The Steadicam Story

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Garrett Brown, Stanley Kubrick, and Danny Lloyd on the set of The Shining (1980)

In 1976, Garrett Brown created the Steadicam: a camera stabilizer that allows filmmakers to create fluid, spellbinding shots without tracks or a crane. “I bought aluminum from those marvelous metal places on Canal Street,” Garrett recalls. “I found a machinist in Philly to bang it together into sort of a T-shaped object with a camera on front, and two weights top and bottom on the back. And that made incredibly smooth shots.” His invention quickly became a staple in film and television production, capturing everything from the tricycle-riding hallway scenes in “The Shining” to the walk-and-talk sequences in “The West Wing.”

(A version of this story first aired on Fishko Files on December 15, 2016)

Music Playlist

  1. Credits

    Artist: Mica Levi
    Album: Jackie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    Label: Milan Records
  2. Gonna Fly Now (Theme from “Rocky”)

    Artist: Bill Conti
    Album: Rocky (Original Motion Picture Score)
    Label: Capitol Records
  3. Joshua (Fit the Battle of Jericho)

    Artist: Brown and Dana
    Album: It Was a Very Good Year
    Label: Sail Music
  4. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celestra

    Artist: Bela Bartok
    Album: The Shining Soundtrack
    Label: Warner Bros Records