The Art of Steadicam

Chris Higgins
Refocused Media
Refocused Media / Refocused Media

The Steadicam was invented in the 1970s by Garrett Brown, allowing a camera operator to walk around with a stabilized film camera, shooting without the infrastructure you'd previously need (think cranes, dolly track, etc.). The look of a Steadicam shot was immediately recognizable, as it was a new innovation in cinema -- an insanely smooth shot that was still visibly recorded by a walking cameraperson. This look led us to feel that we were in the action in a new way, though today it has become such a common part of cinema (and TV shows like The West Wing) that we hardly recognize it as something special anymore. My favorite examples are the shots in The Shining, which were captured by Brown himself, who is arguably the best user of his own invention.

In this compilation, Refocused Media has assembled a long series of iconic Steadicam shots. Watch this and think -- how would these shots feel different if they had been done without Steadicam?

(Via Devour.)