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‘From 1994’ – A Moving Short Film Shot Entirely Using The ALEXA M & MoVI

By Allen Ho on January 10th 2014

Introduced at NAB last year, there was major buzz surrounding the new revolutionary new camera stabilizer system, the Freefly MoVi M10. An “absolute game changer,” (as we dubbed it here at SLR Lounge) the MoVi is starting to find its way into the hands of filmmakers and videographers who are incorporating  its innovative stabilizing technology into their productions.  The handheld 3-axis gimbal system helps to create dynamic and seamless camera movements like a dolly, jib or Steadicam at a fraction of the cost. It can be operated without a support vest and weighs a  mere 3.4lbs, allowing for more versatility when shooting in  tight spaces or long moving shots.


[REWIND: The Absolute Game Changer in Video Stabilization: MōVI 3-Axis Stabilizer]


One of the big questions when the MoVi was introduced  was whether it would be able to mount a professional cinema quality camera given its recommended 10lb weight limit. Mindcastle, a production team based out of Seattle WA,  recently  demonstrated the MoVi’s capabilities with their short film  “From 1994.”

“From 1994” is an emotionally touching short film by Casey Warren and Danielle Krieger, an Emmy award winning duo who brought a very personal subject into this indie film. The video is about a dying mother who, in 1994, wrote a letter and placed it in a time capsule for her son. The touching film is dedicated to Casey’s mother. Casey’s mother was a writer and wrote letters to him on her typewriter. She passed away from cancer when he was 12 and his Aunt gave him her final letter, which this film is based.


Combined with it’s innovative technology and moving storyline, “From 1994,” will not only impress you with intimacy found in the fluid camera movements, but will move you with its deeply moving story. It’s not a surprise that it was a vimeo Staff Pick. Take a look:

Watch “From 1994”

The ARRI Alexa -M and the MoVI M10 Combo

Shot on the ARRI Alexa-M, a cinema quality  camera designed to have a separate 6.4lb head attached to  a 12.1lb body, they were able to produce stunning camera movements with a single operator. This is the first short film to ever be shot entirely using these two systems together.

In one of the most impressive examples, they utilized a golf cart to follow actors riding bicycles at full speed and the MoVi impressively controls all bumps and shakes in the footage. Director Casey Warren is especially excited for what the MoVi can do because it adds another storytelling tool to help tell his stories more effectively. By effortlessly changing from a medium shot to a close up and back out to a wide shot in the same setup opens up the potential of how a scene can feel. Due to its technical versatility, it can also save production time on setting up shots that would normally require more equipment, more rehearsal and more personnel. It also has a function to allow dual operators for more complex shots; one to control pan and tilt while the other controls forward and backward tracking movement.

See the MoVi in action in this behind the scenes video from the short film:

Behind the Scenes of ‘From 1994:’

At $14,995 for the M10 model, it opens up a lot of possibilities for independent and professional filmmakers alike. Expect MoVi to make a big splash this year and to see more video content utilizing its stabilizing technology.

[Via @Vimeo]

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Allen E. Ho is a cinematographer and camera operator based out of Echo Park, Los Angeles. In his spare time, he enjoys live music, Texas Bbq and going to the movies on opening day. Follow him on Instagram at: alleneho

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Geert

    It’s a tough life. Very strong film.

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  2. Chad Andreo

    Amazing Stuff!
    Very Powerful!

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