Orson Welles once said, “The camera is much more than a recording apparatus; it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world that is not ours and that brings us to the heart of a great secret. Here magic begins.”
In 1976, Garrett Brown introduced the movie industry to the Steadicam. In so doing, he revolutionized the magic of moviemaking, as camera operators no longer needed to worry about being slightly unsteady. By 1988 Brown had formed the Steadicam Operators Association (SOA). At the time, “the whole idea of the Steadicam was still young and growing and the operators were still learning,” explains SOA vice-president Jay Kilroy. The early members would gather to “share ideas and what they had learned they could do with this thing.” In later years the ready availability of the Internet allowed the association to widen its focus and provide services to Steadicam operators worldwide.
Today, from the mountains of Pennsylvania to the rolling Australian countryside (plus a few places in between), the Steadicam Operators Association hosts five-and-a-half-day workshops meant to bring the technical traditions of yesterday together with the technological advancements of tomorrow. All done, Kilroy says, because of a “passion for the moving image!”
Upload your demo reel and resume or search for skilled operators at http://www.steadicam-ops.com.
Sound Off: The Steadicam was invented as a way to create a smoother picture–a movie without the undesired jarring effects. Sometimes though, those abrupt bumps and turns create a captivating tale that brings the audience further into “the heart of a great secret.” When is it best to use a Steadicam? Are some movie moments better off as gritty and real as possible?