Gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbals have become all the rage since NAB, with at least a half-dozen companies introducing their own version of the MōVI stabilizer from Freefly (and more everyday jumping on the bandwagon). Not all of these devices are created equal. Even though some of the parts may be relatively inexpensive, that doesn't mean it's easy to make them work fluidly, as the programming is a huge part of the performance. Burton Snowboards recently made a one shot promo for an upcoming web series that shows you some of the amazing things that are possible with these devices -- like the ability to smoothly hand the camera off to different operators. Check out the video below, including a behind the scenes look at the process:
The handoffs are what really bring out the possibilities for shots that have never been done before. Being able to pass off the camera to another operator is something that is impossible with a traditional steadicam. Obviously steadicams can do much of what the MōVI and other stabilizers can do, but what's special about these (and something I've reiterated over and over again, and even proved by handling the device), is that using them takes minimal training. Operating steadicam correctly takes years of practice, but a decent operator should be able to get the hang of using one of these stabilizers with just a few minutes of practice.
Freefly also recently posted this video showing Zach Braff utilizing the stabilizer on his new film:
If you're interested in how the MōVI is set up, the company just uploaded a bunch of videos detailing the process:
You can check out more on Freefly's Vimeo and watch the Burton web series beginning next Friday, September 13.