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The Russian Arm or a Motocrane is a camera vehicle system used in filmmaking to capture high-speed dynamic shots. The camera is mounted on a gyro-stabilized arm attached to a vehicle. This setup allows for smooth and precise camera movements, such as tracking shots, chase sequences, and aerial perspectives, while maintaining stability and safety for both the camera crew and the surrounding environment. It is renowned for its versatility and ability to capture cinematic footage in various filming conditions and terrains.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive pertains to the cost of hiring a Russian Arm and its accompanying crew. For those unfamiliar with the process, a typical team consists of five individuals: a vehicle driver, crane operator, gimbal operator, focus puller, and, when necessary, an iris puller. As evident, orchestrating the seamless functioning of operations on set necessitates a substantial workforce and concerted effort.

Different Projects Require Different Equipment

For example, you are shooting a scene in a desert. Obviously, you won’t be able to go through the sand or off-road on Mercedes ML or Porsche Cayenne and that’s where off-road trucks come into play. Usually, production companies around the world use Ford Raptor which is top of the line off-road truck. On the other hand, if you are filming a chase scene in the city, commercial on the speedway, or any other project that requires speed and dynamics, you are better off going with Mercedes ML 63 or Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

What Else Defines Rental Prices?

There is another aspect that defines rental prices. It is the stabilizing head that holds the camera. They come in different sizes and can carry different payloads. One of the most known ones is Ronin 2. It can carry 30-40 pounds. Most of the time you can see Arri Alexa Mini with smaller zooms or primes. The second option is Movi XL which is twice larger and carries up to 70 pounds. Next in line is Shotover G1 which is a little bit more pricy but at the same time compact and reliable. Shotover G1 can carry up to 70 pounds. Final and the most expensive one is Spacecam M7EVO which is mostly used by Pursuit Systems leading Russian Arm Providers in the world.

Many Car Camera Crane Providers Price Their Services Differently

Pursuit Systems ships their Russian Arms directly to the set in the enclosed trailer. It makes the service more expensive. Focus Media owns a remote car crane which can be mounted to pretty much any vehicle. The crane can be easily shipped as its cases can be flown on any airline legally.

The prices for Russian Arm rental ranges from $4,500 to $10,000 a day depending on tasks and hours of labor. Typically, crane and camera technicians are paid a daily rate that ranges from $500 to $900. If you work on a union shoot it is probably more. The driver of the Russian Arm vehicle is paid around $500 per shoot. The focus and iris puller has similar compensation of roughly $500 a day. As you can see just the labor part comes to around $2,500 a day for the team.

Russian Arm is an expensive toy and not every production company can afford it. The fleet is custom built and ranges from $200,000 to $550,000 including vehicle, crane and all the accessories inside. Every vehicle requires at least 3-4 monitors and a controller for the crane and camera. Besides the team that operates Russian Arm or Motocrane, there should be space for the client or director.

For more information regarding Russian Arm or Motocrane you can call (858) 295-7550. Our company operates in 48 states.

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