BMD Production Camera 4K

Motion Controlled Photography

One thing that’s always frustrated me, is that moment when you’re looking through raw video material and you find what looks like a promising slow relaxed pan. You let the shot play along and observe its beauty, and then halfway through you see a little ‘blip’ that ruins it! This is one of the problems when you work with human camera operators, they make mistakes and they’re not perfect.

Motion control solution

I’ve looked at several motion controlled photography systems over the last few months, but the one that really appealed to me was the Genie from a company called Syrp. When I first saw that it used a rope to pull itself along, I thought it seemed a bit of a Heath Robinson contraption, but then I saw some sample footage and realized, this was no toy. You can even set ease-in and ease-out for perfect complete moves.

We now have our own Genie which we initially used in conjunction with a Kessler Stealth slider and although the results were good, usability was an issue. Part of the Genie’s rope pulling system requires that you fasten two metal clips at either end of the slider, which is a problem with the Kessler slider because there’s not enough space. It’s entirely my fault because both Syrp and Kessler offer complete solutions. Kessler have a motorized solution called elektraDRIVE which is great, but it is bound to the slider. The Genie is more flexible because it can be used in other ways, as demonstrated in their promotional film where it’s used on a skateboard among other things. To complete the Syrp solution and get the most from the Genie we have ordered their modular Magic Carpet slider which will make life easier (we hope).

The video below shows our first batch of test shots from my garden.