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Using the Carbon XL 7 Carbon Fiber Crane with a MōVI M15 and a RED Dragon

I have been using the new Carbon XL 7 jib setup almost daily for eight months now, and I am really impressed with how mobile and effective it is. To get the precise camera motion we need, I mount either my RED Dragon or ARRI Alexa Mini on my MoVI M15 stabilizer and attach it to the Carbon XL 7 crane. I can quickly swap between handheld MoVI mode and crane mode. The 18.5 ft. Carbon XL 7 crane only weighs 37 lb., so I only need about 80 lb. to counterbalance the 20 lb. camera and MoVI setup.

We equip the camera with a Teradek Bolt Pro 300 wireless video system and mount it on my MoVI M15 with a wireless follow focus. Everything is wireless, so we can shoot handheld with the MoVI, then switch to crane shots in three minutes. We can reassemble the full 18.5-foot jib at the new location in less than 10 minutes. With the adjustable-length Carbon XL 7, we can easily do wide sweeping shots and low-to-high-to-low shots, as well as jib shots in tight quarters.

I fly to most of my jobs, so keeping the number and weight of the cases down is really important. I use a Manfrotto 536 CF tripod that we’ve beefed up to support the jib, and everything is mounted on a CamDolly for additional mobility. The result is an incredibly lightweight travel system I can operate with a crew of three people.

Jon Firestone is a DP in Denver with more than 15 years of experience in independent features and commercials