The Steadicam Operator is a specialized role within the camera department, working under the direction of the Director of Photography (DOP). Typically, these operators are experienced professionals who have honed their skills through hands-on experience. Their expertise lies in balancing the Steadicam stabilizer system, mounting the camera, and capturing agile yet smooth-moving shots on a film set. Steadicam operators may be hired for specific shots or entire projects, and they must possess a continuous learning mindset. Prior proficiency in photography can provide a valuable foundation for this role, enhancing their visual and compositional abilities.
• Good understanding of physics – needs to know how to operate a camera that is simultaneously agile and smooth moving. Steadicam loads, balances, weight differentials.
• Understanding of frame composition, i.e. framing, lighting, colour theory, and other elements that can impact the shot.
• Knowledge of film departments’ work specifics – deep understanding of work of the camera department.
• Knowledge of visual composition – understanding of framing, lighting, colour theory, and other elements that can impact the shot, the ability to compose skilful and artistic shots, knowledge of visual and film aesthetic methods.
• Knowledge of camera technology i.e. optic, filters, camera setup, possible application, and compatibility of all common camera systems, including all additional devices and equipment (film or digital).
• Advanced film lighting and exposure theory.
• Understanding of dramaturgy and working with actors.
• Ensuring safe operation of equipment of the camera department.