Yeah we get it. At this point you're probably sick of hearing about the MōVI, the newish gyro-stabilized camera gimbal from Freefly. Not only is the $15,000 MōVI M10 not the only game in town, but there are plenty of other affordable options we've talked about before -- including Freefly's own M5. While it's not exactly affordable to everyone, for half the weight capacity, the M5 will be 1/3 the cost at $5,000. Current filmmakers in Hollywood are starting to explore what's possible with these camera rigs. Oliver Stone recently directed a promo for the World Cup, and he and his DP Rodrigo Prieto tried to put the RED EPIC in places they've never put a cinema camera before.
First, here is the BTS, which I actually think had some interesting moments not used in the final piece:
And the spot:
My favorite idea is giving the rig to the actor/subject and seeing everything from their perspective realistically. Sure you could have your operator wear the same clothes, but it's not quite the same, and having the actor operating means other actors can directly interact with them. For example, you could have an actor running towards a car of people, getting into the passenger side, looking into the back seat, and then handing off the rig to the driver, who then looks at the person who just got in the car. That kind of shot would not look great with current tools (even with experienced camera people as actors), but with these gimbals you could do it seamlessly.
The biggest thing for me is not the specific brand itself, but the way these gimbals can open up new shot possibilities and allow anyone with any experience level to use them. It may not be what Steadicam operators want to hear, but these tools make it possible for literally anyone to get smooth footage, and they are only going to get better and easier to use for longer periods. Most of them can be used with one operator if the focus isn't really changing, or you might be able to get away with a camera like the 70D that can autofocus. Here is rental house Magnanimous Media using the M10 with the autofocus on the Canon 70D:
You can also improve the autofocus a bit by filling the screen with more of your subject, or by having the background even farther away from the subject. For some situations you will definitely need a wireless follow focus, but I actually think adventurous independent filmmakers will find ways to keep costs down and get amazing results without increasing the complexity of their shoots.
Who has been using these gimbals? Has anyone done anything particularly difficult? Feel free to share footage below.