How to Make a Cheap
“SteadiCam” for
Mobile Phone Filmmaking

By Kerric Harvey


One of the toughest production challenges in making mobile phone movies is keeping the tiny little camera steady enough to avoid shaky footage.

A simple cloth arm sling makes a great brace for your camera-phone. Pick up a cheap, lightweight sling at your local pharmacy, chemist, or medical supply store, and wear it on your next shoot. Use the sling to hold your “off” arm steady across the front of your chest while you rest your camera-phone on top of it. This means that if you’re right-handed, you’ll use the sling to strap your left arm across your body, and perch your camera-phone on top of that just like a shelf.

Tighten up your torso so that it moves as a single, unified block, just like the head of a tripod with a camera mounted on it, and you’ll get a noticeable drop-off in the amount of “shake” you’ll see in your footage.

You can easily use the arm sling steadicam on all sorts of public moving conveyances, like escalators, glass elevators, and moving sidewalks at airports to nab the kinds of moving camera shots you’d obtain with a wheeled tripod, like pans and dollies.

Your Comments Please


If you would like to comment on this article, please click here

About The Author


Kerric HarveyKerric Harvey doesn’t really sleep very much. As a full-time university professor, a working playwright and screenwriter, an exuberant free-lancer in the online universe, and a consultant in new technologies and media anthropology, she’s resigned to a life of adrenal overload. Fortunately, she loves it.
 
A Canadian Permanent Resident, American citizen, and cheerful addict of international travel, Kerric can usually be found at 37,000 feet writing adventure movies and plays about magic, or plotting her next research project on the best way to make film and television for very small screen (VSS) media or the cultural implications of vampires, wizards, and pirates.
 
When she’s not teaching, writing, or plotting, she spends as much time as possible crawling through megalithic ruins, exploring old castles, and getting afloat in all kinds of watercraft. She’s also the founding director of Aldebaran Drama Group and of the OxDocs Institute, found at www.oxdocs.eu.
 
Her degrees are from McGill University (Montreal), Cornell University (New York), and the University of Washington (Seattle). She’s tenured faculty at George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) and also teaches in Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art, Design, and Media (Vancouver, Canada).
 
She thinks of her life as treasure-hunt in every way possible.

If You Liked This, You'll Really Like


Free Article: Fundamentals of Mobile Phone Filmmaking
Free Article: Six Things to Look for in a Movie-making Mobile Phone
Free Article: Avoiding Shaky Footage - Stabilizing Your Mobile Phone Camera
Free Article: In Praise Of Directing On A Low Budget

1-day Course: Making Money with Mobile Phone Movies
Evening Class: Filmmaker's Foundation Certificate
Weekend Class: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Watch independent shorts, features and documentaries on www.raindance.tv
Submission details to Raindance Film Festival
Visit us on Twitter for daily tips and updates 


© 2010 Raindance Festivals Ltd.
Reproduction of this article without written permission is strictly forbidden. For information on reprint rights please email info@raindance.co.uk