Idealog first wrote about the Genie back in June, after cinematography and industrial design duo Ben Ryan and Chris Thomson raised more than double their $150,000 target for the product on Kickstarter.
In short, it's a small box with integrated software that will tell your camera how and when to shoot – once connected to any piece of film equipment, such as a tripod or dolly, and to a camera, it will tell the camera to move and shoot how and when you want it. There's no need to log around external controllers or batteries, as with most other motion control rigs. Be it motion-controlled time lapses or real-time camera moves, you're in full control.
The idea was a “natural progression” from an initial concept for a new low-cost portable slider. They spent some time developing a compact and portable slider, but when the idea hit for adding motion control for doing time lapses, they knew they'd struck gold. There was nothing similar on the market that met the needs of independent filmmakers.
"The test footage alone has caught the eyes of a lot of filmers both locally and internationally. The industry is driven by technology and filmers are always on the hunt for new ways to get shots that allow them to better tell their stories," Ryan says.