The MoVI M10 and M15 by Freefly is a gimbal system that has been assisting the filmmaker with its unique method of camera stabilization providing a similar look to the popular Steadicam, but with more freedom of movement increasing creative options.
The MoVI M10 Gimbal and how it has helped the filmmaker
I’m a filmmaker. I write and direct movies. But I’ve also spent a long time working with cameras and in January of 2014 I bought my first gimbal, the MoVI M10 by Freefly. Since then I also purchased in addition, a MoVI M15. The difference? Basically one can hold a bit more weight allowing for bigger cameras and lenses.
Why do I love this tool so much? Besides the fact that the technology is really cool and reminds me of something out of a science fiction movie, its size and weight, (and also price point) allows me as a director to create unbelievably smooth camera movements with higher end cameras that before was only possible on much more expensive Steadicam rigs and with operators who were highly skilled in its use.
That’s not to say that using a MoVI M10 is as easy as pick up and go, because it’s not. It also does not mean that it is a tool that will replace the tried and true Steadicam. The gimbal does have it’s limitations. It’s merely a new option for filmmakers to push the limits of their creativity and accomplish shots that before may not have been possible due to mobility, and more likely, budget.
As a filmmaker, get creative with your gimbal
Gimbals have been around for a while. But only recently has the technology become more fine tuned and accessible to the filmmaker masses. Is the MoVI M10 or M15 the best on the market to get the shot you need? Probably not. I love the brand but companies like DJI have released a similar product they call the Ronin which behaves in a very similar fashion to the MoVI for a different price. You have options.
So what do you do with this thing? I personally have held the rig in my hands and chased kids doing Parkour, I’ve sat off the back of camera vehicles getting footage of cyclists from ground level to head height at north of 35-40 MPH, and even had the rig suspended 50 ft to ground level from a telescoping crane with a hydraulic release allowing me to remove the MoVI M10 and continue the shot on the ground seamlessly.
Thanks to Cameron Dingwall and Carolyn Pender who’s film I helped out on getting that great footage. Of course Scott Buckler (hire him here!) who built that crane from scratch and a rock solid release that held my gimbal in place worry free.
In addition to what I’ve described people have been able to mount gimbals to small cranes, boats, and even propellers turning them into drones for capturing aerial footage. All things that are not possible with the Steadicam. What’s the drawback though? If you want what the majority of people want which is just basic stability, Steadicam allows for a lot more weight and much higher end cameras. No contest.
For some of my other work with the MoVI systems, check out these videos.
Do I need a MoVI m10 or similar gimbal to be a filmmaker?
Absolutely not. I love this tool but I would also like to stress that as a filmmaker, content is king. The ideas drive the choice of tool. The tool does not create the idea. Awareness of the tool only invites more options for creativity. Perhaps you had the idea of a camera floating through a window and didn’t think it was possible? It can be now.
Maybe you wanted to run behind an actor at ground level and land a close up of a face on a ladder? You can now. Design the shots you want to tell the story you need and realize that the possibilities can be endless. Here’s some flight footage to tease your senses.
The MoVI M10 is an incredible gimbal, and as a filmmaker myself, I’m glad it’s around to help me get the shots I want. If you’re interested in what you’ve read so far, don’t forget to sign up to the site below. The goal is to create a resource of information for all levels of filmmakers. Subscribe and don’t miss out on an update!
Share via Email and Social Media
Sign up for Cool Stuff and Info on What's Coming Next...