Rant #19- Steady Cam vs “Crack Cam”

I kind of vented about this in the “Black Swan” review, but I just thought I’d go off on another tangent rant. I feel bad about not posting here as much.

Ok, vocab time! Yay, knowledge *heavy sarcasm*~!

Steady Cam- A camera that is mounted on a tri-pod or on a track. Really it’s a camera that is just mounted to the floor in some way so that you get really smooth and steady shots.

“Crack Cam”- AKA Hand Cam. This is when the cameraman actually holds the camera on his shoulders and walks around the actors. It’s usually used to give a sense of you walking with the character. Think of any of the “Bourne” movies (if you can bring yourself to).

I understand that there is a use for the Crack Cam. It gives the audience a sense of being in the action with everything and makes stuff more real. But I call it Crack Cam for a reason- they always seem to give the camera to someone going through withdrawal. It tends to be really bouncy and disorienting, which again I understand is some kind of metaphor or symbolic thing, but in all honesty it makes people ILL.

My father doesn’t like to go to movies in theaters because of the growing popularity of the Crack Cam. If he does he has to take motion sickness pills before it starts or else he leaves the theater within the first half hour and just waits outside for the movie to end. I’m sure he’s not the only one either. It gives me a headache and I have to look away from the screen sometimes.

If your directing is solid and you’ve got a good mind then I see no reason to film a whole movie out of the Crack Cam. Especially for action sequences. Metaphor be damned. If there is a lot of motion in a scene you need a steady cam. And don’t make the cuts too short with Steady or Crack Cam, because that just makes it harder to follow.

OK, rant over. I never want to be a camera director~

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