Glide, Soar, Zoom: AU Hosts Steadicam Training

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University’s new, state-of-the-art Miller Center for Communication Arts was a supporting actor in a recent Steadicam training session for students and community members.

Steadicam is a mounting system for motion picture cameras that eliminates the jarring vibration that is almost unavoidable in hand-held filming. By isolating the camera from the photographer’s body with a system of counter-balanced weights and springs, the photographer can move quickly over uneven terrain while maintaining a steady, smooth shot.

The Miller Center, with its built-in sets and stairs, provided ample opportunities for students to practice different shots with the equipment. David Svenson, director of photography at Carolina Productions in Charlotte, N.C., spent three days working with Asbury students, as well as staff members from a Lexington television station.

“This is the first year the training was in our new building, and David had a lot of skills he could teach through the way the building was constructed,” said Don Mink, operations manager and TV lab assistant in the Miller Center.

Because the Steadicam is such a specialized piece of equipment, certification is necessary to rent a Steadicam rig. Typically, photographers looking for Steadicam training would need to travel to New York or California and pay thousands of dollars for the experience; Svenson provided the training at Asbury for significantly less. Asbury has more than a dozen students who are now certified, and Steadicam shots often appear in their projects and Highbridge Film Festival submissions.

Asbury University hosted a Steadicam training weekend in the Miller Center for Communication Arts.
Asbury University hosted a Steadicam training weekend in the Miller Center for Communication Arts.
Some of the Steadicam training involved learning to film a moving vehicle ... from a moving vehicle.
Some of the Steadicam training involved learning to film a moving vehicle ... from a moving vehicle.

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