Director Tamara Rosenfield talks about the Freefly Movi M5. She shares her experience with the Movi M5, and advice on achieving the best results. Tamara recently returned from filming in Malta, Spain, Italy and Poland where the Movi was put to very good use.
Can you describe the Movi and how you used it during the filming in Europe?
The Movi is a steady cam type device but you don’t actually strap it to yourself. You hold onto it and it has a stablizer inside. It also has an option to have a remote control, so that you can pan and tilt and it will give you smooth movements if you want it to.
It almost feels similar to dolly shot or gib shot as it allows you to have creativity with moving it around. It ups the production value when you can use something which is similar to a steady cam. During filming in Europe we followed around farmers a bit with it through their daily tasks.
We tried to do some movements that you might use with a dolly or a slider, or something of that sort. It helps to ground you in the space. When you up the production value allowing you to feel more in the space of the place that you are filming.
The case for the movi is relatively large. When we were going to the airport we joked that we could fit me inside of this case. Once the movi is setup it fits pretty nicely around the Cannon 5D. It’s got a ring around it and you can hold the camera on the two handles on the side. But if you are holding it for a while, especially above your heart, it can be very tiring. Luckily we have a strong DP. We tried to do one interview where we went back and forth, so that we got the movement for the interview. But after that he had a pretty good work out.
Are there are any other challenges to using the Movi?
The physical demand is one aspect of it. But with any steady cam type device it is purely about experience and having used it before. It’s a technique that you need to master, and so we would look through the footage that we had a shot to discuss what we would differently for the next shoot.
Were you happy with the results from the Movi?
Yeah, I love what we are able to do with it. One thing we might try to differently with this next one is before we were following their action. But with a documentary you use only the best little bits so when something happened do we a need a wrap around.
Was the Movi useful for shooting documentary?
We are doing documentary but with feature films you can stage everything. So when you stage something you can do crane shots that wrap around and you can have people that walk at a certain point at this moment and then you can go around them. With documentary you don’t know exactly where people are going to be. We were looking at this shot where the farmer is walking along and a really cute dog ends up jumping by in the background. If were going to choose a moment we would have liked to get that dog jumping by. So I was talking to Matt (The cameraman) if possible when he notices something like that, then right as the dog is jumping do a quick wipe around. And then you will be able to transition between the shots. Using the movi in this way leads to shots that we are more likely to use. We are just waiting for the right moment and so we need to make that shot usable or cool as possible.
If you want to read Tamara’s interviewing advice for documentary filming, check out this article.
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