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SLIM: The next-gen filmmaking tool.

By Lynchy

3 Apr 2024

Revolutionising filmmaking: HAPPY’s journey with cutting-edge robotics.

In the realm of creative industries, the fascination with robotics has long been brewing. From the sleek dance routines of Boston Dynamics’ robots to the cutting-edge VR-enhanced automatons, the internet is abound with technological showcases. In the specialised domain of film production, the integration of these advanced technologies is steadily gaining ground. Among the innovators in this field, Miles Murphy, co-founder and director of HAPPY, stands out.

 

With his extensive background in motion control camera systems, Murphy is exceptionally well-positioned to harness and maximise the potential of these emerging tools in filmmaking.


How it Began

Murphy’s journey originated in the gripping world of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, where he first encountered the intricacies of motion control camera systems. This experience wasn’t just about managing the technicalities; it was a lesson in creativity. “Working alongside legends like Peter Jackson and Andrew Lesnie opened my eyes to the possibilities of filmmaking technology,” Murphy recalls. His commitment to staying abreast of emerging trends led him to a groundbreaking discovery in 2021: the SLIM robot by D2 Motion.

SLIM: The next-gen filmmaking tool

SLIM isn’t just another motion control camera system; it’s a testament to innovation tailored for filmmakers. Its creator, Harry Dakanalis of D2 Motion, envisioned a system that would transcend the limitations of traditional setups. “SLIM was born out of the need for a more flexible, portable solution—one that could adapt to any production environment,” Dakanalis explains. For Murphy and HAPPY’s directorial team, SLIM was a revelation: “It encapsulated the future of motion control—intuitive, efficient, and incredibly versatile.”

Impact on creativity and logistics

SLIM’s introduction to the world of filmmaking has been nothing short of transformative. Beyond just liberating the creative process, it fundamentally alters the logistical landscape. “SLIM isn’t just about saving time; it’s about redefining what’s possible on set,” notes HAPPY producer Clint Gough. “Its precision in executing repeatable movements dramatically cuts down the need for extensive post-production, offering a more streamlined and cost-effective production process.”


A pivotal factor in SLIM’s revolutionary impact is its lightweight and portable design, a stark contrast to the cumbersome equipment of traditional filmmaking. “The real game-changer with SLIM is its ease of setup and mobility. It allows us to achieve complex, dynamic shots in locations and time frames that were previously unthinkable,” Murphy explains.


This agility transforms the process of filmmaking, enabling crews to work faster and more efficiently, minimising set-up times and reducing overall project timelines.


Moreover, SLIM’s unique capability to swiftly produce complex camera movements elevates the visual storytelling, allowing filmmakers to achieve a level of cinematic quality and intricacy that was previously labour-intensive and time-consuming. “What SLIM brings to the table is the ability to effortlessly blend creativity with efficiency. It’s not just about doing things faster; it’s about doing them better, with more artistic freedom and less logistical hassle,” adds HAPPY director Bel Bare.

 

SLIM: Beyond creative brilliance – a practical necessity

In the realm of film production, it’s rare for a production company to invest in a motion control robot like SLIM. This rarity isn’t just a reflection of technological hesitance but a commentary on the exceptional practicality and efficiency of SLIM, a distinction that HAPPY and their directors keenly recognise. “While the creative possibilities of SLIM are boundless, what truly sets it apart is its role as a pragmatic, cost-effective solution in filmmaking,” HAPPY director James Solomon explains.


This strategic integration of SLIM into HAPPY’s workflow transcends the pursuit of technological novelty. It represents a calculated decision, born out of an acute understanding of SLIM’s dual nature as both a creative powerhouse and a practical tool. “SLIM isn’t merely an instrument for creative expression; it’s a cornerstone in our production process, streamlining operations, and significantly cutting down on time and costs. Its adoption is not a luxury but a well-considered investment to enhance our overall efficiency,” says HAPPY executive producer Angela Murphy.


By embracing SLIM, HAPPY is not only keeping pace with technological advancement but is also revolutionising the economics of film production. In HAPPY’s vision, SLIM is a game-changer, redefining what it means to be a modern, efficient, and creatively versatile production company.


Post Production

Only too aware of how traditional motion control systems can complicate the post-production workflow, HAPPY have been collaborating with post production specialists to streamline this process. Using SLIM, combined with the expertise of trusted post partners, they’re offering full service end-to-end workflow. This approach eliminates the usual complexities, ensuring the confidence of a smooth transition from conception to filming to final delivery.

HAPPY: Leading the charge in robotics adoption

HAPPY’s acquisition of SLIM places them at the forefront of a technological renaissance in film production. Their pioneering spirit is not just about owning next generation technology; it’s about mastering it. “The true power of a tool like SLIM lies in the hands of those who wield it,” Murphy cautions. “In skilled hands, it can redefine the art of filmmaking.”

HAPPY’s journey with SLIM is more than a story of technological acquisition. It’s a narrative about vision, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of creative excellence. As HAPPY’s directors continue to push boundaries with SLIM, they’re not just keeping pace with the times—they’re setting new production standards.

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