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Steady Filming without Steadicam?

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Mohammed Anis
Steady Filming without Steadicam?
on May 3, 2013 at 5:21:48 am

Hey guys,

I know the subject sounds far-fetched, but I was asked by a senior videographer to look up techniques on the internet on how to film walking shots without producing any wobbliness. He kind of showed me a quick version of it before he left but I couldn't get it.

Something about putting the camera strap around your neck - pushing the camera forward with your thumbs and disabling the wobbliness by bending your knees so they can face the sides while walking so that your knees.

Any ideas? In fact, any links someone could share?

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Mark Suszko
Re: Steady Filming without Steadicam?
on May 9, 2013 at 1:45:10 pm

There are many techniques like that, another is to use the weight of your tripod or better yet, a monopod, to act as a pendulum attached to the camera.

One of the basic rules to minimize visible camera shake is to keep the lens wide and physically relocate the camera rather than zooming.

Especially with DSLR's, hand-holding one in front of you is not always the best way to go, and tiring. Any kind of camera grip that puts the hands farther apart will dramatically increase stability and control. This can be as simple as a chunk of 2x4 lumber with a 3/4 bolt in the center to attach to the camera plate; the wider the board, the more stable the shots. This was famously used in the first "Evil Dead" movie as their steadicam.

I love the Manfrotto Fig Rig, but couldn't afford one, so I took a discarded child's bike wheel from a dumpster, removed the hub and spokes, and welded a $5 piece of slotted angle iron across it. Foam pipe wrap or wraps of bandage tape around the rim makes holding it comfortable at any angle. Handles like the Fig Rig, which is to say, magnificently, using your arms as the shock absorbers and both wrists for position control. Shoot high, low, rotate in plane, all very natural. I heartily recommend you try making one.

If you can't weld, running loops of twine or wire and epoxy thru the outer holes of the slotted steel and around the rim, or drilling holes and using bolts will do. The L-shaped pre-slotted extrusion steel is sold in short lengths at hardware and home building supply stores. The old bike wheel rim can be sourced from a bike shop's junk pile, or from a thrift store or garage sale. Pick a rim the same diameter as the distance between your shoulders.

I have seen other imitation figrig's made from PVC pipe but these I think are too flexible and not stiff enough.

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