Behind the scene of HugoThis is the second longest steady cam filmshot . First is from Good Fellas
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Steadicam "arm" attaches to the vest and takes the weight of the camera and most of the vibration from walking while the "sled" or "gimbal" gives a carefully balanced platform upon which the camera sits. It's an incredibly strenuous activity as a normal 2D camera package and Steadicam rig will add about 80lbs to the operator's weight. Hugo was a 3D movie shot using the particularly heavy Arri Alexa, so their 3D Steadi rig looks like this and weighs notably more. Hear all of the exhaustion at the end? And the joke about doing heaps more takes? That's why.
The tubes you see on top of the matte box are horns for a Cinetape. The Cinetape is one of many tools which a focus puller [1st Assistant Cameraman or 1st AC] will use to judge the distance between the subject and camera to focus the lens.
Cinema lenses do not autofocus. Instead the assistant will use a wireless focus control like thePreston FIZ. They turn a knob on a handset which wirelessly moves a motor attached to the lens which turns the focus ring. Cinema lenses have carefully graduated focus rings which look like this. Since there is no "autofocus", it is up to the 1st AC to judge the distance from the camera to subject and turn the lens to that distance. If they guessed 9'4" and the subject is at 9'1"... the shot is out of focus and they must do another take. If you've ever seen an out of focus shot in a movie... that's why! Naturally the director always falls in love with the performance in the soft take.