Film Term of the Week

Film Term of the Week: Steadicam

Film Crew

Steadicam

1. Steadicam is a brand of camera stabilizing mount for motion picture cameras that mechanically isolates it from the operator’s movement, allowing for a smooth shot even when moving quickly over an uneven surface. The Steadicam was invented by cameraman Garrett Brown, and is now a registered trademark of Tiffen.

The operator wears a harness — the Steadicam “vest” — which is attached to an iso-elastic arm. This is connected by a multiaxis and ultra-low friction gimbal to the Steadicam armature which has the camera mounted at one end and a counterbalance weight at the other. The counterbalance usually includes the battery pack and a monitor. The monitor substitutes for the camera’s viewfinder, since the range of motion of the camera relative to the operator makes the camera’s own viewfinder unusable. In the film industry the armature and weight are traditionally called the “sled”, as they resembled a sled in an early model of the Steadicam. The sled includes the top “stage” where the camera is attached, the “post” which in most models can be extended, with the monitor and batteries at the bottom to counterbalance the camera weight. This is how the Steadicam stays upright, by simply making the bottom slightly heavier than the top, pivoting at the gimbal. This leaves the center of gravity of the whole rig, however heavy it may be, exactly at the operator’s fingertip, allowing deft and finite control of the whole system with the lightest of touches on the gimbal.

Source: Wikipedia, Ldsfilm

 

About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

Mega Menu

Send this to friend