Moxie: An Affordable Wireless FIZ System for the Rest of Us
We are in the midst of a follow focus renaissance, and Moxie is taking it in a whole new direction.
Meet the wireless follow focus that won't bankrupt your next project.
With well-established companies like DJI, Heden, Teradek, and more dominating the market and producing excellent wireless FIZ system options, it takes guts to take on the competition.
It's compact. It's lightweight. It's all controlled from your phone. And it's affordable.
Moxie is the wireless FIZ system that bridges the gap between capability and affordability. Moxie allows you to control focus, iris, and zoom using a smartphone or handheld controller.
Andrew Chau and Eduardo Mucino are up to this hefty task. They are co-founders of Gravity Laboratories that recently launched Moxie's Kickstarter campaign. Their combined backgrounds as engineers dealing with aerospace mechanical design, control software, and electronics prepared them for this precise project.
How did they get from outer space tech to revolutionizing focus pulling?
Andrew grew up making short films with his brother and close friends. His brother is an independent filmmaker, which sparked the idea to make a cheaper, more reliable, simpler follow focus. He reflects, “Growing up, I used to make a lot of short films with my brother and close friends, including some really shoddy stop motion action/thrillers with Legos.”
Maybe this Lego follow focus was more inspirational than we thought. Chau says,
"With my background in mechanical design and my partner's background in control software and electronics (he's been responsible for the flight hardware and algorithms that autonomously point satellites with crazy precision), we made a great team to tackle."
Here’s the lowdown on The Moxie. It will look familiar, motor, lens control, rod-mounted, but it will also look plastic.
Don't worry. That's only the prototype.
The Moxie's Kickstarter asserts, "We've leveraged rapid prototyping technologies (like 3D printing) in order to get to this point in just under five months. The final product that will be delivered, should we reach our goal, will be injection molded out of a high-quality, high-strength, low-weight material (such as polycarbonate).”
- Over 1Nm of torque lens drive
- Compatible with input voltages ranging from 6 to 30 V
- Automatic calibration for lenses with end stops
- Durable and lightweight housing
- Compatible with standard 15 or 19mm mounting rods
- Top speed of 200 RPM
- Control from up to 80m away
But the real game changer here is the phone app.
The app allows the user automate takes, keyframe shots and customize their control interface, which Andrew states “is something that other companies don't offer due to their rigid hardware and controllers.”
A pledge of $600 gets you 1 Moxie motor system. Add $600 for each additional motor (for both iris and focus control, for example), and add $200 for 1 Moxie thumbwheel.
Similar systems on the market typically price out at $1000 or above, so this is a great value, especially for filmmakers on a budget looking for a simple wireless FIZ solution.
While it is difficult to assess potential issues with lag, ease of use, and flexibility in placement with a prototype, Moxie appears to stand up spec-wise to the competition. App capability for ease of switching between lenses, potential smoothing modes, and other advanced features have yet to be tested.
One of the benefits of getting in on the ground floor of a product like Moxie is that it’s a small, driven company. The founders are deeply committed to success. Andrew emphasized, “We are working hard to mitigate future product issues by, for example, planning a beta test program so we can work out all the kinks as we move through production.”
The Moxie is estimated to ship March 2020.
Check out the Moxie Kickstarter for more details.
Looking forward to following their progress? Tell us below.