The Steadicam® Operator's Handbook

2nd Edition

By Jerry Holway, Laurie Hayball

© 2012 – Focal Press

458 pages | 1300 Color Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780240823805
pub: 2012-10-01
US Dollars$54.95

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

Both informational and inspirational, THE STEADICAM® OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK is the number one comprehensive guide to becoming a successful owner and operator of the Steadicam. Packed with interviews and instruction by the world’s premier Steadicam professionals, this book will get you up and running with your rig in no time. You will learn a wide range of practices for the Steadicam, including the physics and balancing through a series of step-by-step line dances and practice shots, to the most personal aspects of filmmaking—how individual operators make creative and practical decisions using this unique camera support system. You will also learn the business side of a Steadicam career, from buying your best rig to negotiating deals with producers and unit production managers. Also included are observations and anecdotes—inspirational, funny, instructive, and cautionary—written by a number of other experienced Steadicam operators around the world, including the legendary inventor of the Steadicam himself, Garrett Brown. THE STEADICAM® OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK is both a master class and a master reference for all camera operators and directors who want to move the camera well.

  • Updated movie examples and ample coverage of new technologies and accessories, including Garrett Brown's new invention, The Tango® and using a Steadicam for filming 3D
  • Offers a complete course in itself: whether you’re a novice or experienced Steadicam operator, you can use this book to build your skill set and move forward in your career
  • Companion website (available here at provides exclusive video instruction and interviews from Steadicam pros


"The Steadicam® Operator's Handbook is the most comprehensive and complete text available on Steadicam equipment and operation. It is essential reading for beginners and experienced operators alike."

-Dan Kneece, President of the Society of Steadicam Operators

"Precision is key when it comes to pulling off a successful Steadicam shot, and it is also the best word to describe what makes The Steadicam Operatorâ?Ts Handbook essential reading. Written by veteran operators Jerry Holway and Laurie Hayball, it is a treasure trove of specific, detailed information regarding the theory and practice of Steadicam operation.Intelligent but not dryly academic, and complete but never overwhelming, The Steadicam Operatorâ?Ts Handbook is a must." - Jim Hemphill, American Cinematographer

About the Authors

Jerry Holway has been a Steadicam operator for 30 years, with many feature film credits including Donnie Brasco, As Good as it Gets, Rounders, The Apostle, All the Pretty Horses, and Reign Over Me. Over the past 18 years, Jerry has been the head instructor at more than 60 week-long Steadicam workshops worldwide. He is generally regarded—along with Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam—as one of the premier Steadicam workshop instructors in the world.

Laurie Hayball has been a Steadicam operator and workshop instructor for 15 years. She earned a degree in Motion Picture and Television from UCLA’s School of Fine Arts. Her training as a cinematographer brings a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of media production, especially as it pertains to visual storytelling. Laurie is the author of The Infrared Photography Handbook, The Advanced Infrared Photography Handbook, and How to Photograph Your Baby's First Year, all published by Amherst Media.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General

Additional Resources


Adjusting the G70x Arm

This video instructs you on how to adjust the G70X arm of your Steadicam® (ride and lift control), and get both sections of the arm working together properly.

Watch video

Balancing the Sled

Learn how to balance the Steadicam® with this detailed video demo. Learn how to adjust a variety of settings to achieve greater dynamic balance as well as static balance.

Watch video


Watch this demonstration to learn best practices when using the handgrips on your Steadicam®.

Watch video