First Steadicam Gold Workshop Held in Japan

This October saw an important first time event in Japan, the very first Steadicam Gold Workshop. The location was a sports resort some two and a half hours North of the centre of Tokyo. The excellent facilities included a huge main training room and a considerable number of attractive areas around the site for creating interesting shots, including a pool area complete with dinosaurs.

There was a full complement of sixteen students from not only Japan but also other parts of Asia and even the Middle East. Instructors were Garrett Brown, Jerry Holway, Chris Fawcett, Robin Thwaites and Rebecca Wilson-Jennings ably assisted by Dan Ikeda on translation and his wife Aline.

The workshop was hosted and put together by Tiffen partner Gin-Ichi with what must have been several tons of equipment leaving nothing out, from complete Steadicam rigs to water and snacks for the students, and to spare screws and tools. Also arranged and on site were a dolly and a crane for the vehicle training day.

The workshop started with introductions and organising the students into groups, followed by basic line exercises and a balancing/setup session. This filled most of the day, and after dinner proceedings continued with a lecture from Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown. Students then went on to prove their enthusiasm by practicing further until late.

The second day began with a general class talk, but then the instructors each created a short scene concentrating on a particular aspect of working with Steadicam. Groups rotated between the various shots enjoying the benefit of the instructors varying techniques and points of view. Again the evening saw another lecture followed by late evening practice.

The rest of the week carried on in a similar fashion but with the addition of vehicle and crane work on the Thursday finishing on Friday with a celebratory dinner and certificate ceremony. Many students were so dedicated that they even went on practicing until late yet again.

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