The Steadicam is a portable, camera stabilizing rig that makes action shots look smooth and stable (i.e., none of the shakiness that comes with handheld shots). It is able to do this via a series of counterbalance weights and individual operator skill.
Steadicam shots are easy to identify by the way that the camera moves throughout the scene / follows actors – rather than staying in place. The best use cases for Steadicam shots are tracking shots, point of view shots, and shots where space is otherwise limited. Some famous examples of Steadicam in movies that are frequently cited are in Rocky, The Shining, Good Fellas, Boogie Nights, and Pulp Fiction.
The Steadicam was invented in 1975 by camera operator and inventor, Garrett Brown. The device was then first ‘officially’ used one year later in 1976 for the Best Picture–nominated Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory. As for Brown, he’s gone on to shoot over 100 films with the Steadicam and has won several awards and recognitions throughout his career. His most recent recognition is the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Camera Operators.
At Clean’s Camera Support, we have all of the Steadicam gear and accessories you need to make your job a lil’ easier – ranging from offset brackets, to Moses poles, to S.O.S. plates and adapters, and more. Must-haves for both Camera Assistants and Steadicam operators! Get in touch if you have any questions.