Creative Engineers

Sing Street Gimbal

When shooting on location throughout Dublin, the Sing Street film project called for boat scenes. It was not safe and feasible to shoot all of these on the real open ocean. For heavier weather it was necessary to do the special effects on stage, where the environment was controlled and shots could be repeated.


The boat was relatively small. Consequently the pitch and roll needed to be fast, like a cork thrown around by the waves.

OMEY were asked by Sing Street to supply something that would create the boat motion they needed. We setup a hydraulic gimbal on stage, with their hero boat, programmed to create the motion, so that the scenes were shot and the set was struck, all in just five days.


We started by evaluating and enhancing the strength of the hero boat, which was built to take hydrostatic pressure from water around the hull. We designed a means to hold and move the boat on a gimbal that did not require modification to the boat, which was to be unchanged for later scenes.


Having reviewed the storyboard, we programmed a hydraulic gimbal to achieving the ‘choppy’ motion of this small boat (+/-12o in pitch and +/-25o in roll at 6sec interval) with the hero boat mounted. The gimbal was setup on a tank on stage to capture the water produced by special effects. On the shoot days we operated the gimbal with both programmed sequences and using the glove for erratic action.


Jo Homewood, Line Producer Sing Street said: “We avoided a lot of risk associated with boat work by calling in OMEY to do the gimbal work on stage. They were very quick and efficient and we got the shots we needed without weather delay or hassle.”