First article about cinema ! Indeed, the preparation of 37Degrees pilote led us last Sunday inside the Pinewood studios. One of the biggest movie sets in Europe. We spent the day with Rizwan Wadan from Beyond HD to try out the 3 axes stabilizer from Letus. Nowadays, many stabilisation systems are available on the market ; you can find all the sizes and also at any price. On our side, we had two constraints, the weight of our camera and the space available on our backpack. We needed strong motors to hold our gears but also something light and compact to be carried easily. That's not that easy to find...
The shooting of our pilote is going to be testing so we need to have optimised gears in order to be efficient on location. We would rather be ready for anything as we don't know yet what we'll have to face ! And the best way to learn more about the perfect gears for us is to ask pros ! London is the best location for that !
First of all, Beyond HD what is it ? It's a small company specialised in professional shooting tools (Gimbal, drone, cameras...) for movies, but also documentaries and TV. It's also a lot of ressearchs ; R and D on set to create the new camera rig to realised the creasiest director's ideas. To sum up, take a few geeks. Mixe it with a lot of knowledge about physics, lenses and mechanics. Add a lot of ingenuity and you will get Beyond HD.
In the heart of the Pinewood studios, we could try the gears of Beyond HD right next to the set of Star Wars and James Bond. I won't hide to you that we enjoyed it quite a lot and the debriefing was really good. Between many on set stories, we learnt a lot about stabilisation systems and shooting technics. Beyond HD being the only seller of Helix gears in Europe, it was a great occasion to test it. Weirdly, the brand doesn't get as much marketing in Europe as it's competitor Ronin from DJI. Which is more acccessible and known for now.
Well, Helix Letus, how is it then ? Hum.... It's amazing ! But more importantly, if like us, you are movie makers, passionate about beautiful images this technology will help you making really smooth shoots straight out of the box ! The tool needs time, and handling. It involves setting time but it really has a real potential. It's a strong tool, matching our expectations regarding movement. The only bad points are its weight and its price. You can hardly hold it for more than 15 minutes. We really need to get a proper physical training!
Lucky us, the week before we had the chance to try the Ronin gear and we could feel the diffferences. The weight and the size of the Ronin make it even harder to be used during travels. The Helix is then the winner of this 1 to 1 competition. but still ... it's weight... It's too much. After a small talk with Rizwan, he tells us to try out the Letus Helix junior which is able to hold smaller cameras like DSLR.
It's a lighter and smaller version of the main device! It's like the little brother. So well, 37 Degrees Approved !!!
Cherry on the sunday, we could try the Helix Jr. We used our 5DIII with our brand new 11-24 mm canon lense! Splendide ! Really impressive ! We could have shot the next « Rec » within two hours. The movement feelings, the distortion on the perspectives throught the lense... It's like the camera is floating. The effect is striking. The subject is stronger and the movement multiplied. Conclusion, we love it. The junior letus for its size and workability conviced us. It's far from being a non-professional device as it takes time to set up. But with training, we'll stick close to that tool! It really is matching our desires in terms of motion. It will be part of the adventure ! Welcome on board baby Helix!
– Guillaume : « OK ! It's 5 more kilos, do you still have room on your backpack?
– Marie : “Heu... we still don't have our backpack. So let's say yes, it will fit in it... ‘