More Steadicam from Garrett Brown

Steadicam
Image by mikefats
B&H has Part 2 of their interview with Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam. We featured Part 1 last month. In this addition, Brown talks about his early experiences using the Steadicam on film sets, the advent of post-production tools for correcting shaky footage, and combo-shots using the Steadicam along with dollys and cranes.

B&H also has a video with Garrett Brown demonstrating the Steadicam Pilot, one of the lightweight and lower-cost alternatives to the full-scale film camera version. If Garrett Brown’s Steadicams are a bit of your price range, take a look at Johnny Chung Lee’s $14 Steadycam.

Johnny Chung Lee: My newest hero

Steadycam Pieces
Image by ElDavid1
Chances are you haven’t heard of Johnny Chung Lee yet – but it’s probably only a matter of time. Lee has demonstrated some pretty neat tricks with the Wii remote, and actually tells you how to accomplish them at home (I could devote an entire post to how awesome he is at explaining technology, but I’ll refrain). If building Minority Report style finger tracking and a home-made multi-input whiteboard isn’t enough for you, Lee makes his own $14 Steadycam. He has some really nice demos up on the site, too. The side-by-side comparison between his Steadycam and a camera on a folded tripod is pretty impressive.

What I like about all of these projects is that they are not focused on the most perfect means of exploiting technology, but the fastest, cheapest and simplest. Teague is quite taken with the $14 Steadycam.  Now you all know what to get him for his birthday.

Steadicam for Indies

Steadicam Operator

Photo by Reinis Traidas

B&H has an video interview with the inventor of the Steadicam, Garrett Brown. The Steadicam, for those who don’t know, is a stabilizing mount for a camera that isolates the camera’s movement from the camera operator’s movement. On terrain that is too rough, or other situations where a track and dolly are not practical, Steadicam allows smooth, moving shots.

Interestingly, Brown focused specifically on the drive to bring the Steadicam to smaller scale productions:

“The things that the Hollywood guys with their $50,000 rigs have, someone wants with a little HDV camera,” says Brown. “It’s our job not only to supply the gear, but also to help educate people to use it with the same degree of freedom and panache that the big boys have.

Brown’s mission to bring the Steadicam to the masses fits within the general trend of democratization of technology and it is particularly exciting, if not altogether unexpected, that stabilized camera mounts are becoming more widely available. Guerrilla filmmakers in particular may find great value in being able to get stable, smooth shots without the burden and setup of a dolly.