Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Killer Camera Rigs You Can Build

I was lucky enough to attend Dan Selakovich's presentation at NAB a couple of years back. He gave an excellent talk on the semiotics of shot composition and the role it plays in storytelling. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, it's a real treat. His engaging and often humorous presentation is reinforced by numerous examples from Hitchcock, Welles and Polanski.

Selakovich also hosts a website, to promote his book, Killer Camera Rigs You Can Build. Aside from the money-saving, do-it-yourself designs contained in the book, Selakovich also offers basic operating techniques for each rig. Here's an excerpt on his camera stabilizer:

"...go right to your sink and fill a glass with water right tot he brim. Now, try to walk briskly without spilling a drop. This is basically how you want to walk with your Stabilizer. Knees bent, body centered over your feet, walking heel-toe-heel-toe."

(In case you're unfamiliar with camera stabilizers, here's an article on the Steadicam, the original camera stabilizer.)

The availability of the book can be a little confusing. Amazon incorrectly claims it's out of print. However, the latest edition is available directly from Selakovich's web site in digital form. Check it out.

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