Garrett Brown, or the man with the camera. The cinema has a lot to Garrett Brown: it has brought stability to the moving image. We get to know the name of his invention as his own: the Steadicam (camera stable) has transformed the shots since 1976. Invited by the Cinémathèque française film festival restored All the memory in the world, a benefactor of the 7th art has told of how he created his arm is sure and agile which carries the camera.

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This U.s. rangy, charming affable in his hair of snow is an artist before being a technician. Born in 1942, he is a folk singer in the 60’s – “but the advent of the Beatles put an end to my career,” says he with a sense of humor-and then writer – but he quickly sees that he cannot live from his pen.

Attracted by the cinema, he was hired to write and produce commercials, and it is here that he begins to ask very concrete problems: “my camera weighed 4 kg, and I had to put it on a Dolly up to 300 kg, absurdly unwieldy. Otherwise, it was necessary to use the camera: so how do you stop the shaking, due to the fact that the hand is not strong enough? I had no scientific knowledge, but I locked myself up alone in a motel and I thought from the gimbal (gimbal). The balance point was located inside of the camera: I understood that it had to come out to isolate the camera in space”.

Kubrick grabs the steadicam in Shining

developed in 1974, the Steadicam makes his glorious appearing in the fiction cinema in 1976 with three films that earned an oscar Garrett Brown: Rocky by John G. Avildsen, reveals Sylvester Stallone at the same time, the Steadicam: they go together, in the ring or down the stairs of the museum of Philadelphia; Marathon Man by John Schlesinger, and bound for glory of Hal Ashby.

Stanley Kubrick seizes tremendously in Shining , with Garrett Brown at the controls to accompany the child in the hotel hallways or in the labyrinth. De Palma and Scorsese followed. Since then, the Steadicam is almost all shoots, film and television.

“As the Steadicam is close, unlike the Dolly, it could be drag in the middle of the players as a ghost, and one of the advantages is that the extras never looked at the camera,” notes Garrett Brown. For him, chief operator passionate, the gain is first of all art: “the shooting, he said, is a kind of visual music. Before the Steadicam, it was music rather primitive, with just a few notes. The Steadicam is a kind of new instrument that allows music much more subtle and refined. You can do movements that correspond to the sensitivity”.

The technique involves the art, it is a “spiral wonderful,” the happy inventor, who has since made changes to its instrument, for filming with the same ease in the air (skycam) or under water (divecam).

● For more information on this topic, The cinema of action american Olivier Delcroix editions hoëbeke

As a tribute to the invention of Garrett Brown, Le Figaro has two notable films, Rocky and Shining , which has benefited from the progress of the “steadicam”.

Rocky by John G. Avildsen, on a script by Sylvester Stallone, in 1976, with Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young…

Shining ( The Shining ) of Stanley Kubrick in 1980 with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd…

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