Filmmakers rename ‘Russian Arm’ camera system ‘U-Crane’ after invasion
The gyro-stabilized crane mounted on a car roof is used to give dynamic coverage of car chases and stampedes, allowing the audience to swoop alongside a fast-driving hero.
It is a staple of action blockbusters, including the “Fast and Furious” franchise, “Black Widow” and pretty much anything starring Tom Cruise.
Up until recently, the device, developed by Kyiv-based Filmotechnic in the 1990s, has been known as the “Russian Arm.” But no more.
“The NEW OFFICIAL name of Filmotechnic’s world famous system is now U-CRANE in honor of [its] country of origin and their heroic fight against Russian aggression,” the U.S. branch of the firm said on Instagram last month.
“The gyro stabilized crane system was designed and built in Ukraine by Filmotechnic and will continue to be built in Kiev for years to come!”
Trade magazine Variety, which first reported the name change, said Filmotechnic employs around 250 people in under-siege Kyiv.
Kevin Descheemaeker of Filmotechnic USA told the title the name “Russian Arm” had been removed in tribute to Ukrainian film engineer and company owner Anatoliy Kokush, and to the company’s Ukrainian employees.
“I emailed our international group to take down all the signage on our arm cars, trucks and trailers, websites and no longer use the hashtag #russianarm,” Descheemaeker said in a statement. “As a group we decided that U-CRANE would be a more respectful alternative and that is how the movement on social media started.”