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The Steadicam® Operator's Handbook

Book Description

Camera operators and video enthusiasts around the world search for the training and information they need to successfully use the Steadicam®, the most versatile tool for moving a motion picture or video camera. Every year, about 500 people in the world are lucky enough to take an intensive training workshop (some of the top workshops are taught by the authors of this book), but these workshops are expensive and sell out as a matter of course: the instructors simply can't keep up with the high demand. As a result, the vast majority of people have no practical way to learn what has become an essential camera operating skill. For the first time, THE STEADICAM® OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK illuminates all aspects of Steadicam operating in one comprehensive package. With over 1300 full-color photos, it's the comprehensive how-to and why-to book for the amateur, semi-pro, and professional.

Written by the premier Steadicam instructors in the world, this book covers everything a cameraman needs to get started using a Steadicam rig and to get better. Both informational and inspirational, THE STEADICAM® OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK moves from the physics and balancing of a Steadicam, through a series of step-by-step line dances and practice shots, to the most personal aspects of filmmaking - how individual operators make creative and practical decisions using this unique camera setup.

The book discusses the wide array of equipment and accessories currently available, and it also illustrates the latest operating techniques and tricks, a variety of strategies for working with others, and the business side of a Steadicam career. Also included are observations and anecdotes - inspirational, funny, instructive, and cautionary - written by a number of other experienced Steadicam operators around the world, including the legendary inventor of the Steadicam himself, Garrett Brown. THE STEADICAM® OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK is both a master class and a master reference for all camera operators and directors who want to move the camera well.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. The Steadicam® Operator's Handbook
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
  8. Cut Print. Great.
  9. The history of the Steadicam® is pretty well known
  10. How to begin
  11. Section One the Steadicam® and its parts
  12. Wearing the Steadicam®
  13. Basic Physics
  14. Getting to know the rig
  15. Basic Steadicam® terms
  16. Build the Steadicam®
  17. Four balancing acts
  18. Static balance
  19. Dynamic balance
  20. Section Two getting started
  21. Putting on the Steadicam®
  22. Moving with the rig
  23. The right touch
  24. Starting and stopping
  25. The camera's path
  26. Making the switch
  27. Variations on the line dance
  28. Memorizing the shot
  29. Section Three beyond the basics
  30. Low mode
  31. Navigation
  32. Keeping the camera level
  33. Steadicam® posture
  34. General health and operating
  35. Women and Steadicam®
  36. Are you ready?
  37. My big break by Dan Kneece
  38. Section Four Steadicam® and filmmaking
  39. Basic shot design
  40. Take after take by Janice Arthur
  41. Your role as storyteller
  42. Point of view
  43. Moving composition
  44. Strong camera moves
  45. Section Five movement techniques
  46. Would you care to dance?
  47. Moving through space
  48. Floating the camera
  49. No second takes by Meter Abraham
  50. Putting the rig on the other side
  51. Negotiating tight spaces
  52. Running with a rig
  53. Section Six framing techniques
  54. More on operating
  55. Framing corrections
  56. Precise framing techniques
  57. Lock offs
  58. Whip pans
  59. Longer lenses
  60. Zoom lenses
  61. Pass-bys
  62. Telling the story
  63. Section Seven getting to work
  64. Accessories
  65. Focus pulling
  66. Preparing for a shoot
  67. Communication
  68. Using grips wisely
  69. Section Eight extending the range of movement
  70. Inventing the wheel
  71. Configuring the rig
  72. Flying with a motorized stage
  73. Inertial augmentation and balance
  74. Gyros
  75. Vertical control
  76. Arm posts
  77. Section Nine extending the range of options
  78. Steadicam® and vehicles
  79. To ride or not to ride?
  80. Hard mount or soft mount
  81. Safety, speed, communication
  82. Types of vehicles
  83. Endurance by Brant Fagan
  84. Vehicles to avoid
  85. This is just a little part of the Turkish helicopter story by Jacob Bonfils
  86. Interesting vehicles we like
  87. Section Ten the business side of Steadicam®
  88. Buying a Steadicam®
  89. Negotiating your deal
  90. Advertising
  91. Insurance
  92. Section Eleven unique environments and requirements
  93. Weather alerts
  94. Survivor No. 1 by Scott Lakey
  95. Documentaries and industrials
  96. Capturing reality by Chris Fawcett
  97. Video and Steadicam®
  98. Steadicam® and live TV by Lars Riis
  99. Heavy cameras
  100. Unintended consequences
  101. Lightweight rigs
  102. Steadicam® light by Garrett Brown
  103. Lightweight Steadicam®
  104. Garrett's big night out
  105. Section Twelve the experienced operator
  106. The right attitude
  107. Additional concerns
  108. How do we get this shot? by Charles Papert
  109. Breaking the rules
  110. The emotional stuff
  111. Long shots
  112. A great walk and talk
  113. The long Steadicam® shot by Larry McConkey
  114. Camera Darwinism
  115. and Action!
  116. Conclusion
  117. How was it?
  118. Acknowledgments
  119. DVD References
  120. Websites
  121. Index