Do Yourself a Favor and Stop Using Your Gimbal So Much

Since we’ve propelled so far forward, so fast in gimbal technology, it seems that shooting on a gimbal is almost a necessity for most videographers or filmmakers these days — but it shouldn’t be that way. The convenience that’s provided by most gimbals can’t be understated and I would be 100 percent wrong if I implied that they’re not useful tools. They are absolutely powerful tools that we’re lucky to have, and in such small packages. But because of that convenience and functionality, we’ve lost the importance of the decision making process when lining up a shot.

YouTuber Jakob Owens with TheBuffNerds rants for a bit about the “overuse and over-abuse of gimbals” in this five-minute video. What he touches on is something that we can lose sight of when we’re focused on what is in vogue instead of what we’re truly creating. Gimbals give you the opportunity to accomplish incredible things, but come loaded with their own visual language.

Really what Owens is advocating for is a consciousness of what you’re shooting. Not just a focus on the composition, the exposure, and the action, but on the emotion your image itself elicits. A wandering camera has its own personality that, whether you like it or not, impresses itself in the mind of the audience. The same way that a gimbal has a specific feel and elicits certain emotions, so do dollies and so does a well directed handheld shot.

In the end, cinematography is often like choreography. While you’re focusing on the nitty gritty of the story and the immediacy of what’s on screen, you need to be focused on the performance of the camera itself and of its movement, in many ways similar to dance. Like the long, ghost-like, tracking shots of “The Shining,” to the handheld controlled chaos of “Children of Men,” and even to the extreme of “Saving Private Ryan,” as Owens’ references in the video.

So, use your gimbal, but be conscious of its effect, and when the timing is right, be ready to step away from it for great effect.

[via TheBuffNerds]

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Completely agree. I think we'll see a Steadicam renaissance in the next five years when gimbals begin to look tacky (at least when they're used without creativity).

I think there’s so much life in the feel of a steadicam versus a gimbal.

What’s the difference

I feel the same about drones. Over-used and not very creative anymore.

Drones are definitely next. Incredible tools that are used in so many uninspired ways.

Yes and as a counter example: David Fincher (Gone Baby Gone, Fight Club, etc)...

Always steady, always precise. But with a meaning...

Yess stop it!