MoVI Job poached by FreeFly Employee

Discussion in 'MōVI M10' started by Kurt Wallrath, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Kurt Wallrath

    Kurt Wallrath Member

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    I just lost a job to a FreeFly employee today because the M10's carbon fiber tubes are too short to use longer lenses and/or matte boxes. The AC is friend's with this FreeFly employee. To bring on the FreeFly employee, the AC told the DP they needed a kit with the longer rods to work with the longer lenses. These are carbon fiber tubes that aren't available for sale.

    It's really cool of FreeFly to sell a $15K item, offer almost zero training unless you spend an additional $800 then have the jobs poached because they keep the important pieces to themselves.

    I can't wait to pay off this $15K wannabe steadicam and be done with this garbage.

    Can't wait to see the Fisso R1!

    -K
     
  2. Kurt Wallrath

    Kurt Wallrath Member

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    Forgot to mention, the FreeFly employee has the longer tubes that FreeFly doesn't sell on their store...
     
  3. Brett Harrison

    Brett Harrison Active Member

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    That's certainly a sucky experience, Kurt. I believe that the measurement of the rod is a standard one, so try and source some rods from carbon fiber manufacturers.

    What lenses were they using with which camera? I remember seeing a picture of someone using the Alexa M with custom rods (much longer) here on this forum, (and I don't think they are Freefly employees).

    I agree that if Freefly promote the use of the Alexa M (for example) with the M10 (making it the first image people see when they load the commercial website) then they should also make that functionality accessible to their users.

    That other gimbal and all the other contenders aren't even proven yet, and you get what you pay for generally speaking. Modding the M10 is possible, and all the experience you garner as an operator will put you in good stead against other operators, no matter what their weapon of choice, so it's not a dead investment by any means.
     
  4. Jason Comparetto

    Jason Comparetto Active Member

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    Sorry to hear that Kurt. We manufacture several different sizes of carbon fiber rods. If there's any way I can try to help you get the longer rods that you need, please contact me at jason@CinemaOxide.com
     
    Barry Collins likes this.
  5. Charles Lim

    Charles Lim Member

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    Not a nice story. Would be impossible for us to compete against freefly if they decide to operate instead of supporting us operators. LOL whats the contact of this employee? Maybe I should just contact him and let him shoot my projects and mod my movi.

    This is a shame, cause so far my outlook of freefly has been very positive.
    ..............
    anyway
    Does installing the longer rods void the warranty?
    How about the wires? Can Movi please provide us a kit to execute these changes.
     
  6. Charlie Beyer

    Charlie Beyer Member

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    The Movi web store has several problems, not least of which is a lack of things it sells. Its difficult if not impossible to get to the store from the web site. I need to type in freefly store in the google search rather then find a link directly on their web site. I also have had to out source several simple but important parts from other web sites including competitors. For example cables I found at Brushless Gimbals. Also I may have Cinema Oxide modify a base plate to work with a C300. That should be sold from free fly. The need for longer rods have popped up in other threads as well as custom cables. It is strange that freefly does not provide more stuff on their web site but their general policy may be that they make the basic unit and let third party people make the custom stuff.
     
  7. Brett Harrison

    Brett Harrison Active Member

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    Not strictly accurate Charlie, Freefly have been releasing stuff that works very well to extend the functionality. It's just they are so meticulous about it and apparently incapable of putting something out that doesn't work extremely well. They're probably busy with the software side of things, too, where they dominate. Give them time, I am sure they will surprise us.
     
  8. Tabb Firchau

    Tabb Firchau Administrator
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    Kurt, I am hoping I can clear a few things up.

    1. Freefly Cinema was founded many years ago as a service company. We originally focused on remote aerial cinematography. Originally it started with Just Hugh and I. We worked hard and the business grew. Now there is a small team of some of the best operators in the world that work for Freefly Cinema. The company is still active in the cinema world. We have clients we have worked with for a long time and love working with still. As Freefly Systems has grown I get to spend less and less time out filming (bummer as this is what I love). Our goal with Freefly Cinema has never been to poach clients or use the upperhand we have in Engineering capability against our Systems customers. On the contrary we view Freefly Cinema as a means to ensure that the products created by Systems are top notch and capable of getting the job done. It is this feedback loop between Engineering and Filming teams that results in dozens of iterations before the customer even sees or hears about a product. It is why we have a shelf with dozens of MōVI prototypes here at HQ!

    2. My goal is always to support our customers as much as we can. Nothing makes me happier then to run into a customer and have them say "wow, I paid off my rig in the first 3 months and it has opened the door for so many job opportunities". Freefly is in this for the long haul, I don't view our customers as just an M10 customer. I view them as a life long Freefly customer and as such want to do everything we can to support them. Every day we get inquiries for jobs that we pass onto MōVI owners. Additionally we knew we did not have the man power or expertise in teaching the whole world how to use the MōVI, so we partnered with AbelCine to help us. This has been a wild year with explosive growth. We have been doing our absolute best to scale and take care of customers. The overwhelming majority of customers have a good experience with our support system. Repairs if needed happen quickly and efficiently. From my days on set I remember the support some companied gave and how much of a difference it made in my life. I am sorry that you came away from this experience feeling the opposite.

    3. Freefly Cinema is constantly testing our beta units. I wish it was as simple as just adding some longer tubes to get you what you are after but there is a bit more to it. In order to be a viable release candidate we need to test and validate the design. I can't just ship you longer tubes and hope for the best. I don't want products out there that are not performing to the level we expect.

    Brett - Point taken on the Alexa M piece on our website, we will be addressing this issue soon ;)

    Charles - My whole point is that Freefly Cinema HAS to operate. If they don't, then how can we ever be sure our products work to the level we expect them to? From the genesis of Freefly Systems the reason people have loved our products is that they are simple, reliable, and offer amazing performance. This was not by chance...it was because Hugh and I were on a boat in China testing the thing for 30 days in crazy conditions and making sure we were happy.

    Charlie- Point taken as well....I wish we had every accessory you need. We are working daily to make the process as painless as possible but we are also not OK just posting crap for sale. We only sell the things that we use. I will make sure longer rods get added ASAP though. As Brett said we are pretty meticulous here. We are not in the game of making a bunch of crap accessories to maximize profit. I want to make sure anything we offer adds value and makes an operators life easier.

    Most importantly I want you to know we appreciate the feedback. Kurt, I am very sorry for your experience and hope to turn around the way you feel about Freefly.

    Best,

    Tabb

    Pre-MōVI testing in China
    463195_10150778715485907_1907248807_o.jpg
     
  9. Charlie Beyer

    Charlie Beyer Member

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    Tabb for the suggestion box I would ask for a few things.
    1. A base plate that has holes for a more universal fit to cameras. Rather than 4 evenly spaced holes, have one or two holes and then a slot that allows a second screw an inch or so of movement. Similar to a tripod plate. Right now the only camera that can accept two screws is an epic.
    2. A link on your web pages to your store.
    3. A few tube length options for different cameras. For both the vertical and front-to-back tubes.
     
  10. Adam Paugh

    Adam Paugh Distributor

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    Quadrocopter has been in the business of aerial camera systems for about six years running. About three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Tabb and the Freefly Cinema crew. At that time I remember we were trying to get the 5D MkII aloft and struggling with that project, to say the least. A short time later Freefly ushered in the CineStar multi-rotor line and the 2-axis gimbal, problem solved.

    Fast forward to the present and we now have dozens of design manufacturing companies product lines that we currently distribute worldwide and many more that have come and gone. When I look back over the laundry list of product release issues that we have dealt with in the past it helps resolve my patience. When I get a notification from Freefly that some new device is on a truck heading our way, rest assured I know it WILL work and most likely beyond expectation.

    Greetings,
    Adam
     
  11. Jason Comparetto

    Jason Comparetto Active Member

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    Thanks for such a candid response Tabb. Guys, keep in mind that most all companies out there will not give you this level of response. keep up on the good work
     
  12. Tabb Firchau

    Tabb Firchau Administrator
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    Hi Charlie, thanks for the feedback...
    1. We will look at this, if we can pull it off without impacting the stiffness (very critical) of the camera mounting plate we will do so. There are some new things coming out soon which will make it less of an issue as well.
    2. There is a link on our web page to our store....but the fact that you did not find it easily tells me it is not visible enough...we will rectify.
    3. The tube issue isnt quite as simple as swapping out tubes for bigger / smaller cameras. It changes the entire structure of the gimbal and must be done carefully or will negatively impact performance....watch NAB on this point ;)

    Best,

    Tabb
     
  13. Charlie Beyer

    Charlie Beyer Member

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    Copy you. Thanks for the response.
    I am having my plate modified as we speak so that I can use it on the C300 specifically. Your concern is also my concern, as far as stiffness. I will report back once i have it in my hands.
     
  14. Kurt Wallrath

    Kurt Wallrath Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for your responses. I want to apologize for calling the MoVI garbage. I don't believe it is. It was an emotional response to a very long and trying day. The MoVI M10 has actually helped me get my first paycheck to say "camera operator" on it and has gotten me some of the highest one-day rates I've ever received!

    Tabb, I understand there's going to be a certain amount of R&D that goes into a product and future versions of it. However, I know people out there who have gotten the 3 longer CF tubes and extended cables. I know because I have used this rig before. To spend hours trying to make Summilux's work on the stock M10 only to have the FreeFly employee tell production the lenses will work on his because my rig is only valued at $20K or less while his is a $60K+ rig really made me feel FreeFly wants to only sell me a rig but keep the film jobs for themselves.

    I'm happy to see your response above and I believe my negative experience will be a one-time event.

    Just curious, what's the real max weight a MoVI can hold? I know 12lbs is what the manual says but should I tell a DP we can't use a rig because we're at 13lbs?
     
  15. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Kurt, it should also be said that this game is not always “fair”. It’s a dog-eat-dog out there, and often it’s the folks who are willing and able to push their gear beyond its limits who win. That’s true in all sorts of endeavors. If you’re expecting your off-the-shelf MōVI to put you at the top of the list every time, you’re eventually going to be disappointed. Your skills and your ability to personally innovate are going to let you compete better. Even then, you don’t always win, and usually if you don’t, it’s because you were simply beaten by a better opponent. I’d suggest learning more of the technical side of what this remarkable tool (the MōVI) can do, and how to get the most out of it. And, eventually, how to “hot rod” it to suit your needs and help you compete.

    I’ve found (like many others) that Freefly are a wonderful partner and offer extraordinarily great support. But you still have to ask the right questions. :)
     
  16. Wolf Schiebel

    Wolf Schiebel Active Member

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    Hi Kurt,

    no warranties, but i had about 15 lbs. on it on my last feature film..(Epic/Cooke S4i/Heden FF/Cinetape/Tiffen filters)

    Using a Steadicam G-50 arm most of the time.. ;-)

    Best Wolf
     
  17. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    Kurt... I am pretty sure the least of your worries should be Freefly taking your gigs as any RD they could do would benefit you anyways. Generally though, its just not rocket science this stuff, and just about anybody is qualified to do it. Sorry but that's the facts and with the next wave of gimbals arriving after this NAB you are going to have every cowboy on the block competing for your work with a rig thats half the price or less. When Philip Bloom is running around with a Movi... you know your in trouble:D
    Its no accident that everybody who was doing aerial work over the last 4-6 years is now selling/designing to supplement if not replace the income as its going to get harder and harder to do what you love as rates start to drop.

    To compete you gotta get a little inventive and come with more then the next guy.
     
  18. Charles Lim

    Charles Lim Member

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    Movi .You are right, come to think about it, the inventors need to real world test to keep the tech up to date. However i hope everyone keeps sharing information and improving each other. But looks like in order to load up the movi. 3 options.


    1 Add counter weights , which will increase the weight of the movi , but u protect your warrenty.

    2 Void your warrenty , by modding the movi . Extending wires and lengthing the rods .

    3 wait for movi20
     
  19. Hey Tabb
    Its good to see your response - I think its so important to address a customers concerns properly - considering you guys make the best product in the world and owners love to be proud that they own the Rolls Royce product in any field.
    I was asking for Freefly's help recently with the research I am doing to connect my proposed M10/FS700 rig to the gimbal handle (without the sled) of a Steadicam Zephyr twin arm and vest. Freefly could not offer even the smallest of specs to help with my questions which was dissapointing but I finally worked it out myself - a short tripod post attached to the Ninja plate on top of the M10 twin handle bar. I am also looking at the full HL8 rig from Quadrocopter.
    The one big question I would love for you to answer is when can I get the longer M10 cradle for the FS700. I had a private message response from the Freefly Facebook page saying it has been in testing in your production area and is working well. I naturally want to wait to get my new M10 with the longer cradle.
    Kind regards from Sydney, Australia
    Barry
     
  20. Chris Herr

    Chris Herr Member

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    Hi Charlie,

    I've had luck adding a set screw for the C500 using the rear most threaded hole. If you saw the head off of one of the bolts in the emergency repair kit you can thread it into the hole so that the plate can still move freely forwards and backwards but the camera is locked in. Hope this helps.
     

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