Steadicam and Movi

I have been a Steadicam owner and operator for over 25 years for live TV, concerts, commercials, corporate projects and indie films. (Some of the pictures show older rig configurations.) I’ve seen its use grow from rare specialty shots to being a common camera system in every type of production. Steadicam captures a scene’s energy or helps create it. It can be dramatic or intimate; a marathon or just a short move to get characters from A to B.

Check out some Steadicam work I am proud of by playing the video on the right. On the next page, you’ll find my general DP demo with my company, Betaworks, Inc.

Steadicam Demo

Steadicam, steadi-cam, steady-cam, steadycam, Movi, Phila., PA, New York City, Washington, DC, DP, Director of Photography, commercials, videography, production, music videos, indie films, live TV, concerts, events
Steadicam, steadi-cam, steady-cam, steadycam, Movi, Phila., PA, New York City, Washington, DC, DP, Director of Photography, commercials, videography, production, music videos. TV, broadcasting, talent, concerts.

Steadicam combines qualities of a dolly and handheld flexibility whose move adds to the emotional quality of the scene. Inventor Garrett Brown says it gives “Smoothness of the dolly, but with the ability to make subtle moves that curve in three dimensions beyond the scope of a jib arm and rails”. The abilities of Movi and Steadicam overlap with each having distinct advantages and disadvantages for any shoot.

Steadicam and Movi shots can make viewer go “wow!” or seduce the audience into the story without drawing attention to itself.  A classic example is Larry McConkey’s Steadicam artistry in the “Copacabana” shot from Goodfellas.   Not only technically superb, but a study in the choreography needed in any Steadicam shot, long or short.  For educational purposes I’ve included a Youtube link to that shot.

Goodfellas Example

Magic doesn’t happen just because a Steadicam is on the set. It seems obvious, but a preproduction talk is crucial and movement needs to be planned. Even experienced directors over or under estimate what Steadicam and Movi can do. If I think it is not right for the job I’d rather recommend a dolly or jib and call me for a future appropriate job.

 

Some Steadicam Clients

  • Fox/Taraji Christmas Special
  • GMA
  • Thursday Night Football
  • NBC Sports
  • ESPN
  • Natalie Merchant (Paradise Is There)
  • PBS
  • CBS/NFL
  • Telos