Posted by NPR Staff on April 25, 2013 •
"Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.
Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.
"The way I see it, the prime inventing act is identifying something you really want which is missing," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "It isn't just gadgets and gizmos and machines and processes. It's whatever you want, and the finding of it, the getting of it could be considered an invention."
When Brown started out as a filmmaker, he loved the stabilizing power of dollies but hated their klutzy nature and yearned for an easier way.
"We sort of have a stabilizer in our heads, if you think about it. You're not conscious of yourself lurching side to side when you walk, or rising and falling. The brain just smooths it all out for you, you know? So why should it look worse when you pick up a camera and try to walk? That's what sort of lured me on back then."
Via Thierry Saint-Paul