Fly an Arri Alexa on a Movi M5 ? Yes you can !

Discussion in 'MōVI M5' started by Nicos Argillet, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Nicos Argillet

    Nicos Argillet New Member

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    Hi all,

    For those wondering, yes an old little Movi M5 can fly an Alexa Mini... here is the Vimeo description to learn the little tricks that makes it possible.



    These are the MOVI parts of a 52 minutes documentary broadcasted on ARTE the 23rd of July 2017.
    Our basic problem was that we had the budget for the Alexa Mini but not for the MOVI M15. So I took my M5 and decided to give it a spin. This is the result.

    You can watch the trailer here : vimeo.com/209389126 & servicepresse.arte.tv/?p=17186&u=1c67665285fb6a7d761414e12578e574&scrtk=3e8688c7dad7a154daf5af586348bbd1

    To make that setup work I was largely inspired by all the folks who successfully flew Canon C100 (vimeo.com/96605362), Red Epic (vidmuze.com/movi-m5-tips-tricks-part-1/) and so on the M5. But although I knew it would be kind of possible, I still had to see if it would work on a big budget documentary project. And by that I mean to be totally functional over a long period of use, and abuse.

    In general use, the setup worked just like we wanted it to do. I could balance in seconds and auto-tune with no issue. I would then grab it, shoot, run with it and do complex moves without the motors going crazy or the gimbal acting weird. We used it extensively for a month, in both majestic and Mimic Mode, and I worked like a charm, several hours a day. But of course such a setup has some limitations. You are putting a some pressure on your gimbal structure and you have to keep an eye on what you are doing in order to avoid problems.

    The trick : to be able to balance such an heavy camera on an M5 you have to use very light lenses. Apart from crappy pancake Canon lenses, the only real choice are the Leica R series of primes. They are beautiful, full manual, very light and can modded pretty easily (check Duclos in the US or TLS in the UK). That's what I own so I was lucky.

    The weight : when you are used to fly a GH4, and Alexa Mini with a big V-lock battery on your handles, fells really heavy. So you have to take this into consideration. If you are used to fly DSLR and mirrorless camera, going big is gonna put a lot of stress on you muscles and your back and you should start looking into support solution like exo arms and easy rigs. Luckily for us because we were two operating the Movi we could relay from one take to another and therefore use it for a long period of time without any particular pain.

    Tilting : with this setup the amount of tilting is limited because the back of the camera get pretty close to the cage. Depending on your lenses and how much you have to compensate for the front heavyness, it can limit your tilting moves. My solution is to set the majestic window to a low number (like 5) and the smoothing to a higher value (20 to 25), in order to the cage to follow your tilting movement. That way the cage and the camera are moving together. When in Mimic mode, you just have to keep in mind what you are doing and things will go fine.

    The drifting handles : The other things I noticed was because of the weight inside the cage, the handle bar would drift when you tilt. After several minutes of tilting up and down, it would be completely of axis and would need to be repositioned. It’s no big deal as it only takes a few seconds with freely quick lock system but it doesn’t feel good when you are holding your gimbal and you feel it sliding. But again, if you are aware of it, you can work around it.

    Feel free to ask questions !

    GEAR LIST :

    Alexa Mini
    MOVI M5 + MIMIC
    Leica R Lenses
    Dji Focus
    Small HD 702
     
    #1 Nicos Argillet, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
    Graham Futerfas likes this.
  2. Footage looks great. Nice job. Just so everyone is clear and to avoid confusion, you were using a Mimic BETA, not the new MIMIC.
     
  3. Nicos Argillet

    Nicos Argillet New Member

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    Hey Chris and thanks for your words. Yes I was indeed using a Mimic BETA as there was only a beta when I bought it :) It works great by the way.
     
    Chris Harrison likes this.
  4. Graham Futerfas

    Graham Futerfas Well-Known Member

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    Good-looking stuff. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Nicos Argillet

    Nicos Argillet New Member

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    Thanks ! Sharing is caring :)
     

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