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filmmaking with a camera stabilizerThe first step to controlling a steadicam is to practice with something else. Locate a small cup, and fill it almost full with water. Walk around your house holding the cup outward and trying not to spill any liquid. You’ll notice that you’re more likely to spill as you move faster, especially during the accelerating and braking segments. Over time, your movements will become more fluid and gentle. Your arm should hold the steadicam away from your body while still being bent at around a 30-degree angle. This distance will reduce the amount of motion transferred to the camera from your body, and the bend will reduce any impact shocks caused by your footprints. As you move, try to keep the camera as motionless as possible (relative to yourself). Walking is the hardest and most important part of keeping a camera steady. As you step forward, you’ll need to gently place the heel of your foot down first and then roll the rest of your foot downward until it’s flat on the ground. When your foot lifts, it needs to lift the heel first, and then roll forward on the ball of your foot until its free from the ground. Keep your legs bent to reduce any sudden accidental impacts with the ground. This is difficult due to the leg strength required to maintain muscle balance. Begin with slow movements first as you start filming. Moving the camera faster will require greater muscle control due to the increased shakiness. For faster takes, practice your path slowly at first and then speed it up over a couple of practice runs until you’re at the desired speed. Over time, your body will automatically learn how to balance the camera while moving. You may also invest in a lighter handheld steadicam model. The lighter the model, the easier it is to move freely, especially when undertaking something as active as running with the camera. Focus on quick, short steps if you plan to run without the use of a scooter or other device. This helps keep the picture stable, as opposed to large, bouncy steps. Utilize the motorized scooter for long, drawn-out shots; stay on your feet for tighter shots that require greater precision.