Definition August 2021 - Newsletter


The static camera is a thing of the past; broadcasters are looking to modern tech for dynamic, attention-grabbing moving images. We talk to the brands making it happen


Robin Thwaites, international director of sales for Steadicam at its parent company, Tiffen International, acknowledges that the technology is used for ‘mainly sport’, but often in a way one would not necessarily expect. “Steadicam is utilised in cricket, but more for chasing people in and out of dressing rooms, or line-ups before matches,” he says. “One thing that has made a big change, certainly in the time I’ve been involved, is relatively easy camera transmitters. At one time, people would have been using cable or fibre. Now, everything is wireless, which is extremely relevant for a Steadicam operator because cables don’t work [when it comes to achieving full movement].” DYNAMIC ANGLES A more recent arrival on the camera stabilisation scene is the Arri Trinity. Developed by Curt Schaller to allow greater vertical movement while maintaining a level horizon, the Trinity combines mechanical

he moving camera has been integral to cinema since its earliest days. Dollies, cranes, wire and

rail systems, stabilised heads and gimbals have developed massively over the years, enabling ever more ambitious, complicated movements. By contrast, television was slow on the uptake, missing the chance to exploit the potential in this hardware – but it has caught up rapidly in the past 30 years, to the point where camera moves are now a crucial part of sports coverage, light entertainment and the news. Sport is the area of TV most associated with motion. The realisation came that it’s entertainment – it should bring excitement and tension, not just relay pictures – and the moving camera has been significant in this shift. Among the tools that have made it possible is the Steadicam. Developed by Garrett Brown, and first used by him on Hal Ashby’s 1976 Woody Guthrie biopic, Bound for Glory , the harness and stabilised support system is now central to feature film and TV production.

and electronic techniques to produce stable, fluid shots.

“The Arri Trinity combines mechanical and electronic techniques to produce stable, fluid shots”

AUGUST 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 39

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