January 11, 2017

MotoCrane Mounts Cameras to Any Car

MotoCrane enables you to turn most cars into the dedicated camera platform of your dreams.

Dating back to at least Claude LeLouche strapping a gyro-stabilized head to the front of his personal Mercedes Benz 450 SEL 6.9 for C'était un rendez-vous, filmmakers have dreamed of using their own cars as camera platforms. Renting a Russian Arm is expensive, of course, and if you already own a car, it's been frustrating that there isn't a widely available, one stop solution.

Now there is with the MotoCrane, a three item kit (ARMA jib, ACRO gimbal head and ATILIS base) which is designed to work with a wide variety of cars. If you have a solid roof (no ragtops, and a sunroof requires a solid chunk behind it), between 2.5' and 4' square, you should have what you need to mount a controlled panning, jibbing, and rotating arm to your roof.

Controlled via an iPad ideally set up for an operator with a monitor in the passenger seat, the MotoCrane should be able to accomplish a wide variety of shots in some pretty intense circumstances. The unit comes stabilized with 110mm brushless motors and with two lens control motors built in, allowing the operator to control focus and zoom remotely while keeping the camera smooth at high speeds. The rig boasts a top speed of 80mph, providing smooth footage with a built wire rope vibration dampening system. Mounted to an off-road vehicle you can adjust the dampening for the different requirements of slower travel over rougher roads and pull off some pretty dynamic moving camera shots. 

MotoCrane SetupCredit: MotoCrane
Of course, it goes without saying that this type of work requires both experience and permitting to be done safely. Even though the MotoCrane can mount to any car, shooting with moving cars of any sort on public roads is hazardous, and should be done in conjunction with local law enforcement or entertainment permitting department. It's not just a matter of the camera car driver getting distracted by a shot and doing risky maneuvers on the road, or the crane operator driving the camera into another vehicle. It's also that other drives could potentially get distracted seeing a car driving down the road with a massive swinging arm moving around on top of a car and that itself could cause an accident. As in all areas of film production, be cautious.

MotoCrane OperationCredit: MotoCrane

Available this spring from MotoCrane.

Tech Specs:

  • 25lb maximum payload
  • 80 mph maximum vehicle speed
  • 4 seconds for a full 360° swing
  • Operating temperature MIN: -30ºF, MAX: 120ºF  *Over-heat protection
  • 12V, 10 Amp Cigarette Lighter plug for power
  • 2.5' x 2.5' MIN, 4' x 4' MAX flat, not fabric, not glass mounting area required on car roof.
  • 95lb system weight (unloaded)
  • Aluminum and carbon fiber construction

Your Comment

9 Comments

Wondering what the price tag will be...

January 11, 2017 at 7:43PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8816

Would this rig be legal to drive on the highway? For example, to film a cross country car rally?

January 11, 2017 at 8:05PM

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Adeel Kazim
Creative Director
94

No way. Technically you're suppose to shoot this kind of stuff on closed off roads.

January 11, 2017 at 9:19PM

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Emil
Content
35

Definitely something you would want to into your local law enforcement, sit down with the sergeant or captain and have a nice long talk about the pros and cons. If you're not good with people, hire someone who is.
Speaking only from my own experience, police like anything that makes their day more interesting in a positive way, but they also HATE surprises. Especially if it's a big swinging arm on top of an Audi.

January 17, 2017 at 7:20PM

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Richard Swearinger
Freelancer
128

There was a bit micro vibration but i hope the final product will tackle that issue. Or worst we all can still repair it in post-production as long as this system doesn't break the bank.

January 12, 2017 at 6:34AM

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kicap
162

No low angles, apparently :/

January 12, 2017 at 8:39AM

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Gleb Volkov
Director of Photography
320

Shooting car to car safely is a skill.

Genuinely concerned people are going to do some dumb stuff with this thing.

January 12, 2017 at 11:28AM

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This can't be legal. I hope all the shots you want are on a dirty country road in the middle of nowhere. Also, I hope 20k is worth it.

January 12, 2017 at 12:21PM

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Ryan Blaske
DP/Editor/Director
147

This does look cool, but with RC quadcopters like the Inspire 2 getting better cameras and hitting 60 MPH, it seems like something that only big-budget productions would use. This thing will surely cost more than the Inspire 2. Or potentially even a copter capable of carrying the same cameras this thing does.

January 13, 2017 at 9:27PM

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David Gurney
DP
1404