Might want to take a quick look outside to make sure the world isn’t ending. I know what you are thinking. “Milnor, is that a gimbal I see?” Why yes, yes it is. “Milnor, what are you doing with it?” Ha, ha. Funny. Really funny. The short answer is “nothing at the moment,” but that is only because I’m on the road and will see three more cities in the next week, so no real time to experiment.
Why do I have a gimbal? Here’s why. I’ve worked for Blurb for nearly ten years now, and each year I ask myself “What can I do better?” Or, “What does Blurb need that I can provide?” This is basic strategy people, in not only trying to ensure I keep my job, but also because I love the company, the people and if I can provide something that might help the team then I’ll do what I can do get it done. I currently do workshops and lectures, the educational outreach, write for the blog, attend and staff events and MC the monthly webinars among other duties. Creating short motion clips would be in addition.
Do I want to do motion? No. Not at all, which is another reason why I think I’m a good person to demo this gimbal. I know next to nothing, don’t do equipment reviews and have ZERO following in the motion world. I’m just a guy who has a need, and if I can sort this baby then so can you.
What I love so far. Small and light. When I first pulled this gimbal from the box I thought it was the wrong model because it didn’t seem heavy enough to handle the XT-2. But it does. It also handles my Canon G7X, which is TINY, super light and provides solid quality. I remembered this unit after watching a backpacking clip on YouTube. The guy I was watching, who makes A TON of films, uses the Canon. If it works for the PCT Trail then it will work for my common usage.
When I look at this new device my mind instantly goes back to my friend Brian Storm from Mediastorm, someone who knows FAR more about filmmaking than I ever will. Brian has knowledge and strategy when it comes to motion and storytelling and I’m going to use the gimbal with Brian’s face in my mind. “Rock shots.” “Tripod.” “Simple.” “Clean.” “Great audio.” I’m going to make what I call “slow films.” No jump cuts, no modern moment tricks that people do. I’m after story, light, timing, composition.
Right off the bat I know I need the tripod legs for this thing, which I was surprised did not come in the box, but it also seems like this is a perfect upsell item. I’m planning on working alone, so the tripod legs will really be essential. In the meantime I’ll have to use my actual tripod for rock shots and the gimbal for handheld work. As for sound, how I’m going to do all this and work all of this out. Trial and error.
I have a basic idea of where I’m going to test this and how I’m going to test, but the real work will come in early fall when I can return to my new picture story. I’m also going to Vlog about this as well. Again, it turns my stomach to film myself, but in this particular case it is a necessary evil.
I’m jazzed because I daydream about what it would be like to be fluent in these devices and these disciplines. The ultimate goal is to tell a story in the most personal way possible, and to do that the equipment must be so simple and familiar that you simply don’t have to think about it. Imagine trying to write, shoot stills, shoot motion, record audio and then produce. And now think about doing all this and having to constantly think about your gear. Impossible. The real rub will come on the production side. The software learning curve, the time, the complexity. I’m not even sure the Blurb laptop is capable of handling this but I’m about to find out.
So, wish me luck. Light a candle too. If I’m not back in eight weeks, call the president. Wait, scratch that.