Tag: Custom

BRITDOC Impact Award Spot – Time-Lapse


BRITDOC Impact Award Spot


BRITDOC Impact Award Spot – Behind the Scenes

This ad for the BRITDOC Impact Award was shot with a multi-stage motion control slider (linear mover) and the Talon pan/tilt head from Pacific Motion Control. The head was used as a repeat head and controlled by the Talon controller. The slider was controlled by our stepper speed controller. While this wasn’t truly a motion control shot, in that the head and slider were not controlled by the same system and would not have repeated together, the shot only called for precise movement and this was a low cost and simple option. The DP for the shot, Dallas Sterling, is a fantastic DP who is very familiar with our equipment and just needed a simple system for this shot. We were happy to help. A Canon DSLR was used for the shot, and the zoom was accomplished in post.


Photosynth 3D Views of the Gazelle Motion Control Camera Crane on Location

On the set of a recent Tsubaki commercial, I had the opportunity to capture a few hundred pictures of the Gazelle Motion Control Camera Crane in action, in order to put together a couple of really good 3D photo sets on Microsoft’s Photosynth website. For someone unfamiliar with motion control equipment, this is a good opportunity to see what a motion control camera crane looks like, set up and ready to go.

For this shot, we were on a very long track run, and the rig needed to go about 13 feet per second, so we were using our large servo track motor, and a 5/1 gear ratio for the track drive. we also needed to pan very quickly, so we fitted our motion control pan/tilt head with a servo motor for pan, and a large servo amplifier rode on the rig.

At the time of this shoot, this was as fast as we could possibly make the Gazelle go, and it performed flawlessly. Since this time, we built a much faster track drive system. Originally built for the Cheetah dolly, this track drive system can be used on all of our rigs, giving them the fastest tracking speeds of any full motion control systems.


Gazelle Motion Control Camera Crane - Photosynth 3D 1

Gazelle Motion Control Camera System -  Photosynth 3D 2



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Samsung/NFL Commercial – Pacific Motion Control Demo Reel

These commercials for Samsung were filmed, using the Cheetah high-speed motion control dolly, and a custom built low-profile head. The client needed a fully repeatable motion control dolly, and an extremely low-profile head for this shoot, and the cheetah was the only dolly that would do the job. It was required to move at 20 feet per second, throughout the whole shoot, and did so without any problems. The Servo motor and geared track drive proved to be very accurate and fast, and the rig could repeat both slow and high-speed moves perfectly.

The custom low-profile head was constructed specifically for this commercial, and measured just 5″ from it’s base, to the top of the camera plate, yet it had fully repeatable pan, adjustable, locking tilt, and could hold a full sized 35mm camera package, but in this case, a Sony F23 CineAlta high-definition digital camera was used to film multiple passes at different frame rates.

Footage from this shoot was also used extensively for interactive content on the Samsung website.

View some behind the scenes footage from this commercial shoot on the Cheetah Dolly page.

The commercial was produced by Motion Theory.

Motion Control Operator – Rob Menapace

Motion Control Technician – Craig Shumard

Second Motion Control Technician – Garritt Hampton


New High-Speed Cheetah Motion Control Dolly Gets a Workout on a Samsung/NFL Commercial Shoot

Pacific Motion recently got a call for a fast motion control dolly. That isn’t so extraordinary, but this client wanted to go REALLY fast! They needed a dolly that could track a professional athlete (and not a bowler or golfer), running at full speed. The client had contacted a few other motion control companies and been told to call Pacific Motion. The truth was, that no one had a dolly fast enough to pull off the shot that the client wanted. At the time, even Pacific Motion didn’t have a dolly that was fast enough to do what the client wanted. That’s where the fun started.

At Pacific Motion Control, we pride ourselves on being able to meet clients’ needs, whatever they may be, and this was the perfect opportunity to show our stuff. Within 2 weeks, with the help of Academy award winners, Mike Sorensen (creator of the Zebra, Graphlite, and Gazelle motion control rigs) and Al Miller (Aerohead and Talon Heads), we built and tested The Cheetah. The Cheetah is a gear-driven (for precision and repeatability) motion control dolly, capable of  traveling 18 feet per second (and easily pacing a runner), while outfitted with a Pan/Tilt/Roll head and full-size motion picture camera.

We built and tested The Cheetah motion control dolly in our shop, and we were sure that it would meet the client’s requirements, but we were excited to get the dolly on a stage, and test it under real-world circumstances. The first job that The Cheetah went out on required approximately 12 hours of continuous, precision repeat passes, on 100′ of track, at a top speed of 18′ per second. This was a torture test, and The Cheetah performed flawlessly. Throughout the shoot, The Cheetah never malfunctioned. It repeated every move with frame-accurate precision, and accelerated and decelerated even quicker than we expected. The client was thrilled, and so were we.

Check out the final product!

Motion Control Operator – Rob Menapace
Motion Control Tech – Craig Shumard
Second Tech – Garritt Hampton

We look forward to many more FAST shots with The Cheetah. If you need to film a fast-moving motion control shot, call Pacific Motion, at 818-768-1573, and if you need to do something that no one else has ever done, don’t wait, call us now.

Cheetah Dolly Specs

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