Motion 24 is a leading specialist in moving camera systems and although they often develop their own kit in house they are not afraid to buy tools in from other companies if they provide something their clients are looking for. This is precisely how the AGITO remote dolly system became part of their equipment collection.
“I did actually look at building something similar a while ago” admits James Davis at Motion 24. “I’ve raced remote control cars so I’ve got a good understanding of how that end of the system works. But the more you know about it, the more you can appreciate how many years have really gone into developing the AGITO system.”
“Whenever we have had to decide between buying kit off the shelf or developing a product in-house, it’s always been a case of asking if anyone else had done it yet and, if so, could we do better in a reasonable timeframe at a reasonable budget?” he continues. “With the AGITO it was a cut and dried decision; we’ve got a good amount of in-house knowledge but it would take us a long time and a lot of money to produce anything as good. So, we bought one.”
They have wasted little time in putting AGITO to work, capturing footage on several high-profile drama projects. One of those being one of the key units filming a spectacular crash of a long-wheelbase van for the forthcoming 6th series of Line of Duty for the BBC.
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“The AGITO has a lot of advantages for that sort of work,” says Davis. “It’s low profile, making it easy to keep out of the scene or paint it out if required. It’s also a much cheaper option than using its alternative for the shot in question, which would have been a tracking vehicle with all the costs, additional crew, and — currently — Covid-implications that come with it.”
They also used it for a couple of signature shots on Bad Wolf’s Discovery of Witches for Sky; shots which Davis says would have been unsafe or cost-prohibitive with conventional equipment.
“It’s the kind of shot where you would probably use an electric tracking vehicle normally, but it was a very tight situation for an electric truck; it was very fast, and you’d have to have driven through a doorway that was the width of a desk. That in itself would have been dangerous, never mind the danger to the talent if something had gone wrong in such a confined set-up.”
“AGITO was the winning tool in that situation for its speed and flexibility, we actually used all of the system’s capabilities in that one shot,” says Davis. “We used every steering mode, the Tower, and the switchable drive settings on it as well. That really drives the point home; what else can do that? The first part of the shot is a Steadicam or dolly shot, and the second half is essentially a tracking vehicle shot. With the AGITO we were able to seamlessly combine those shooting techniques into one move.”
Another much slower, tracking shot down a curved corridor on Discovery of Witches showcased the time and cost-effectiveness for productions when using the AGITO.
“We just drove the AGITO onto the set, set it up, programmed the speed, and steered it gently down the corridor, treating it very much like a motion control rig. At our normal day rate, the AGITO probably cost under half the amount that a more complicated set up would have done— and we did it in three takes as well!”
AGITO offers multiple configurations to suit your filming needs, it’s a swiss army knife for film-makers. Perfect for use in the studio or on location, AGITO Sports offers a new way of moving a camera, with complete flexibility using our growing arsenal of modules and accessories, and an ease of operation not available with any other system.