Ever wonder how film producers create smooth, clean scenes that move with the actors? These are the scenes that somehow engulf you in the action, whether it’s gliding the audience freely through a crowd or walking with soldiers in a warzone. Classic movies like The Shining, Rocky, Goodfellas and countless more have accomplished this and there’s one invention to thank – The Steadicam. So, what exactly is the Steadicam and when should you use it? Steadicams are used in many big picture films, but they can also be great for captivating audiences in marketing videos.
What is a Steadicam?
A Steadicam is a camera stabilizer invented in 1974 by Garret Brown. This revolutionary technology combines the stability of a tripod, flexibility of a handheld camera, and the movement capability of a dolly. The Steadicam creates smooth tracking shots by mechanically isolating the operator’s movement. This allows the Steadicam to absorb shock, making it possible for the operator to get smooth shots in any direction — around corners, up and down stairways, and even on bumpy roads.
Before the days of the Steadicam, the only options were far more expensive, less flexible and/or more time consuming for film crews. One such option is a dolly – a wheeled mount that requires the laying down of dolly tracks. This prep work cuts into precious filming time and increases the effort needed to create such smooth scenes. Not to mention, the dolly tracks don’t always work well on certain terrain and uneven ground. The Steadicam also a less-expensive and far more flexible alternative to crane shots.
When Should You Use a Steadicam?
While the Steadicam is an essential tool for Hollywood, it also offers tremendous benefits to the production of high quality marketing videos. The goal of most marketing efforts is to engage with the audience, exactly what the Steadicam is so good at achieving. Adding fluid motion captivates viewers by pulling them into the story. And let’s face it, a wobbly camera can make your videos seem unprofessional, quickly disengaging your audience.
A Steadicam can be used in most filming scenarios, but there’s a time and a place for everything. In marketing production, Steadicams might not be necessary for scenes like seated interviews, product tutorials, or when a tripod does the trick. Instead, Steadicams should be used in scenarios where fluid motion enhances the story telling – whether that’s by walking with the subjects or exploring uneven twists and turns with ease. These scenes are sure to capture your audience and elevate brand image.
Looking for assistance with your video production? At MediaMark Spotlight we know that high-quality marketing content is key to setting you apart. Contact us to chat with our team about our video production services: firstname.lastname@example.org.