January 8, 2015

This Sexy Short Film Was Shot in Just a Day with the DJI Ronin & S900 Hexcopter

What kind of film can you churn out after only one day of shooting?

This isn't really a challenge, but a serious question: how much do you think you could get done within a 24-hour shooting period? If it was five years ago I'd say, "Psh! Probably not much," but now that there are so many compact, easy-to-use, and inexpensive cinematic tools to help you move your camera, the indie film set has never been more efficient.

This short film called Open Your Eyes by director Sheldon Schwartz and DP Michael FitzMaurice was shot in just a day using several motion control/stabilization systems from DJI, like the S900 hexcopter and the Ronin gimbal stabilizer, which not only shows just how quickly a film crew can work, but also how great the S900 and Ronin can make your footage look.

Check it out below:

Here is a BTS video to show you how it all was done:

I think it's fair to say that grabbing a Ronin, an S900, and a few of your filmmaker friends may not be enough to pull off something of this magnitude. (Seriously, my monthly grocery lists are shorter than the credits for this 3-minute short) However, it's interesting to see the kinds of shots you can pull off using tools like the Ronin and the S900 -- everything from aerials to complex tracking shots. 

DJI, which we typically associate with drones and quadcopters, like their popular Phantom drone, came out with the Ronin back in April and we've been watching it closely ever since. Probably the main reason for this is because it offers users something not yet seen on other gimbals: versatility through 3 different operational modes. Not only that, but DJI slashed its price in half six months ago, so it's now $3000 -- one of the most inexpensive on the very saturated gimbal market.

I think it goes without saying that there isn't just one perfect piece of gear for every single project you work on, but if you're in the market for a new gimbal, copter, or some other motion control system, you might want to take a look at what DJI has to offer.

[Disclosure: DJI is a No Film School advertiser.]     

Your Comment

21 Comments

Cool!
It surely helps to keep locations close to each other.
I shot several really short shorts and when we used multiple locations most time often went to packing, moving, unpacking and setting up everything again and again.

BTW, the end title looks like it followded VideoCopilots Grid tutorial :-p

January 8, 2015 at 7:12AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9309

A lot of capable, motivated people helps a lot too :)

January 8, 2015 at 8:37AM, Edited January 8, 8:37AM

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Very true!

January 8, 2015 at 9:15AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9309

i was on this this shoot the Ronin RC Car is mine and you can almost pull this off with a small crew as long as you have the right people it was fun and made a lot of new friends

January 8, 2015 at 9:04AM

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Ron Hernandez
Camera Operator, RC Cars and drone pilot, Tech
74

The right people is indeed a big factor!
I guess with a small crew it can be done in 2 days ;-)

Nice driving, btw!
Watched the BTS: so cool to see how you can use a RC Car with a gimbal :-)

January 8, 2015 at 9:18AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9309

Can you share the setup of your RC? I am very interested on the specs you have on the RC as how do you eliminate the vertical vibration from the car?

January 9, 2015 at 1:00AM

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kicap
122

lol what about when the phantom goes out of range and has to return to home?!

January 8, 2015 at 9:13AM

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No mention of how much budget is thrown at this project either lol. Obviously a very capable crew, thorough planned pre-production and any tool they want at there disposal, but nonetheless a very well executed short. The EPIC footage looked incredible as well as the extremely well composed shots made capable with the DJI products. They obviously had a great 1st AC and colorist too, everything just seemed to shine. It is promo for the products though so I wouldn't expect anything less.

January 8, 2015 at 10:38AM

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Brad Watts
Filmmaker/Creative Director - Redd Pen Media
563

Haha: "[Disclosure: DJI is a No Film School advertiser.]"

Notice how the word MoVI was absent from this article??

January 8, 2015 at 12:36PM

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K W
837

That's probably because they used the DJI ronin, not the movi.

January 9, 2015 at 8:09PM, Edited January 9, 8:09PM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
607

Killer short! Looked movie theater quality.

January 8, 2015 at 2:24PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1107

Indeed it does tell you what a day of filming can achieve and if the goal was purely a technical exercise then yes. Sexy? Not unless you're into the sexual equivalent of visual chewing gum. I wish film makers would at least attempt to put some interesting content into a technically good piece of filming. Birdman comes to mind first as an example.

January 8, 2015 at 4:06PM, Edited January 8, 4:06PM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1865

SO damn true!

January 9, 2015 at 12:48PM

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Dennis Brooks
Writer/Director
159

Have some respect for the whole stunt crew please! Just because you don't like action movies doesn't mean that this very nicely choreographed action chase was not "interesting content"!

January 13, 2015 at 5:27AM, Edited January 13, 5:27AM

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That is one effective advertisement.

January 8, 2015 at 4:23PM

9
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The first rule is using a Ronin is you must film some Parkour.

January 8, 2015 at 9:14PM, Edited January 8, 9:14PM

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matt
758

Ha! Agreed.

January 8, 2015 at 11:19PM

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A good reminder as to why I was saving up for a ronin. Sadly it takes a bit longer than expected - gimme a pricedrop! :)

January 9, 2015 at 3:19AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
960

Great short! I really like the themes of control and creation.
The RC car driving under the platform was a great idea and kept the action moving.

January 9, 2015 at 12:14PM

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Shina Stearns
Filmmaker
81

So, is this sponsored by DJI as well? it seems like a 'paid' advertisement too...

January 10, 2015 at 2:17PM, Edited January 10, 2:17PM

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Johnny Wu
Director, Producer, Editor
432

Nicely shot! The film could have benefited from a better sound design though.

January 25, 2015 at 5:26PM, Edited January 25, 5:26PM

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Quais Waseeq
Cinematographer
147

can i still watch the video somewhere for study issues? Would be great if someone can tell me!

April 21, 2015 at 7:05AM, Edited April 21, 7:05AM

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