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Wiggly Takes the Jiggle Out of iPhone Moviemaking

By Chris Maxcer MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Nov 13, 2013 5:00 AM PT

I was far up on the St. Joe Rive in Idaho one September, fly fishing with a buddy. We were filming some of the action because we were having such a great time. I spotted a big cutthroat trout and handed my friend the camera.

Wiggly Takes the Jiggle Out of iPhone Moviemaking

Everything went perfectly: The trout rose and took my fly; I hooked it and fought the wild fish in a fun and spunky battle. Then we got the close-up on the fish in the net, unhooked it, and released it back into the river -- massive healthy fish, beautiful day, smiles all around.

Then I returned home and saw the footage: horrible jerky camera shake. How was that possible? OK, he was standing on a bank of loose rock and boulders at the time, but come on -- why couldn't he keep the camera still?

Enter Wiggly, a Kickstarter Project

Most iPhone videographers have had the problem of shaky footage at one point or another because the natural forces of gravity, physics, and sometimes adrenaline just get in the way. What's more nauseating than shaky footage? Blurry shaky footage.

Shaky footage experiences can actually reduce the imagination of people who shoot video with their iPhones. Instead of moving around subjects, even kids at a birthday party, iPhone videographers choose to stay in one spot, as rigid as possible. Better to get lackluster clear and stable footage than awesome footage with fun camera angles and perspectives, right?

In order to move around, you need a stabilization device, and most of the current devices are for serious moviemaking professionals. They tend to be expensive, heavy -- and even when they hold iPhones, bulky.

Wiggly by Ivan Stamatovski is designed to fit in the palm of your hand and provide the kind of stabilization that will let you chase someone down a flight of stairs or ride a motorcycle and film the experience -- with great results, even from an iPhone.

How Does Wiggly Work?

Wiggly looks like a tube with a thumb stick on it, plus a mounting bracket at the end of a rod that goes inside the tube where the patent pending stabilization works its magic. The prebalanced brackets accept either an iPhone or a GoPro camera, both of which are freakishly popular and cover a wide portion of the available market. Stamatovski has also designed a long S-shaped extension handle to help you get super low-angle or high-angle shots.

Wiggly is the sort of product that can help you reimagine what you can do, how you can shoot from new perspectives or include motion or action that feels much more professional. One use case is to attach it to the bottom of a remote-controlled helicopter to get your arial shots -- stabilized, of course.

The Numbers

At the time of this writing, Wiggly had US$6,412 in pledges toward a goal of $50,000 with a funding period set to end on Dec. 7. The pledge tiers start out small with a wide-angle lens for your iPhone for $15 -- but not a Wiggly. At $35, you get a black t-shirt that will help keep you hidden from reflections on shiny surfaces that you film -- but not a Wiggly.

Next, the price jumps to $485 to deliver a Wiggly that includes an iPhone bracket. At $545, you get the iPhone and GoPro brackets along with the Wiggly. The remaining support options include the low-mode extension handle, as well as a multi-rotor mount with vibration dampeners for aerial videography.

The production timeline schedules the Wiggly to ship in the late February-to-March timeframe.

The Challenges

As with any production effort, there could be delays in the manufacture or import of various parts, some of which could be held up in transport or customs. Stamatovski, however, seems confident in his supply chain and design elements.

The biggest challenge may be reaching enough amateurs and budding professionals to get the backing needed to get Wiggly into production -- $500 flirts with a hobbyist budget, and it's doable for small businesses, schools or organizational groups.

Can this Kickstarter project attract enough attention from these sorts of buyers? Can it get support from dads who want to chase their small children around playground equipment at the park? From GoPro sporting enthusiasts who want smoother action when they bust out their crazy stunts?

Hard to say. Seems like everyone prefers smooth video, though, so it has a chance.

MacNewsWorld columnist Chris Maxcer has been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and he still remembers the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. While he enjoys elegant gear and sublime tech, there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. To catch him, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at WickedCoolBite.com.

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