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UK based, award winning filmmakers, ‘Firewood Pictures’ put our Minicrane M1-III to the test.

UK based, award winning filmmakers, ‘Firewood Pictures’ put our Minicrane M1-III to the test.

Here’s what their Director Will Dolan told us:

Using the iFootage Minicrane M1-III on a spec commercial

Recently, my team and I decided to make a spec commercial. We had a few things we were trying to pull off:

  1. To shoot it all within a day
  2. To not break the bank with the budget
  3. To make it look like a big budget piece of work.

Now to do all of this is no mean feat and having the right tools for the job was key. We shot on an Ursa Mini Pro G2, with rokinon cine primes. Using the grip equipment that would let us get the shots we wanted, and be quick and simple to work with was essential to getting this job done. Luckily, the iFootage Minicrane M1-III made it a lot simpler! Here’s a few things about the minicrane that my DP Ash Connaughton and I particularly loved:


It’s quick to set up…

With a commercial like this, time is of the essence. We had to move the camera from sticks onto the crane fast for the last shot of the day. The crane is incredibly easy to set-up and Ash’s brilliant team were able to put it up and get the camera secured on it quickly ready for the next Shot.

...and to put away!

After a long shoot day, the last thing a crew wants is a long get out. Luckily the minicrane M1-III packs away quickly and compactly into the carrying bag. The camera team were out of the location within minutes of bagging the final shot which meant the art department could get in and start putting the room back together swiftly!

It extends to a great height!

The shot we were using the crane for was a top down shot of our two actors lying on a bed together. Ash and I both agreed that shooting a ridiculously wide angle wasn’t on the cards - it’s not the most flattering look. The shot was on a 35mm lens, which meant to get the two actors both in frame it needed to be a decent distance away from them. Luckily, the crane extends to over 2 meters in length, so getting the shot was a breeze.

It’s got a good payload.

I’ve got a rule in my personal life. Invest in the stuff that goes between you and the ground. This includes shoes, a mattress, that kind of thing. The same goes for your camera gear. I’d always want my camera on a piece of gear I’d trust to take the load. Not only does the minicrane have a huge 15kg payload, but its carbon fibre build is super tough.

Talking of carbon fibre - the weight of the thing!

It’s light. Super light. Again, when we’re a small and nimble crew making something for the sheer passion of it, that’s invaluable. I’ve already mentioned how quickly we could get in and out with it, but we also never had to worry about moving it to adjust our framing, even with a small crew, because it was so easy to move around while we were shooting.

Overall, the grip gear from iFootage (both the minicrane and the S1 slider that we used) helped us reach the cinematic look we were going for both quickly and easily, and truly rivals kit from other brands more than twice its price.

Will Dolan 

Director Firewood Pictures

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