What We Love About The Gimbal

The Gimbal is a Videographer’s best friend

Yes indeed! There are so many incredible things you can experiment with the gimbal to get your perfect shot, no matter what your filming. For those of you who don’t know what a gimbal is, let me make you two acquainted.

Put simply, the gimbal is a device which is used to support a camera and allows for you to rotate the camera around. What does a gimbal shot look like? So, the gimbal captures slow and steady movement shots. They almost look like your moving as one with the device and the camera. They add creative flare to your shots and enhance your video production.

At Iceberg Media, I like to consider our Director, Andrea, as the gimbal master. She’s very good at getting a steady shot and working those angles.

Our team has used the gimbal for many events, behind the scenes and promotional shoots. We have captured amazing footage for events including Kate Wilson Event and Ronald McDonald Up All Night event. So, I teamed up with Andrea to share her thoughts and tips with you.

Andrea shooting with the gimbal

Andrea shooting with the gimbal

Here are some of the reasons to love the gimbal.

  • Cinematic value: The gimbal increases the production value. It helps us be creative with our shots and allows us to capture a variety of shots.

  • Challenging aspect: If you have ever used the gimbal before, you will know it can be challenging to control the camera and prevent it from being shaky. But this is what we love- being challenged and put out of our comfort zone. As cinematographers, we have to focus on how we handle the camera. There’s a lot to think about when using the gimbal, so we always have to be focused and ready to take on any challenge. Not only do we have to ensure the framing and composition is correct, but we have to make sure the camera is stable enough so it is not too shaky.

  • Mobility: The gimbal provides mobility, to be in different places in a shorter period of time. Which means we can capture great shots quicker.

  • Versatility: The gimbal is your go-to device when it comes to versatility. You can use it to create so many different shots.

Tips and Tricks:

If you’ve just started using the gimbal or want to know how to use it more effectively, you will want to check out these tips below.

  • Exercise regularly to stay fit: Yes, I know it sounds a bit funny to recommend exercise to better use the gimbal but you will soon to find out why. The first thing first timers experience when they use a gimbal is that they feel like it’s super heavy. Believe me, we’ve been through this. So, make sure you either hit the gym or do some regular exercise to strengthen up your body. This means you can better hold and control the gimbal, hence, capture great shots for your client.

  • Practice with a glidecam or steadicam: Before you buy yourself a gimbal, try out a glidecam or steadicam to gain experience and learn how to handle the device. These devices are manual and were the original version used to capture moving shots, prior to the gimbal. The gimbal is an updated version and is motorised. You need to be able to understand how to balance the camera and train yourself without the motorised version. This will help you develop your skill set and use of the gimbal.

  • Learn to balance: Learning to properly balance the gimbal is crucial. It means you will be effectively using the battery life and decrease your chances of shaky footage, which you can still have with the gimbal.

  • Bend your knees: Do you ever find when you lock your knees, you are less stable, can feel light headed and have a greater chance of falling over? Yes! When handling gimbal, be sure to bend your knees. This helps your body stay stable and prevents shakiness from being transferred onto the camera.

  • Smaller steps: Taking smaller steps means you will have a smaller chance of your body moving. So, you will be more stable and achieve a steady shot. The challenge with gimbal shots is getting a slow and smooth shot. It is easy to get a fast shot, but a slow shot shows a lot more instability, which you can improve on through taking smaller steps.

  • Plan shots: Be sure to plan where you will start, your direction and what your end frame will be. You want to able to tell a story and need to show why a movement shot is necessary for your content.

I hope you enjoyed this piece on the gimbal. For more content we’ve produced using the gimbal, check out our YouTube channel.

Behind the scenes footage of our team shooting Crazy Rich Asian shoot for Crown Resorts.