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Verite Documentary Operating?

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#1 Colin


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Posted 02 March 2016 - 02:50 PM



I am a documentary filmmaker who is thinking about the potential of employing steadicam in my style and workflow. Namely, I aim to shoot in a "cinematic" style, but also a production setup that requires long takes, lots of footage and low shooting ratios--a cinema verite style that follows action as it unfolds.


In my current workflow, I rely on a mixture of shoulder mount and tripod setups as much as I can. That said, I am frustrated with amount of unusable footage during camera operator readjustments, shaky walking etc. I wonder about replacing both of those options (shoulder/tripod) with a steadicam. Now, I recognize that this would be unconventional use of steadicam, which is typically employed for pre-set and choreographed shots. In my case, the goal is to be able to move more quickly between setups (i.e. from seated conversation, to walking from one place to another, etc.).


I am wondering what folks think about this unconventional proposal? Is that something already done in some capacity? Maybe it is a model in broadcast or reality television? Given that camera systems are becoming very light (I would be flying a RED scarlet, lens, and wireless FF totaling around 10lbs on the sled), is it reasonable to consider using a ZEPHYR system for long shoots and shooting days? Are there other things I am not considering?


Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


My best,


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