Chasing and Dancing: How Dennis Schemlz Uses Manfrotto’s Move System for Creative Freedom

Dennis Schmelz using the new Move Ecosystem by ManfrottoCredit: Dennis Schmelz
This German cinematographer has found the best ways to integrate camera movement.

The legendary Fred Astaire, momentously aware of his body, the visual medium, and his audience, shared that "either the camera will dance or I will."

But what if you could do both? What if both the camera, and the dancer, could move? Dennis Schmelz and Manfrotto have answered this question, and it's the freedom of the Manfrotto Move Ecosystem that allows Dennis Schmelz to dance as well. 

Dennis Schmelz, based in Erfurt, Germany, is a cinematographer known for his travel videos, camera movement, and dynamic cuts. Now, his motion, movement, and shot choice has even greater flexibility with the Manfrotto Move Ecosystem: a gimbal (the 300XM Modular Gimbal), the Gim-Pod (a tripod-based set up), and GimBoom (an extended arm for the gimbal).

Using these tools, Schmelz is able to save time on set with quick transitions from tool-to-tool, all from a trusted name in the equipment field. One can even fake a drone shot with the new GimBoom (missed an opportunity to rebrand the song "Click, Click, Boom" there). And it's all in the interest of quick switches and an accelerated pace on set. 

“You equip all your gear in advance with the Move system and you can save a huge amount of time during the shoot," Schmelz told No Film School.

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEQN5OP3Hl8 

Flexibility and the ability to shift have always been a creative focus for Schmelz, and it’s easy to see how having nimble equipment set-ups, particularly the ones created by the new Manfrotto system, fit into his workflow.

During [a] shoot, a lot of things turn out differently than planned, but it's much more coordinated because I've thought about it a lot beforehand. I like having creative freedom on set and not having to set everything in stone beforehand.” 

Driven by the beauty and tales of the world, Schmelz is continually developing, capturing, and sharing across the globe. And with this new gear at his side, having a minimalist approach may aid in his storytelling.

“I do what I love, telling emotional stories and traveling around the world," he told No Film School. "I am always looking for the perfect image, chased by the light, and can't help capturing moments. I don't like to repeat myself and am always trying new things that fascinate and ultimately inspire me."

Manfrotto’s slogan is “Imagine More,” but perhaps with a speedier workflow and the ability to create new shots entirely, it is more of a reimagining of movement.     

View more of Dennis Schmelz's work.

Check out more from our Manfrotto Week: Camera Movement coverage!

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