Saturday, November 24, 2007

Steadicam is Not Faster

Allright? I've said it. Every now and then I do a movie with some elevated music video director who has been given the keys to a feature who uses Steadicam just because he thinks it's "faster." Then begins the wait while the arm is balanced and the assistants twiddle and I could have already laid 40 feet of track and been rehearsing already. I always ask them, "who have you been working with?" I love Steadicam as much as the next guy. It's a great tool that, in the right hands, can do fantastic things. But don't call for it just because you are laboring under the delusion that it's "faster." It just ain't so. You've done too many music videos. A good Dolly Grip and a good crew can generally lay a 50' track on somewhat level ground in 15 minutes or less. About the time it takes to set up the Steadicam for any given shot. I will give you that if it's across ditches or up hills, that the variables change, but it also depends on what kind of look you want. Don't compromise a shot and insult the Dolly Grip just because your last "film" was with a crew of AFI students who took an hour to lay bumpy track. Dolly Grips are pros, speed is the essence of our business. Give us the chance to prove it. (Now that I've said that, lay it fast, boys)

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