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cheap steadicamWhen filmmakers and fans talk about popular and great steadicam shots, there is a slim list of images that usually show up, such as the Copacabana shot in “Goodfellas”, the chase scene of “Carlito’s Way” or the title fight shot of “Raging Bull”. However the steadicam has been an important videography gear in movies for over three decades and directors have been receiving better in integrating it as a great storytelling instrument in a more delicate and creative way. There are actually a few less discussed steadicam shots which are however very fascinating either for the creative choices in it, their powerful framing or the way they make an impact in telling the story. There is an exciting shot as the steadicam with The Doors in 1991 where steadicam was utilized in a more creative way than usual. It followed Jim Morrison at Andy Warhol’s party. There’s people of all kind, good music, drugs, lighting, movie projections on the wall. Imagine a typical Fellini shot but with the character high on drugs. The camera also, hover on dutch angles and adjustable frame rates, appears to be the POV shot of an individual who is going through confusion after taking drugs helping the crowd feel the passion of the scene very efficiently. The intro shot of David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” has the most fascinating steadicam shots in film history in terms of the use of steadicam as a creative choice. It’s simply a POV shot of a car on a highway in the dark. Not needing to have a straight camera mounted or dolly shot, which may have been too uninteresting, and not planning to have a handheld, which would have been too unstable, the director decided to use a steadicam which gave a definite free movement shift that has an eerie feel to it, a good expectation of the almost unreal story that is to come. Well, if not for the performance, this steadicam shot had to be incorporated only for the reality that we get to see Times Square totally empty in daytime. This most likely meant that the shot had to be finished quickly where there was little room for error. Shot by a professional steadicam operator, we start with a shot of an actor coming to Times Square in his cool Porsche. The place is clear on this side of the square. The camera moves steady and closer and closer to the actor and then around him to show the other side of the location, also totally empty. The actor leaves his car and goes on the street, faster and faster while a crane shot shows the entire location. Well, this can be from a major hit film however it is a steadicam shot that isn’t discussed a lot. Even if technically very simple as it is only the POV as the actor walks into a bar, it’s perspective makes the use of steadicam an ideal option for the shot. The Terminator walks naked into a bar and looks at things and people that runs into on its way. The POV steadicam shots are infra red graphics with computer data as the machine assesses its surroundings. These are only one of the greatest movies that steadicams have been utilized.