Innovative new robotics for cameras set filmmakers free
A new advance in filmmaking technology is changing the look of movies, and equipping filmmakers with a universe of new possibilities, simplifying their craft and reducing the costs of their ambitions. The tool is called Spectrum, and it’s the next great leap forward in motion control photography, newly released by eMotimo.
“Spectrum holds the camera. It sits between a tripod and a slider, or (any) way to linearly move a camera, and we control the motion,” said Brian Burling, founder of eMotimo. The cinematographer or camera operator can quickly set up a shot and move a camera in a very precise way.”
The eMotimo development team wanted to make operating the Spectrum as intuitive as possible, so it would be an easy tool to use, not a new technical hurdle for the filmmaker. To that end, it is operated with familiar technology: an off-the-shelf PlayStation PS4 Remote handset.
“One of the things we’re trying for with this product is to make it feel very good. We want the tool to blend into the background while the cinematographer is shooting. They almost forget it’s there and it becomes and extension of them. The results are better, and they’re more organic. By starting out with a familiar tool for many people— with an analogue feeling control system, we find we are getting better results,” Burling said.
“We have visions of the director grabbing the remote and saying ‘Get out of my way, I know what I want here.”
One big market for this technology has been nature television, including many productions for the Discovery Channel and NOVA. It has also been seen on shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Bridges,” and the opening sequences of “House of Cards” on NETFLIX.
Spectrum is loaded with features. A recording function allows a director to instantly save a satisfying move, without having to duplicate it. And not just for video, either; it opens new possibilities for time-lapse photography as well. With this new tool, directors are more free to be experimental and creative as they tell their stories. Filmmakers are encouraged to play — an important value for eMotimo.
About working at The Gate 510, Burling says, “There’s a community of people who really cares what they’re doing, are interested in what their neighbors are doing, have ideas. You can bounce back and forth and collaborate.”
(Reported by: Tom LaPorte)