(3) Finally, pull in your elbows and, if you can, press them firmly
against your sides while filming the scene.
d. Practice the proper stance while holding a camera and see just how
steady you can be.
It will also help if you can hold your breath while
shooting -- provided the scene isn't too long.
This eliminates the rise and
fall of your chest. And when you assume the stance, try to relax. Being tense
can actually cause your muscles to jerk and vibrate, producing the very
movement you are trying to eliminate.
e. Another technique vital to good handheld scenes is the ability to
shoot a smooth pan or follow shot. The method is to hold the camera the same
way you would for any other handheld shot, except that in this case you face
your body toward the direction in which the action will be going as you finish
Then, keep your feet in place but turn your body towards the
This is much like winding a spring but you wind your body instead.
Start filming the subject as it approaches and turn your body as the pan is
taking place. As the object is passing by, your body gradually unwinds and you
are in a comfortable position as the scene ends.
f. A good point to remember in handholding any camera is to take
advantage of any stationary support you can find available. A telephone pole,
tree, truck hood, or even another person will assist in steadying your camera.
The main thing to remember is that whenever possible, use a tripod. However,
when this is impossible, then use anything you can to support your camera. It
is very difficult to handhold a camera properly. Any help you can get in the
way of a support should be used.
There are a number of items available to assist you in
handholding a camera. These supports attach to the tripod socket of a camera.
Most have a half circle brace that fits over your shoulder. Another extension
rests on the abdomen. This distributes the weight of the camera over a large
part of your body. Another type is similar to a rifle stock with an open half
circle that fits around the shoulder.
The main purpose of the brace is to
relieve your arms of the weight of the camera, making it easier to handhold a
Almost all newer motion picture and television cameras
have shoulder pods and are designed to be placed on the shoulder. This makes
carrying and holding very simple.
The camera is placed on your shoulder and
one hand supports the camera body or lens enclosure. The other hand is free to
focus or make other adjustments.
a. You must be aware of dangerous terrain or equipment at your filming
You could fall over obstacles in your path, or back into a moving
truck, tank, or other machinery. All cinematographers must always be aware of
their location in relation to the surroundings.