MoVI review: SNL director Alex Buono tests camera stabilizer and shares stunning results


posted Monday, July 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM EDT


The new MoVI camera stabilizer has ended up in the hands of a growing group of cinematographers who have come away impressed with the extremely steady results it can produce. The latest videographer to be blown away by MoVI is Alex Buono, who serves as director of photography for Saturday Night Live. Buono, who I interviewed last year for another publication, is a great candidate for MoVI because much of his work for SNL, including its iconic opening title sequence, is shot handheld and on the fly.

In the short video below, Buono gives an excellent rundown of the many things you can do with a handheld MoVI rig, which is based around a 3-axis, gyro-stabilized camera gimbal similar to those used on RC helicopters. The highlight in the clip is when Buono mimics the trademark tracking shots of over half a dozen famous directors -- including Spielberg, Scorsese , David Fincher and Quentin Tarantino -- in just a few seconds while using a MoVI.

"There will be applications that no one could have predicted," Buono wrote in his review of the MoVI. "That’s been one of the fun side-effects of picking this rig up: you suddenly get a rush of ideas for shots that are otherwise so hard to pull off: how about a horseback shot or a high-speed boat sequence? How about chasing someone into a vehicle, passing the rig off and then driving away with it? Ultimately, the possibility for never-before seen shots that are neither Steadicam shots nor Technocrane shots seems practically limitless. What you do with it will only be restrained by your creativity."

One of the first SNL segments Buono used the MoVI on was "Stefon's Farewell," which was a send-off to comedian Bill Hader who was leaving the show. You can see that clip, which is an homage to "The Graduate," here. Read more from Buono's review of the MoVI on his blog.

(Via ISO 1200)