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LOCATION & LIVE OB innovation, resulting in the new Steadicam M-1 rig available rom the end o a . he stands or modular. his is the fi rst trul modular teadicam. ou can start out by upgrading part of your current rig then upgrade to the full rig later. I’ve got a Shadow, which has been a beautiful rig, but I’m going to upgrade now to the M-1. The M-1 doesn’t look that much different but it feels a lot more different because of the technology that’s gone into it; the bearings, the way the gimbal operates, it’s all new; and those internal differences of engineering perfection, which is effectively what the thing is, the money isn’t on the outside of Steadicam, the money’s on how it works on the inside - it’s the engineering, the precision; it’s how it feels, it’s how it behaves.” Q: Would you say there have there been any truly major advances? “Steadicam splits into three sections, you’ve got the vest, the arm and the sled, the bit that holds the camera and the monitor; each one of those has developed in different ways. There has been a huge leap in the vest technology, and that has come from a Steadicam operator, Chris Fawcett, who came up with what he calls the Fawcett ovest . he teadicam vest has alwa s been an e o skeletal device – think Tom Cruise ‘Edge of Tomorrow’. But although the classic Steadicam vests have enabled the operator to get all those amazing shots, it has held the operator rigid to an e tent but limiting movement in some directions and restricting breathing when totally engaged in getting the shot. This was less energy e fi cient and so hris awcett applied his knowledge o human anatom and came up with the wonder ul ovest. t s also e o skeletal t doesn t look that di erent in act it looks considerably smaller and thinner. But it enables me to walk properly; I can move my hips - it doesn’t rigidise my body; it’s lighter – it gets rid of the centre pads; it only touches me where I need the weight to touch me – that’s a huge improvement. It means I don’t get so hot, it means I can breathe, my lungs can e pand ull . he other vests the have hip pads, midriff pads and shoulder pads, that’s where it touches ou. he ovest gets rid i the middle pads ou don’t need them. Also there are rigid bars on the front and back which connect with the top and the bottom of the vest. That doesn’t sound like a big improvement, but it’s an enormous improvement because the old vests weren’t connected.” Q: From what you’ve said, the Steadicam consists of three parts, so if I want to go out and buy a new M-1, one possible configuration would be to buy it with the Exovest in place of the standard vest? “That would be the way I’d recommend it. You could buy it with the standard vest, there’s not a huge price difference, but I think it’s an utter no brainer. It’s one of the biggest leaps in technology from an operator’s point of view, bearing in mind, it doesn’t affect the pictures - to the producer it s e actl the same but to the operator ... at the end of the day, are you going to crawl back to your hotel, or are you going down to the club and bop with the younger members of the crew? OK, I don’t do that but you know what I’m saying.” Q: Is there anything left to say? David Crute joined the BBC in 1983 as a camera assistant. He left in 1989 as a full lighting cameraman and set up his own company. At around this time he became one of the first UK Steadicam operators and is now established in the ranks of the top operators working in this field today. His company Rock Steadi has continued to work for the BBC and all the major broadcasters including ITV and SKY and David has hundreds of commercial, drama and corporate credits to his name as Director of Photography. He has just finished shooting ‘Monsoon Tide’, a new film which will soon be on release and which was shot largely on location in India. 66 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 105 SEPTEMBER 2015 “Another big leap forward is you can actually walk sidewa s with it the ovest pivots ever so slightl which means as you walk, your hips move from one side to the other; the vest accommodates that pivot, which means you can do a walk sideways; you can do a crab shot. ow there are other wa s to do the shot but all that gives ou more fl e ibilit how ou move around the person or the object that you’re shooting; so you don’t have to do the funny cameraman walk - you can just walk utterly normally. It gives me longer on the Steadicam. My shots are identical; but it gives me much more energy and I move in a slightly different way; I don’t waste energy while I’m moving. hat s wh at would hope ve got or ears in me whereas without the ovest would have hung my spurs up by now.”