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Mike Cohen
Re: First Man
on Nov 2, 2018 at 5:36:49 pm

This thread raises the question of "when is shaky camera appropriate?"

The first time I remember seeing intentional shaky cam was in NYPD Blue. They shot with a dolly but moved the camera to make it look more authentic, maybe. Obviously in hand held ENG style shows like COPS shaky cam is part of the show, but adding shake to dramatic scenes with no action is questionable.

Likewise actual news coverage seems to have occasional hand held camera work when a tripod could be used. Recent coverage of Hurricane Michael had some handheld live shots in the wind that were almost unwatchable. Is a 6' tall camera person more stable than a sturdy tripod with a few sandbags in the wind? Maybe, I have never done such a setup! I have noticed since 2017 that a lot of CNN coverage of the President is shaky non-tripod work even when covering a planned press conference or gaggle.

With all of the stabilizer devices now available it seems that if you don't want shaky cam there are ways to avoid it. If you do want shaky cam, you'd better do it for a good reason, not just to look edgy or create a sense of reality in an unreal situation.


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