November 22, 2013

Chet Faker Teams with Flume and the MōVI For Unique Dance-Driven Music Video

Everyone has buzzed about the MōVI when it was announced at this year's NAB, but now we're starting to see what people are actually doing with it.  Two of Australia's biggest artists, Chet Faker and Flume, combine their musical talents with the eery and electric dance moves of Brooklyn's "street dance king" Storyboard to make a music video for their song "Drop the Game". Hit the jump to see the video, behind the scenes and hear about its unique solution for mounting a RED Epic on the MōVI.

First, let's take a look at the video:

"It's the freedom of handheld but with the fluidity of the steadicam."

I talked with GAREN, the producer of the video (as well as the feature film Lily & Kat) about the process of mounting a RED Epic to the MōVI, which was only rated to carry 10 lbs. DP Alex Bergman was pushing the production to use the new stabilization system, so MōVI technicians Michael Gorczynski and Casey McBeath spent several days working with custom brackets at the Elements Technica storeroom.

Here's what Casey had to say:

We had to find a piecemeal solution to each and every mounting issue we encountered. From simply powering the unit to mounting the wireless focus system and video transmitter down to what type of filtration we would be able to use, we came to a dead stop for each one. Though with our dedication, staying until 1 AM at the store for an entire week, and coming in for a full day the Sunday before we left, we were able to customize a build of the MoVI that has become the standard for us when working with a RED Epic. In fact, our RED Epic/MōVI set up was so well put together, Panavision later came to us when to help them equip theirs for similar shooting. To this day we still assist Panavision with any overflow of MōVI requests they receive.

MōVI technicians Michael Gorczynski and Casey McBeath

The support that we got from RED and Element Technica was both truly gracious and humbling. We were allowed to fly across the country for an indeterminate amount of time with their one and only preproduction mockup of a new side bracket which we wholly support the use of! Look for it in the coming future.

Casey McBeath describes it as "being able to dance within the scene":

As the MōVI technician and operator, I cannot tell you the joy and pride I found in my job and my tools when we would finish a take and the directors and producers would be staring open mouthed at the monitor. The fervor and frenzy at which they demanded to see playback of what they just watched was proof to me that the images we were able to get with the MōVI were truly captivating.

And that's where I feel the strongest suit of the MōVI and is. Being able to dance within the scene. When shooting this video, we had a full crew and production set up but all of them needed to be relocated around the block as soon as the talent started to dance. Within minutes we were spinning around the talent doing 360° look arounds, dodging oncoming cars, buses, and trash trucks, and letting the music move us up and down the street.

GAREN talks about the producing side of things:

Did using the MōVI make my job as a producer easier? No. Did we come across difficulties because of its learning curve? Yes. Did it cause us to lose some time? Yes. But these things are all to be expected when embracing new technologies.

What I like about this video is that though it was shot on the MōVI, it was not the center point of the video's success. This video is all about the dancing, which is eerily mechanized on its own. Props to the director Lorin Askill for keeping it simple. Check out Storyboard's other dance work here.

A brief look behind the scenes of Drop the Game:

http://vimeo.com/79584683

What do you think of the video? Did you like the subtle use of the MōVI? Share in the comments below.

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Your Comment

53 Comments

Kills me to say it, but this camera work was terrible...

November 22, 2013 at 7:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Eva

Agreed, the dancer is amazing! The camera work not so much. With such a cool gimbal system why not move around more? Be fluid like the dancer, move with him. Great song and dancer though.

November 22, 2013 at 8:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Erik

Just coz you have a hammer - doesn't make everything a nail. Wicked video!

November 22, 2013 at 9:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kraig

I'm dead too...

November 22, 2013 at 9:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The talent's moves and the camera motion fly far from any physic laws available on earth.

November 22, 2013 at 7:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Very underwhelming for the amount of work that has gone into it. Expected more.

November 22, 2013 at 8:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gavin

I understand the capabilities of the MOVI system. In this application, I didn't see anything that couldn't be achieved with a standard stabilizer. Did I miss something?

November 22, 2013 at 9:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rob

I think a lot of people are missing a big part of what makes a gimbal system great. It's not only made for crazy-cool shots that flow tons of action in one single take. Granted that is something that you can do with this system very well and it's a great creative tool but it's also just a really good stabilization system which replaces loads of other kit. I'm on a commercial this week in a WW1 trench and need a jib shot of the soldiers going over the top but if I had a gimbal stabilizer I wouldn't have to fuck around setting one up and squeezing it into such a tight space, I could just have the DP hand it off to a grip stood at the top. There are also a load of steadicam shots too which means time taken between those and the jib shots swapping shit out and we only have 4 hours to get the shots we need so it's going to be a nightmare. If this was on a MoVi then regardless of the creative possibilities it still saves me a load of time between slates. It would also save time not having to wait for the steadicam to be changed to low mode cos there is a nice little handle on the top! Bosh!

November 22, 2013 at 9:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kraig

Have you considered a cable cam for you shots?

November 22, 2013 at 11:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I haven't but I am now :)

November 22, 2013 at 2:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kraig

same feeling here. in fact a lot of the shots would look better with a steadicam. really expected a lot more before I watched the video

November 22, 2013 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I wonder why you think that some shots would have been "better" with a steadicam? Not disagreeing with you at all, I'm just curious :)

November 22, 2013 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kraig

Better because you're carrying the weight with your legs and not out in front of you, better cause there is less strain on your back...this is just stuff from an operator's point of view. I'm pretty strong, but the Movi is more tiring for long takes than steadicam (though steadi is no walk in th park). The coverage was all stuff either system could do well.

It didn't hv those juddery moves you sometimes see with Movi, so that as a plus. Creeping slow moves generally look better on a dolly than either a steadican or a Movi, IMO, but I know thats not realistic to do in the street with most small productions. At least with a Movi you can leave the cases in the car instead of having to continually move around the c-stand.

November 29, 2013 at 7:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

Is this a sponsored post for movi? If so, could you guys please disclose sponsored posts in the future? Thank you.

November 22, 2013 at 9:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John

No, it's not.

November 22, 2013 at 9:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

fair question though! :-)

November 22, 2013 at 2:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

Not even remotely.

November 22, 2013 at 2:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Hahahahaha!

November 22, 2013 at 2:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kraig

You mean it's not even remotely a fair question? How so?

November 25, 2013 at 11:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

I'm afraid that I, too, was left wanting. A lot of the camera movement just didn't work, it didn't integrate. It was too subtle to matter, but enough that it distracted from the dancer. Good effort, but it falls short.

November 22, 2013 at 9:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joseph Moore

But still too expensive, I achieved great results with my Flycam 5000, but I can see the problem with carrying so much wight and gear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSgNfUIuDZw

November 22, 2013 at 9:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andreas Lange

WHO NEEDS A RED WHEN YOU HAVE AN IPHONE !!!!!!11! SAME IMAGE QUALITY !!!!???//?1

November 22, 2013 at 5:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

@Tyler I didn't put it that way, I made clear that there a differences based on the needs for your production, with the comment about problems with weights, I undestood that putting a red with monitor ff, mattbox and a carl zeiss could be a problem with weight for my flycam. I can do fine with my DSLR and flycam as long as it is not view in cinema 2k. And by the way you are commenting, you try to make me look stupid, like I don't know shit. That is very unnecessary of you, try putting your mind into something positive about filmmaking..

November 22, 2013 at 7:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andreas Lange

We built our own, recently. I think these work for shots where it's hard to put a steadicam or dolly. Here's our first test:
http://vimeo.com/79732606

November 22, 2013 at 10:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Paul Watt

first things first: I think this video is great and I think MOVI is great too. That being said I don't see a single shot here that couldn't be achieved on a steadicam.

November 22, 2013 at 11:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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wouldn't this have looked better and been easier to achieve with steadicam?

after using the movi system and seeing lots of stuff come out I am super unimpressed it seems like a gadget....maybe if it was super easy to use that would be a good pull and it would make sense ....but its not at all

November 22, 2013 at 11:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jon apple

The problem with this video is that it looks like average steadicam shots, with weaker composition, boring movement (for the most part - there was a couple parts that I liked) and terrible focus. It doesn't highlight the tools being used in a great way, no matter what the tools were.

Perhaps one day the Movi will get its Shining or Copacabana.

November 22, 2013 at 11:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Movi and alike (dozens of similar contraptions out there now) is a step toward a more mobile platform for the camera (a human being) but, until some put forth a reasonably priced exoskeleton, a fully rigged camera is still on the heavy side for most folks even with an EasyRig type of support. The real improvement will come - and, in many case, has already come - from a vehicle that can support both the operator and the rig. Segway has gotten some use as that mobile platform int he past. Garrett Brown used his Steadicam in a wheel chair (famous boy-on-tricycle scene in "Shining"). Others used a stabilized handheld camera on an electric skateboard. In the future, electric scooters or other single seat vehicles would be able to provide most of what MoVi and other gimbals can do but with a more flowing series of shots.
.
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKJpff3hTJM ]

November 22, 2013 at 11:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I think what everyone is forgetting, is that like every camera device ever created, it's a tool.

It was difficult for us because it was the first time it was being used w/ a Red Epic, and a lot of custom pieces needed to be fabricated.

However, it did enable us to use this tool to move quickly from setup to setup without the annoying hassle that you get from Steadicam.

With Steadicam, you can't go from low mode to high mode, with Steadicam you can't all of a sudden stand on top of a platform and then pass the camera down to someone else.

This gave the DP Alex, the complete freedom to compose & move w/ the dancer, Storyboard, w/o the classic limitations of Steadicam.

Lastly, I just want to say that the beauty here is subtlety. Less is more, and it let the dancer's movements breathe. People get WAY too caught up on gear and creating shots around equipment rather than because a certain scene motivates it. I've been guilty of this in the past as well. But it took a long time for me to understand that the creative dictates everything above all.

November 22, 2013 at 12:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I agree with those points, but the small, jerky camera movements distracted me enough to destroy any sense of subtlety. It just struck me as bad camera operating. That said, I thought the song and dancer were cool.

November 22, 2013 at 7:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Denver

Think the reason why people expect spectacular shots in the video, is beacause this is presented as a demonstration of the movi itself, if we were shown just this film without someone telling us it was filmed with movi, we would focus more on blocking, lightining, and dancing. Shots are okay for letting the dancers breathe as you say.
Excellent work!
Only thing to add is the street lights in the background had some puls or rolling shutter issue. But thats just a tiny detail.

November 22, 2013 at 7:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andreas Lange

Garen, couldn't one make the same low-to-high camera movement with a small jib? With a man-held camera, you're basically limited to his/her height and agility. Mount a cheapo 4'-6' jib crane on a mobile platform and you get your dolly/tracking, pan and tilt, jib/crane shots off one simple setup.

November 22, 2013 at 10:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

Jib will not work, neither will dolly, nor will steadicam.

Jib on mobile platform needs to be leveled to the street, plus add additional grip crew to handle - much larger footprint, and different nyc permits, not feasible in our setup.

Dolly, same situation as above, slightly smaller footprint.

Steadicam, can not within a single take move from high mode to low mode, can't pass to other people to quickly get "jib" effect etc..

Movi has 5min reset time from scene to scene.

Small camera movements were a stylistic choice. To each his own.

G.

November 23, 2013 at 4:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Thanks. I understand the difference between gimbals and the Steadicam. Working around the work permits, so to say, is a different bowl of wax.

November 23, 2013 at 7:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I've done low to high steadicam shots, maybe not drastic but noticeable. Especially without a vest an arm on a small setup it's very easy to move around. And who is really doing things on the scale where you can get permits and shut streets down, etc. The traffic was obviously going through and 75% of filmmakers guerilla style shoot anyway as we don't have budgets and resources to even get permits. Not to mention the general liability insurance you would need as well as hiring a police officer to shut the street down, etc. it sure isn't cheap. So I agree with you...different bowl of wax and honestly comes down to the crew to make things work and I have done some insane things you would never know I pulled off with something so simple.

November 23, 2013 at 10:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brad Watts

Steadicam Tango (not the tango stance of steadicam, but the device). Let's you boom higher than with a Movi. It's basically a steadicam mounted jib arm.

Like the Movi, you have some serious weight limits, but it's a super cool tool if you can work with them...all the benefits without the drawbacks. I've used boy the Tango and the Movi. The Tango wins hands down...I'm surprised it hasn't gotten the kind of coverage the Movi has.

November 29, 2013 at 7:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

I too thought the camera work in this video was really unappealing. It doesn't seem that MoVI was the right tool for the job here.

November 22, 2013 at 12:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Noah

This is an electric powered camera dolly that can get nice moving shots with a Steadicam (though, it should be able to do that with any gimbal based stabilizer as well) - [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3NlobMnA08 ]

November 22, 2013 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I love how everyone is buthurt because they aren't putting it on bungy cable between two high speed cars and filming with a guy in a wheel chair holding on while going over a bumpy dirt road - the movi was a fine choice. Everyone here is just poor on conservative and get all ramped up when they see something expensive used for something they could do with their $40 tripod Steadicam setup.

November 22, 2013 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

I was very underwhelmed by this video. The lighting looked nice, but I actually found the small, jerky camera moves distracting and there wasn't nearly enough shot variety to keep me interested. I would think with a stabilizer system, especially one as versatile as the Movi, you'd want to try some bold and unique shots, but I didn't see a single shot that surprised or impressed me in any way.

November 22, 2013 at 7:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Denver

I too was underwhelmed by this video. The small, jerky camera moves distracted me enough to destroy any sense of subtlety. Just seemed like bad camera operating. That said, the dancer is clearly talented.

November 22, 2013 at 7:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Denver

Shit, for some reason my original comment didn't show up so I ended up posting again. Sorry for the redundancy! :(

November 22, 2013 at 7:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Denver

Thanks for the video but I was completely underwhelmed. IMHO this video actually hurts the Movi rather than promote it. It reminds me of a Kickstater that posted herea while ago for some cheap jib. When I saw the sample footage I was like: "and that video is supposed to get me excited?" . Didn't see anything that makes a "making of" video worthwhile either. Amazing considering this was shot on equipment costing 10's of thousands of dollars. If anything, this can be a case study on the proverbial "the tools do not make the artist". Incredible dancer though.

November 22, 2013 at 7:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jorge

The dancer is so good and so fluid that in my opinion locked off shots and maybe some dolly or slider work would have been enough. The talent is moving so beautifully that it's distracting to have the camera not match that fluidity. Still the focus is on the talent and it's a great clip and it works with the song. I don't think it's terrible camera work, I just felt they didn't quite pull it off.

November 22, 2013 at 10:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Billy C

I was also expecting something better. there a just small movements, you also can see some shaking on the roll axis. not a very good use. i can do the most stuff handheld + warp stabiliser.
And i'm also using a selfmade brushless gimbal since june with my fs700. here are some shoots i did with it:
https://vimeo.com/77053427

most of the stuff was filmed with the gimbal. the most of the driving footage from the trunk of a transporter, also handheld, nothing special. some other driving shoots are just running behind the car.

November 23, 2013 at 5:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Excellent work Marcus! May I ask how you got that commercial gig? That is exactly the type of work I'm equipped to do here in Puerto Rico but I don't know how to go about getting clients!

November 23, 2013 at 5:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jorge

Awesome work man, I would have liked a post about your video as opposed to this one tbh.

November 23, 2013 at 11:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Chris

Great piece of equipment but in this video it didn't really do it for me.
Actually reminds me of a video I made in my second year of filmschool.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJiIuNnZ9QY

November 23, 2013 at 6:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Not impressive at all...i've done far superior shoots with a glidecam 2000HD smh not a good look for MOVI, and what was with all the shaking and wobble? And why did the RED look like a 5D? hmmm I definitely expected a lot more since the producer was saying it took 2-3 years to come together??? wow

November 23, 2013 at 10:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brad Watts

Not impressed. Cinematography doesn't showcase this guys dance moves. It's a nice wet down look, but the BTS video was more impressive regarding being able to see the dance work his magic. The main film was trying too hard with flares and movement that didn't complement dancer. Regarding the MOVI rig, at least i this application...it looks like a blend between steadicam and handheld. this is NO replacement to steadicam work which is floaty and soars through the air. these movements seemed mechanical mixed with human, which i found to be distracting to the dancer/content.

November 24, 2013 at 11:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Clark

very ugly video! poor movements and MONTAGE!

November 29, 2013 at 7:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Erni

While I agree with some of the non-constructive comments here, none of them are balancing their opinions of the camera work with this: Ya know, sometime you just can't get what you need at 3am with minimal crew and gear, and no ability (no permits) to set any bigger rigs. I've been on bigger shoots with (on paper) a better chance of catching 'the gold', to find I have to be happy with the silver (got my Producer hat on here, not my DP/Dir hat). And we all know music videos are often 'love' jobs, making it hard to insist (as a producer) that things are done as you might do them on a $$$ agency or corporate gig.

I totally get it - and commend Garen on getting it done - onya mate.

November 29, 2013 at 8:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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There are certain techniques available for capturing dance on camera, unfortunately they were not applied here. The master of dance on camera was Merce Cunningham, I suggest a look at his approach in future.

December 17, 2013 at 5:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Donald S