the rig after a new lens is put on and when you balance it for the first time on set?
  3. What equipment they were using for the shoot?
  4. What is the Movi used for; narrative, docs?
  5. I also asked about action sports?
  6. How long can you hold it before your arms give out?

Interesting that this device is most needed for amateur’s like myself because it takes months of practice to do the Glidecam/steadycam well, but the price is not an amateur price.

Note to myself: I kept getting a rendering error within Premiere Pro, Unknown Error, I tracked it down to a C300 clip at the end of the video, it was failing at 47%, I keep rendering sections until I found the bad clip and then Premiere Pro rendered it out without an issue. Next time it errors out and using 2-pass that is where the bad clip is located, percentage wise. Also I think I have a red hot pixel on my 5D3 at high ISO’s – center top.

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13 comments

  • Hey Dave,

    I’m a indie filmmaker and I wanted to comment about using a GLidecam. I have to disagree about your opinion about the Movi, I still feel it requires quite a lot of practice AND a second operator makes it a device that STILL requires just as much practice as a glidecam or any other “floating” stabilizer. I’ve been practicing for a good year and have gotten significantly better with my Glidecam, but still have a lot to learn, but I can guarantee if I picked up a Movi, i would still have a good learning curve.

    Just wanted to share another opinion, as I LOVE my glidecam and feel the Movi is a fantastic evolution for stabilization but especially with the more precise focusing ability, it brings an entire new level of technique that needs to be mastered (especially when coordinating with a second operator)

  • Agreed. I got myself a 3-axis brushless gimbal for my 70D and love it. I also do know you need to balance it right and takes a bit of practice to make it great. I can say that the result of my $600 gimbal is just as good as the $5k ones 🙂

  • I own the Ghost from Kickstarter and love it.

    In regards to Jason Bowdachs response – Jason I wondered the same thing. However the very first time I flew my Ghost it was like butter. I even ran with it. These devices are 100 times easier to work with. Getting the same level of shots after one hour of playing around is equal to one year of hard core practice with old fashion stabilizers. Until you use it, you just do not know what you are missing.

  • I’ve built my own and I must say be prepared to play around a lot to get setup properly if you decide to go this route. I would recommend a background in working with electronics and you better love putting together Lego Technic kits just from the photo for some of the cheaper kits. Experience in working with microprocessors will help in understanding the technical talk on the forums as well. So decide do you want to spend lots of time building and playing with the unit or do you want to shoot. The more you spend the faster you will be shooting in most cases.

  • You’re absolutely right Greg. I’ve been a RC and robotics tinkerer for years and just completed a hexacoper for Aerial video. The less you spend the more time you’ll spend getting it working.

  • 3 axis gimbal stabilizers are nice but now I love my Glidecam even more because when combined with the new coming Eroz Steady Aid. Is like a hybrid allowing you to use two hand instead of one like the MOVI http://erozsteady.com

  • Renso you can use all three of your hands on the MoVi. Actually that’s one of the coolest things about the MoVi style rig is you can hand it off to another person during the shot. This way the camera can pass through openings giving you perspective that is impossible otherwise.

  • I did not like the shot that came out of that. I would not call that a part of a professional work. I think they should have practiced lot more before they started using on a real project.

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