The Art of the Steadicam

The Steadicam — it can make things so easy, and so beautiful. It can be simply efficient, allowing you to bang out a smooth walk-and-talk without track. Or it can be a show piece, a shot whose virtuosity grabs the audiences’s attention, even if they are unaware of the level of skill and artistry involved. Writes Larry Wright at his Refocused Media blog about the long single takes most associated with the Steadicam:

More often than not, these sequences are accomplished using a Steadicam, which is essentially a balanced stabilizer that allows for smoother and more easily controlled handheld camera operation. Invented by Garrett Brown in the early 70?s, the steadicam shot — or “steadishot” — has become one of the most dynamic and exciting forms of cinematograpi and is one of the most engaging visual techniques in a filmmaker’s storytelling arsenal.

To illustrate, Wright has made a hypnotic video using clips from the top Steadicam shots of all time, as voted on Steadishots.org. Check it out above.