Minneapolis, MN (3/4/2014) - The Factory, a commercial production company [thefactory.us] and The
Ultimate Arm, the film industry’s premiere provider of live action gyrostabilized
camera arm technology [theultimatearm.com] have partnered to create the
first “Camera RZR,” an off-road, mobile crane capable of operating in extreme
terrain and weather conditions.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, both firms came together to create the vehicle
to be used on The Factory’s production of Polaris Industries’ 2015 Snowmobile
campaign. While they have collaborated previously on other projects, this is
the first technology co-development project for both entities.
The Factory / Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 modified with tracks & a Ultimate Arm
Using a modified 2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 off-road vehicle as a foundation,
the cage and framework were prepared to receive the 1,200 lb. Ultimate Arm.
Custom shocks from Fox Racing Shocks helped manage the added weight and
provide stability, while a Polaris Prospector Pro Track System was installed to
increase snow mobility on unpredictable mountain trails. Additional Polaris
accessories including door inserts, winch, poly windshield and rear window plus
a matte, reflection-eliminating vinyl wrap completed the transformation from
pure recreational vehicle to capable film tool.
The Polaris RZR XP 4 1000 was the ideal platform to build The Factory Camera RZR because of its impressive power and room for four
The new vehicle delivered three key wins for The Factory in this production:
access, advancement and efficiency.
Shot in an undisclosed location in Utah, the Camera RZR created opportunities
that have not yet existed in the industry. Snow-covered trails previously
accessible only by snowmobile, groomer, and dogsled were now open season
for the new Camera RZR. Once either a Phantom or Red Epic were in place and
crew was strapped in, the vehicle could depart base camp and be on station
miles in the back country in a matter of minutes.
By adding snow tracks, The Factory was able to film in the back country with ease
The Factory has provided film services for Polaris Snowmobiles for years, and
continually drives to progress what is possible with action outdoor
cinematography. The first to bring modern film technology to backcountry
power sports, previous efforts have included “bullet time” setups to isolate key
product capabilities and a variety of lightweight, stabilized vehicle mounts.
“Since the beginning, it has been our goal to continually progress the
technology we use on our shoots. Over the past year, we have been able to
develop a great relationship with George and the rest of the crew at Ultimate
Arm on our Indian Motorcycle shoots. So, when it came time to raise the bar
again, there was no doubt in my mind that a partnership with Ultimate Arm on
this project was the way to go,” said Adam Brummond, Director at The
“The Camera RZR is another chapter of progression, pure and simple. It is
nothing new to put gyrostabilized camera equipment on a moving vehicle; The
Ultimate Arm has been doing that for years with rigs on various automobiles
and watercraft. Bringing that technology to the snowmobile industry on
previously inhospitable terrain has changed the game in this market, elevating
production value, stretching budgets, and igniting creative possibilities,” said
Mark Nevils, Creative Director at The Factory.
Previous camera setups were limited to lightweight, portable jib and sticks
shots that had a finite range of motion and a fixed perspective of product in
action. Equipment was ferried from location to location using tunnel-mounted
rigs and sleighs towed by snowmobiles. Dynamic tracking shots were
impossible, and the ability to truly immerse the viewer in the riding experience
was hampered by the equipment. With the Camera RZR in motion, rock-solid
tracking shots of product detail, and a new sense of movement were now
accessible. Even when parked, the Camera RZR serves as a fully capable crane
able to rise 20+ ft. above the trail, creating overhead shots, whip pans, and
grand, sweeping reveals.
2015 Polaris Snowmobile Commercial shot with The Factory / Polaris RZR Camera
“On any commercial shoot, the time vs. money equation always drives the
production schedule. The Camera RZR provided a multiplier for productivity,
vastly increasing the number of effective setups per day, and increasing the
overall efficiency for the campaign,” said Trevor Jones, Producer at The
To deliver studio/set quality shots miles from civilization and increase
productivity and crew efficiency at the same time is a major win for The Factory as a production company, and for Polaris as a client.