Jimbob Video Tutorial: How to Build $14 Steadycam

by Jimmy on March 25, 2010

Jimmy Nguyen (right) doing his best to imitate Johnny Chung Lee (left) by building a $14 steadycam

Every young moviemaker has to be a DIY magician or at least know a crafty friend in order to make sets, equipment, costumes, etc. quickly and cheaply.  If not, all the beautiful movie scenes you imagined in your head would turn out horribly when you actually went out and tried to shoot it.  Or worse, you’ll feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to make all this stuff for your movie and you’ll never even try.  Luckily, there are hundreds of DIY tutorials online that deal specifically with the art of moviemaking.  One of the most well-used tutorials happens to be  How to Build a $14 Steadycam.

In preparation for my modern Western blockbuster that I plan to shoot this summer, I built the $14 Steadycam designed by Johnny Chung Lee following the directions he so meticulously laid out on his website www.steadycam.org.  Professional steadicams and Merlins can cost anywhere from $250 to $7,000 and you will probably end up having to take a class taught by a master steadicam instructor in order to actually know how to use one.  So $14 steadycam it is for me and I hope for you too because it’s kind of cool using DIY equipment in your DIY movies.  Plus, you’ll get more street cred when people see you using something you built.

Without further ado, my $14 Steadycam video tutorial with test shots at the end.  It follows Johnny Chung Lee’s instructions with some music and minor bits of wisdom on my part sprinkled in.  This is my first attempt at a video tutorial so I hope you enjoy.

*Sorry if my voice is so low in the video, I was doing the narration in the middle of the night and was trying not to wake my wife sleeping in the next room.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 billboard trucks for sale June 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had
written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new
to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for first-time blog writers?
I’d really appreciate it.

2 Jimmy June 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Hi BillBoard Trucks For Sale,

I’m actually one of the worst bloggers because I only post about once a year. Haha. Or rather I just post something when I make a movie.

A good blogger is one that loves to write, no matter what. You have to love to see your thoughts on the webpage. Try to write at least twice a week. Wordpress is a good way to start a blog.

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