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Steadicam Safety

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#1 Emily St. Pierre

Emily St. Pierre

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:03 PM

Hey Everyone, 


Is there any videos/literature out there that provides information on how to teach someone to work with a steadicam operator? Like holds when running forward and backward, how to work with an operator and such? I remember stuff from the course but i'd like to review and send it around my production office. 

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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:12 PM

Just as every director and DP are different, and we operators have to learn on the spot how best to work with each, every Steadicam operator is different in terms of how they like to be handled, what help they need, what their limits are in terms of risk taking, etc. Realistically, your best resource for this information is the operator him or herself.
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#3 William Demeritt

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:20 PM

I agree with Afton: anytime I have someone spotting me that I can tell isn't quite sure what he/she is doing, I give them a quick 2 minute rundown. 


  • My PRO vest has a handle on it, GRAB THAT. 
  • You grab me, I'll grab the rig. 
  • I'll tell you the direction I'm most likely to fall, and it's usually opposite to the direction the camera is pointing. Get on that side. 
  • Since you're on the side of me that's where I'll fall, don't "catch" me. PUSH ME UP. I'll regain my footing. 
  • My preference: stay nearby, be mindful of the rig. I generally don't need you to hold me all the time. Just ask my wife.  :D

Moral of the story: a good operator should want to help you understand how you can help them. Ask them to give you a quick brief, and they'll be happy to get you up to speed. 

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#4 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:21 PM

Most importantly, scout your route. Stop if you feel it is not safe, before the fall.
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