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I like the way you move it, baby...

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Danny Grizzle
I like the way you move it, baby...
on Nov 6, 2011 at 5:40:19 pm

I'm doing big business on motion control from Kessler these days, but this is also way cool:

http://www.quadrocopter.us/

Be sure to watch the demo reels. I've been in a fever watching this stuff the last 24 hours. If there is an interest, I'll try to retrace my steps and post links to some of the videos.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: I like the way you move it, baby...
on Nov 7, 2011 at 7:39:51 pm

[Danny Grizzle] "I'm doing big business on motion control from Kessler these days, but this is also way cool:"

Are you saying that you are making good money using Kessler's motion control gear? What type of projects/clients?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Danny Grizzle
Re: I like the way you move it, baby...
on Nov 10, 2011 at 7:06:50 pm

Jason, I actually meant the comment in terms of where my purchasing is directed right now, at support systems. I've recently updated my Microdolly jib to retrofit it to DSLR production, plus added a Kessler Pocket Dolly, Revolution Head, and Oracle Controller with motors.

The build quality on Kessler equipment is not up to Microdolly standards, and Kessler is a bit rough around the edges with lots of basic hardware store fasteners, etc. Kessler is also not as well thought out for transport and travel. Lots of loose parts, machine work less than awesome, square tubing without radiused edges, and tools required for assembly. But overall, I love the Kessler gear I have purchased; it is priced right, and it adds amazing production value. Microdolly does all that and is manufactured to a high standard of industrial art, but lacks any motorized motion control.


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Brent Dunn
Re: I like the way you move it, baby...
on Nov 10, 2011 at 6:25:13 pm

It's all cool until you crash the copter into a clients house.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Danny Grizzle
Re: I like the way you move it, baby...
on Nov 10, 2011 at 7:32:00 pm

Yeah, I was doing the math on crash costs. Still, considering what I've spent on real helicopters in the past, these things are not out of the realm of possibility. Frankly, the RC helicopters fit my shooting style better anyway, and they could be flown a lot closer in to the shot than a real helicopter.

I don't live in L.A., and I don't get to work with pilots who are experienced flying for real cinematographers. So it is always an issue to get them to understand what we are going for, and everything about flying slow and low goes against their natural instincts to get high and free and clear of obstructions soon as possible. You get these guys low to the ground, and they want to start evasive maneuvers on any radio tower 2 miles distant.

If you let the typical helicopter pilot call the shots, you might as well download satellite imagery from Google Earth.

As I was watching the online videos, I was looking for tight shots and proximity to obstructions. These guys delivered, which to me shows confidence in their equipment and skills. Most impressive are the low altitude work, passes past trees, the trucking shots over rough terrain beside a group of mountain bikers, and some over the shoulder shots of mountain bikers with the helicopter flown down a forest trail.

Over water shots of white water rafting were also great, inside a rocky gorge. Also, the tight shots of mountain climbers on a sheer rock wall were very impressive.

What they don't say is how framing is accomplished and what kind of shooting ratios & time were involved. There is bits and pieces of information on the site about camera gimbal mounts, implying a monitoring downlink and separate controls for the cinematographer apart from the pilot's flight control. If so, that would be awesome. There is also reference to GPS and software programming and control on a dedicated netbook laptop. If the copter could be programmed to fly a repeatable pattern highly accurately, that would open up tons of possibilities for staging shots.

If anybody has experience, I'd love to hear about it. This is all fascinating, but certainly not an impulse purchase.


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