You will know it when you see it.
While the Steadicam has been put to good use by many motion pictures (all the way from Rocky to The Shining and beyond), perhaps no director has used it as effectively as Martin Scorsese. Known for his consistently moving, fluid camera movement, Scorsese's films are always buzzing with an inherent busy-ness, a sense of perpetual movement that could pick up and roam at any time.
In a new video from Fandor, Scorsese's most iconic displays of the Steadicam are pieced together to illustrate how and why the apparatus choice, devised to allow both the Director of Photography and actors to move more freely through a given (often narrow) space, is crucial to how the filmmaker stages his elaborate blocking.
Whether it be the Copacabana nightclub scene in Goodfellas, fighter Jake LaMotta's walk out to the boxing ring in Raging Bull, or Jordan Belfort's stroll through his bustling office in The Wolf of Wall Street, the Steadicam helps each of these environments feel both intimate and larger-than-life; as the video above makes clear, the use of "anticipatory" camera placement enables the viewer's attention to shift to a multitude of subjects within a matter of seconds.
What's your favorite use of the Steadicam in Scorsese's vast filmography? Let us know in the comments below.