The Mōvi for Wedding Videography

I am a wedding videographer. There are many things about shooting video that get me excited, but being part of a bride & groom’s one-of-a-kind wedding day is chief among them. I also love using cool gear to create the best possible wedding films that I can. I believe the Mōvi has real potential to do great things for my industry, even if the industry is a little bit wary of it right now. I’m hearing a few criticisms of the Mōvi across the wedding videography industry, but they boil down to one: The Mōvi is too expensive for wedding videographers. I disagree, but before I get to disagreeing with the nay-sayers, let me tell you why you, a wedding videographer, need a Mōvi.

Confused? Not sure what the Mōvi is? Read my last post:

First of all, why am I so excited about the Mōvi? This is why:

The Movi in Action

Gyroscopic magic.

Can’t you see the magic happening? With a tool like that, the images I see in my head could finally become a reality. Becoming skilled enough with Glidecam takes years of practice and is a worthwhile task that I undertake seriously – but imagine combining that skill (and upper-body strength) with a tool like this! I will be able to give my clients NOTICEABLY higher quality wedding films. I love the dynamic motion I get from my Glidecam, but I have to shoot very wide to make up for my less than perfect flying. With a Mōvi, there’s no more unwanted horizon bobbing or drift – even with more arm motion than would normally ruin a Glidecam shot. With the Mōvi, I could shoot tighter and stay more rock-steady.

With a Glidecam, you can’t imitate slider shots. Perfect side-to-side movement isn’t possible, and they are too long to get near the ground for those low shots. Panning and tilting a Glidecam while moving it is an exercise in frustration as well. The Mōvi, on the other hand, has none of those issues. I slider is my go-to tool for eye-catching prep-shots, and for adding motion to close-ups of all the little details. It’s controllable and relatively portable. With the Mōvi, I can leave the slider at home, and get the shots in half the time. With focus control at my left thumb, and pan-tilt at my right, I can grab the Mōvi, do the slide, and be done. No set up, no adjusting two light stands, a tripod, or all-terrain legs. Magic.

I don’t have to tell you that as a single videographer working with one assistant, its not feasible for me to bring a jib to weddings to get those cool craning shots for the short film. Instead, I use my Glidecam, but whenever I try to do really big craning shots with my Glidecam, where I tilt-down as I move up to get that counter-move visual magic, I inevitably add way too much wobble, and I can’t start very low, because my Glidecam is long. With a Mōvi, those shots are cake. Star with the Movi low, move your arms up while walking forward, and do a tilt. Perfect every time, no jib necessary.

So don’t bring a jib, slider, or Glidecam. Bring a Mōvi.

But the M10 costs $15k and the M5 will cost around $7500! That’s a boatload of money, more than most of you spend on your Canon 5D iiis, and certainly more than I spend on Micro Four Thirds gear! How can you justify a piece of grip gear that will undoubtedly cost your entire equipment budget for the year?

What is the value of going the extra mile? Do brides appreciate higher quality films, with more interesting footage, and that extra layer of polish? Cynics say no, the bride won’t notice. But I call baloney: Those same cynics invest in L lenses and Canon 5Diiis. They know clients want quality, they just think they’re reached an acceptable plateau. I say there is no acceptable plateau. The sky is the limit, we can always be better, we can always improve. If there is a tool that will give us better footage to give our clients, then we’re doing our clients a disservice if we don’t use it. Of course, you have to consider what is feasible. I’ve already pointed out that jibs are just not feasible for the way I shoot.

But the Mōvi IS feasible. Not only does it avoid significantly complicating your life as a Videographer, it makes your life easier. You can leave your other stabilization gear home. Just bring sticks for your locked off ceremony and reception shots, and a monopod for your assistant/second-shooter. It saves you time and energy and trunk-space. It’s a win-win. But it is expensive. Some of you aren’t grossing enough to spend even $7500 on gear in a year. Maybe for you, it isn’t worth it, maybe you should stick to your $400 Glidecam 2000 HD. MAYBE. Or maybe you should start putting those pennies in the bank, and get a credit card or two. Buy a Mōvi, advertise as an owner/operator in your market, and get really good at it being the best Mōvi artist there is. You’ll recoup your costs in no time flat. And hey, if that doesn’t float it for you, rent it. There’s very little learning curve, so its the perfect tool to rent when you need it.

For those of you whose grosses look a little bit more like mine, somewhere between 20 and 40k a year, enough to live on but not getting rich; you who are saying things like “I need to pay myself first” and “I don’t buy gear that’s so expensive, what I have is good enough” and “the chinese will knock-it off for cheap, I’ll wait for that one”: shame on you. Borrowing a line from Dave Ramsey, why not live like no one else (take less income) now, so that you can live like no one else (own a Mōvi and shoot great shots) down the road? Why stagnate thinking what you have is good enough when you could shoot for the stars? Why buy a knock-off when you could support American industry and ingenuity?

Why not buy a Mōvi and join the new revolution? Wedding video can still get better. DSLRs and sliders are not as high as we can go. Lets go higher, get better, shoot smoother, and wow more people. We can only win.

Just imagine the potential. Dream big.

2 responses to “The Mōvi for Wedding Videography

  1. I was looking for some informations about thé m10 and i arrived here! I’m à Wedding photographer and videographer from Paris and i agree With you (like 120%) because i really do love what i do (like you)

    I think we should wait à little bit, not bc we want to wait for the chinese copy but just wait for the next model, wait for some improvement it’s something New and it’s expensive so maybe we should try to wait à bit …

    • That’s not a bad idea – products tend to be iterated on over time. The only thing to consider is that the Movi might not get a version 2 if version 1 is not successful. But don’t worry, I think it will be successful.

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