TOOLZ: New Freefly Movi Camera Stabilizer Shakes Up the Video Scene – HOT!!!

Posted by Anthony - April 7, 2013 - Cinematography, Equipment, News - 3 Comments

Gotta say, I think this is by far the coolest piece of new gear I’ve seen in a long time.

It’s a new camera stabilizer system called the Movi that looks to be considerably easier to use and more versatile than most of the the Steadicam and Glidecam-style stabilizer rigs.  It can smoothly capture some otherwise pretty difficult moving shots such as running along side an actor, walking down stairs, shooting out of a moving car, and – my favorite – rollerblading while shooting.  Of course you can always get these type of shots – but getting them smoothly and easily is what makes this particular piece of gear so exciting.

The Internet is currently abuzz with commentary on this device.  It’s pretty amusing to read all the snarky comments and back-and-forth from the tech haters, gear snobs and old-school professional D.P.’s (you know they’re “professional” because they always go to great lengths to tell you so), many of whom seem to dismiss this device out of hand – eventhough it’s not even out yet.   If you read between the lines of all theses comments, I think some in the industry clearly feel more than a little threatened by this new device, which means it’s something indies and upstarts should definitely pay attention to, because it just might be a game-changing tool for us.

Here’s a quick clip of the Movi in action: 

MōVI in Action (Quick Video) from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

Many point out that this type of technology – gyro-stabilized camera gimbals – has been around for awhile now- primarily used for helicopter and airplane camera mounts.  However, I don’t know about y’all, but my budgets don’t yet allow for too many sweeping helicopter shots and I haven’t ever seen anything close to this for smooth handheld work on the ground, so I happily applaud the innovative people at Freefly Systems and D.P., Vincent Lafloret, who’ve created something that I think is truly exciting and useful for filmmakers.  The haters can say what they want, but I think the footage below speaks for itself and I know many filmmakers that would love to shoot with such a device- starting with myself.  

Now, let’s be clear, price-wise the Movi stabilizer ain’t cheap: currently it’s scheduled to be $15,000.00 for the first model with a smaller version slated in the near future for DSLR shooters to be priced at about $7500.00. I realize that’s beyond many indie filmmakers’s whole camera budget, but just like many of the Higher End Steadicam Stabilizers, this is more likely something you’d rent rather than buy, unless you want to become a dedicated Movi stabilizer operator, in which case that would be your specialty and the rates you get for such specialty camerawork work would probably more than cover the full cost of the rig in due time… just like the higher day rates dedicated Steadicam owner/operators command now.


Here’s the completed short entirely shot on the Freefly Movi:

MōVI from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.


This behind the scenes footage, shows the Movi in full action:

MōVI BTS from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

You can read alot more about the hot new Movi stabilizer and the technology behind it on D.P. Vincent Lafloret’s site HERE.  I don’t often get very giddy over a new piece of equipment, but when I eventually get my hands on one of these babies, I’ll probably squeal like a little school girl who just met Justin Beiber… only louder.  : )



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  • Greg Payton says:

    I think this video is an incredible demonstration of this device. But I also don’t think anyone on a D-n-D budget is going any where near this thing unless it’s for a group rental or something like that. Still, with time, everything comes down in price. All remains to be seen.

  • Sonny Tee says:

    Man, thats AWESOME! But I think the price tag is a bit high. I purchased one of those Indian made “steady cams” for 1300. this thing is OBVIOUSLY better but as you mentioned it would only a RENTAL option for me OR I may purchase to RENT IT OUT … HMMMMMM

    Either way Im going to try it out!

    • Anthony says:

      If my cheese is right and I liked it after renting and shooting something with it, I could potentially see renting it out WITH me attached as the operator for a decent sum. 10 Movi Cam owner/operator gigs at $1500/day over 1-2 years, plus a few w/o me attached to a handful of personally trusted D.P.’s should cover it should cover it, right?… Of course, there’s already somebody in a garage conjuring up a cheaper, perhaps just as effective one right now. Give ‘em another year or two. I think it’s just like the first RED… There will be more and they will be more affordable.

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