Tag: Head

True Blood – Behind the Scenes – Filmed with a Motion Control Head and Audible Cue


True Blood, Episode 707 “May Be the Last Time” – Behind the Scenes

From Director, Simon Jayes, “This sequence from True Blood Episode 707 “May Be the Last Time” was achieved via a repeat motion head.

The entire “move” was built ahead of time, but the shot itself was made up of a number of takes as it was impossible for the actors to get to the next position in time. The individual takes were then “stitched” together in the edit process (a very simple “match frame” command in the Avid).

Unlike traditional motion control, each time the camera stopped moving the pause was ‘wild’, i.e. of-no-specific-length. This allowed for some flexibility in each actors’ performance between different takes. As soon as the actor finished each part of the scene, the remote head would be manually triggered to advance (in full Moco) to the next position and then wait again.

The speed on the remote head panning, tilting and zooming to the next position necessitated programming in an audible beep to be able to cue each actor.

I had great fun coming up with this sequence and would like to thank Craig and Joshua from Pacific Motion Control for helping make it a reality.”

Director – Simon Jayes
Motion Control Operator – Joshua Cushner
Motion Control Tech – Craig Shumard

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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


Jonas Brothers “Pizza Girl” Music Video- Pacific Motion Demo Reel


Jonas Brothers “Pizza Girl” Music Video, from the Disney Channel show “Jonas”

All of the “real pizza” footage in this music video was shot on the Pacific Motion Control stage, using the Zebra live-action motion control dolly, a Sorensen Design Pan/Tilt/Roll head, and a Phantom HD digital camera, shooting at multiple frame rates. The video is currently featured on the Jonas Brothers official YouTube Channel. The efficiency of the crew, and reliablity of the Zebra allowed this to be shot on the same stage, on the same night as this NBC/Orville Redenbacher spot.

Production Company – Engine Room

Director – Dan Schmidt

Motion Control Operator – Mike Leben

Motion Control Technician – Garritt Hampton


The Maine “Into Your Arms” Production Featured in American Cinematographer Magazine

In their October 2009 issue, American Cinematographer Magazine featured a three page article on the production of The Maine’s music video for the song “Into Your Arms”. The video was directed by Aaron Platt, produced by Justin Cronkite, and edited by Hank Friedmann. It was shot in one day, at Ontario International Airport. The production used a Red One camera on a motion control dolly provided by Pacific Motion Control, and featured three separate setups with 80′ of track each. Joshua Cushner served as the motion control operator, and Adam Francis and Garritt Hampton were the motion control technicians.


The Maine “Into Your Arms”


The Maine “Into Your Arms” – Behind The Scenes
Aaron Platt, American Cinematographer Magazine Article

Read the American Cinematographer article

Visit Aaron Platt’s YouTube Channel

Visit Aaron Platt’s Official Website

Visit The Maine’s Official Website


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