We can almost guarantee if you’ve watched some big TV dramas, documentaries and movies at the cinema then you’ll have seen some lovely steadicam shots. They’re often done so well that we don’t tend to notice them and think “oh wow that’s a lovely shot” because as storytellers we’d rather the audience are engrossed in the narrative. But shot with the story in mind, they can serve a great purpose and add an extra dimension to what we see as a viewer.
We love the steadicam at Astor and utilise this tool often in our productions. Here are 5 benefits that we believe steadicam can create on your next project…
1. Steady shots/quick workflow
The steadicam allows us to achieve smooth tracking shots, tilts, pans and also even jib-like shots without the need to rig time consuming setups such as the track and dolly. This doesn’t compromise on the quality though as with our stabiliser setups we can create shots that appear as though the camera is effortless gliding through the air. Sometimes when filming there is a need to capture steady professional shots in a quick timeframe. Our stabilisers allow us to capture even very static looking tripod shots as and when things happen.
We have different sized steadicam setups based on the production and the environment we’re filming in. Our lightweight and portable setup is ideal for events and situations where there are many people about. We can take care not to intrude and get in the way but still capture the sort of shots that really put the viewers into the action. Our big setup, which utilises the DJI Ronin 2 (Used on Planet Earth 2) allows us to balance and fly even the heaviest of camera rigs such as cinema cameras.
3. Versatile shots
Some of the most common steadicam shots and our personal favourites are smooth tracking shots following or walking with a subject. A track and dolly couldn’t smoothly walk with a character through some corridoors, around some bends, up and down the stairs, onto the sand and then into the sea but with steadicam we can. These shots can make the viewer believe they are on this journey with the character. There are many other unique camera movements that can be achieved such as low down tracks, gliding shots that tilt up or down or our setups can even be rigged to moving vehicles.
4. No shake/No distraction
There’s nothing worse than wobbly distracting footage that we’re used to seeing all the time in home movies. Steadicam eliminates this even when walking about giving the shots a more polished and professional look. We don’t want people to be paying much attention to the camerawork in our videos we shoot. It’s all about the story and whats happening in front of the camera that matters.
5. More than just a gimmick
You might be thinking that you don’t want to see videos that are entirely built up of moving/gliding shots. We strongly adhere to this too and quite often the movement within the frame is more than enough to make the shots visually interesting. We don’t create these shots simply because they can look quite magical but we shoot them with a purpose. The steadicam is just one of the many film-making tools that we use on our productions.