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SOA Steadicam Foundations

SOA Steadicam Foundations

This intensive workshop provides key knowledge for those interested in a career as a Steadicam Operator.





This training is a 3-day intensive on Steadicam™ Stabilizer Systems and includes training by a qualified Steadicam Operators Association (SOA) instructor. The curriculum is based on proper setup, balance, operation, technique, and on-set protocol for students interested in pursuing a professional career as a Steadicam Operator. 

The SOA has developed an advanced training system that focuses on connecting neurobiology (brain and nervous system) with kinesiology (human mechanics and anatomy) applied to the operation of Steadicam. This workshop gives each participant ample practical and theoretical experience to begin working proficiently in a short amount of time, plus the mental tools needed to meet future challenges, as well as exercises and shots to practice after completing the course. There is at least one Steadicam and one experienced instructor/operator for each group of four participants. The minimum number of participants is eight, the maximum is twelve for this workshop. All levels of Steadicam operating are accommodated. 

Upon successful completion students will fulfill prerequisite for SOA 2-day specialized training and education with a choice of concentration in advanced Cinema and/or Broadcast techniques. Students will also gain access to SOA Online and its continuing education courses for their first year of membership.  

You are not required to own any equipment. We will supply all the equipment for training at the workshop. If you own your own vest, we encourage you to bring and use it. This will aid in getting you acclimated and properly fitted to your personal vest, which is the most important connection of the system to your body. Some vests may require us to swap out the socket block in order to work, which we can provide. If you decide to bring your own vest, please let us know and tell us which brand it is so we can allocate inventory in case we need to swap out your socket block. 

Topics covered in this training include, but are not limited to: 

  • The physical science of Steadicam - physiology, kinesiology, mind and body care, and maintenance 
  • Physical principles - vest, arm and sled 
  • Building and breaking down the complete system 
  • Balancing the Steadicam - the Physics of both static and dynamic balance 
  • Inertial control and augmentation 
  • Safety 
  • Practice techniques and variations 
  • Scene blocking, rehearsal, and navigating 
  • Aids to navigation 
  • Video transmission and reception 
  • Video assist 
  • New equipment and prototypes 
  • Set politics and management 
  • Best business practices 

At the end of the course, a very complex shot is designed as a final test. Each operator is filmed as they do the shot. Both the recorded shot and the video of the operator are reviewed. ​ 

Workshop participants should be in good health and free of any physical problems. Participants should be able to lift 50lbs. or more without any physical limitations or issues. As always, if you are unsure of your participation, please consult your doctor. 

Using a Steadicam properly does not hurt your back - it gently makes it stronger and it also improves posture. 

There are several successful operators who weigh less than 110 lbs, and operators who weigh nearly three times that. 

​Good shoes should be worn every day that allow for athletic movement and tactile feedback of the ground and terrain. 

​Clothing should be layered, as we work both outside and inside and the weather can be quite warm or cold. 

​Workshop participants with special dietary needs or other special requests should notify us in advance. 

​Participants who wish to bring their own Steadicam equipment should also notify us in advance. 



Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend

This intensive workshop is for those interested in pursuing a professional career as a Steadicam Operator. 



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