Glidecam on Snowshoes: An experience in Winter Film Making

 

I am no stranger to using sports gear in film making.  I’m a SCUBA diver who has shot commercially underwater in the company of a Netflix and IMAX director, award winning photographers, and others.  I also enjoy winter sports.  I enjoy my glidecam HD-2000.  Thus was born GLIDECAM SPORTS.  Ok basically, putting snowshoes together with a stabilizer, steady-cam, or DIY cheap glidecam.

You see the difficulty is in movement.  There are an endless number of glidecam movement techniques on the interwebs and YouTube.  They all tend to speak to a certain style of walking.  Enter the problem.  How to mimic this type of walking while wearing snowshoeing snow!  My step will naturally be more choppy and slow.  I’ll be fighting nature, trees, my walk, glidecam balance with snow stuck to everything.  In short, I needed to make a new tutorial, workshop, or course.  OK.  That sounded like too much work.  First, I wanted to know if it was even possible to get steady footage while snowshoeing in the forest.

Off I went into the woods to make a winter tutorial  with glidecam operation tips for snowshoeing.  SO, I drove out to Farragut State Park, ID. Put on my shoes, went for a walk -about 4 miles with practice using the snowshoes and glidecam.

The interesting tips I found usually revolved around the type of snow that I was walking on.  If it had a thick but collapsible crust on it, it was basically impossible to get a consistent steady shot.  However, in packed snow it was basically the same process as walking on a dry path.  The trade off is the shot wasn’t as “snowy” -which kind of defeats the purpose.  What I eventually found was snow that was a few feet deep, soft, no crusts, and untouched.  This is where I could get those nice balanced smooth shots for a great production steadyvid.  The only stance change I needed to make was to bend more at the waist to absorb more of the big body movements.  I also noticed that I was flinging snow into the frame from time to time.

Certainly, I’m no expert and require much more time to master the union of glidecam, canon 70D camera, and snowshoes but I can say that it is possible to get nice smooth footage for a video production.  I’ve made a quick update video report on this so you can see my process.

Gear that I used in the making of this video:

Glidecam HD-2000: http://amzn.to/2Bu4wxs
Arm Brace for Glidecam: http://amzn.to/2E9RxUC
Canon 70D w 18-135mm Lens & Rode Mic: http://amzn.to/2FiM39A
Battery Grip for 70D: http://amzn.to/2BtWEfl
Samsung Galaxy S7: http://amzn.to/2nf0SCt
Snowshoes: http://amzn.to/2ncF0Yk

Enjoy!

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