Steadicam operator Jaromir Kalina has moves. With his black and white made-to-measure steadicam he spun through the set with the ease of a coryphee, his shoes almost glowing red. After all, Martin Preiss had once forced him to move on rollerblades and since that day it was known he had no match.
However, as all pregnant women know, husbands never value enough the weight over which they make dinner for them. And directors don't differ from hungry husbands that much except for their cinematic tastes. Thus, when he pestered panting Jaromir Kalina around a cinematic cooking-range, the professional lost his patience.
Most of the crew would probably let their emotions go and cry out with a mighty voice: Do you realize how fucking hard it is to drag this steadicam around in every second scene? To run with it up and down the stairs (the run to the cellar or up to the room 13), on the bridge (heroes running out of the motel), behind the zombies (the run through the dining room) and ahead of super-zombies (running around the kung-fu überzombies) and another zillion runs, which I have - in this momentary state of mind - managed to forget? Do you realize that, you bastard with an ass raw from the director's chair?
Jaromir Kalina chose a much more effective variant, worthy of a film professional. In one extra long break he organized the opening day in the life of a steadicam operator and let a few of the crew, starting with a sound technician, ending with the director, try the weight of the camera. Everyone had to admit one thing. It's fucking heavy. The straps cut in to the back and you can lose balance in an instant only to get a very painful stroke by any of the pulls and rods. All of us admired him from then on and apologized a lot.
The following day there were, again, some difficult steadicam runs scheduled by the director.
We all admired Jaromir Kalina for doing them without a word of complaint. Because by that time not only him, but we, too, knew how fucking heavy it is.
A point of view from a partly objective observer: It was strange: every time Jaromir Kalina put on his whole armour and connected the camera, discussion started. The director with actors, everyone with each other. Long and thoroughly. They didn't do that on purpose, of course, they just didn't realize, how heavy it was. Jaromir Kalina suffered silently. And then he suddenly came with a seemingly innocent question: "Do you wanna try it?" and watched everyone buckle under the weight of a steadicam with a poker smile on his face. It is possible he did that because of his unselfish longing to share the secrets of the steadicam profession with the crew. The truth is that he didn't have to wait from then on.
(c) Ghoti a Zdenek Trinkewitz
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