Everything I know about building a DIY steadicam is now is in this new guide. Learn how to get amazing cinematic video with this cool gadget that you can build using parts from your local hardware store.
If you don't like the material, no worries. I'll give your money back and you get to keep the guide. Guaranteed!
Since I'm no longer selling the DIY Highball steadicam, you may wanna check out these other camera stabilizers. Click on any picture.
|I was supposed to take photos at my cousin's 4th grade graduation but instead I shot a video. It was another occasion to test my DIY glidecam and plus - I made her a star. :-)|
Shooting video with a glidecam it's not only fun but it let's your creativity explode. You become more or less a bit of everyone on a movie set: you're the director, the cameraman, the technician, the guy with the lights, the screenwriter, etc. Just playing with the camera mounted on a steadicam makes you wanna experiment more that you would normally do with a hand held camera. I've seen both from the comments on YouTube as well on this blog that some of you have problems balancing your glidecam. There are a few simple steps for getting it right but the key is to have your glidecam built in a smart design that allows fast adjustments without too much hassle. Some key features of such a design include:
- A telescopic tube for the shaft. If you can add the gimbal to a telescopic tube then you're one step closer to a professional glidecam. This will help you raise or lower the center of gravity in a snap!
- If you can't integrate a telescopic tube then use a threaded bar. In this case you can make your adjustments either by moving the gimbal on the bar or by moving the upper and lower plates. Please note that the bearing is slid onto the bar and hold in place with two nuts tightened against each other ( the bearing being fixed between them).
- Plates with channels for sliding the weights.
- A smart plate for the camera. I couldn't find a self sliding plate but I drilled many holes in the laminate flooring (of which my plate is made) as to accommodate different types of cameras.
- Wing nuts instead of regular nuts. Faster to operate and of course you won't need to carry any wrench with you. :-)
- You can do 360° turns without having to move. Just stand still, raise the gimbal handle slightly above your head (it depends on how long the shaft is) and start rotating the camera around it's own axis by spinning the shaft.
- You can make the glidecam top heavy and have the camera down and the weights up. This allows you to shoot at ground level - which is great when following a walking person (or a dog or even with no subject - sliding 5 centimeters above the ground creates an amazing effect).
- You can shoot in all directions: forward, downward and upward. You can easily tilt the shaft with the left hand and thus point the camera wherever your subject is. The beauty of it is you can raise it above your subject and have a bird eye's view along with the gliding effect. That's pretty neat!
- Shoot your moving subject from all directions. Walk before it, behind it, in lateral - and of course you can combine any of these methods with shooting from above (hold the glidecam up) or from below (make the glidecam top heavy as to have the camera down). Example: shoot from lateral and above or from behind and low. Mix all these techniques together wen editing the footage. If you shot with your camera upside down, rotate the footage within the video editor.
- Give 180° capturing your passing subject. You can do this in two ways:
- Stand still and spin the camera on the shaft as to follow the subject (the camera rotates on it's axis)
- Move your arm describing half a circle, keeping your camera pointed at the subject. You will get an awesome movie like effect as the camera sweeps the landscape in an interesting way.
- Rotate around your subject. Go round the subject and keep the camera pointed at all times towards the center of the imaginary circle.
- Run after your subject. This will make your friends ask "How did you shoot that?!". The glidecam proves it's value when you get the steady footage while running with your subject. I was pretty blown away by that. :-) You can also run in front of your fast moving subject, just be careful not to trip as you're stepping backwards.
- Move the camera against the subject (which is coming towards you) and pass it laterally. I stole this technique from a friend of mine - Brant Dempster. I'm sure I've seen this in movies as well but I just wasn't aware of it as I am now.
- Follow the subject from behind, laterally and eventually end front shooting. Again this is a movie like technique that empowers the viewer. It makes the people watching the video feel they were there and thus they got the full picture (subject plus the landscape).
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