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Steadicam Use in Medical Dramas

by Jeremy Butler

The Steadicam is a registered trademark for a piece of technology that has come to identify a style of camera movement. Shots generated with a Steadicam closely resemble those of a hand-held camera, but are substantially less jittery. The Steadicam is a gyroscopically balanced device that straps to the operator’s body. The resulting motion is virtually as smooth as that produced with a dolly. It is conventionally used in situations where stability is desired but economic and technical practicalities dictate that dolly tracks cannot be laid. ER (1994-2009) was among the first TV programs to use a Steadicam on a daily basis. Its camera operators move through the sets in ways previously reserved for feature films. Subsequent hospital shows have also relied on a Steadicam, as can be seen in another behind-the-scenes video from Grey’s Anatomy—with a Steadicam operator following Meredith and Derek down the hall (tvcrit.com/find/steadicam). In the resulting scene, the long take of them walking and turning the corner has been cut into several Steadicam shots, ranging from an establishing long shot to medium close-ups.

Steadicam Use in Grey's Anatomy

Steadicam use in television hospital dramas.

from Grey's Anatomy (2006)
Creator: Shonda Rhimes
Distributor: ABC
Posted by Jeremy Butler
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