Meeting with Steadicam Inventor Garrett Brown and his Merlin 2 (Video)

It is pure luck that I ran into Garrett Brown at BroadcastAsia 2012 yesterday. He is the inventor of Steadicam. FYI, if you seen how actors/actresses can run in a movie with the camera following them smoothly, you need to thanks Garrett for his invention.

If you have seen the running and training sequences in the movie, Rocky (by Sylvester Stallone), you have already seen the work of Steadicam.

As mentioned, it was pure luck that I got to meet him. I was capturing some images of the Steadicam setup by his team and posting some questions.

I was getting interested in the Steadicam Smoothee as it was meant for small phone usage.

As you can see, the device is made in such a simple way that anyone will be able to balance it. I was getting interested in the way it works (see below).

It was then that Garrett came back to the booth and one things lead to another, we started talking about the Steadicam Merlin and the Merlin 2 and I showed him one “stabilizer” or “steadicam” that I bought online. He was speechless at the poor quality of it. And he quickly showed me how his Merlin 2 is much better (I can vouch for that) by mounting my Canon EOS 7D onto it.

Here is a video showing how he does the setup in under 4 minutes. Amazing.

Here is a shot of him setting up a Canon EOS-1D X.

As I got interested on the Merlin 2, he showed me something which I am sold. The Merlin 2 can be folded into a small package. BTW, he likes to put his head next to his product, haha.

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The trick is the quick release dial that helps to unlock and lock the shape in seconds.

And here is me having fun with the Merlin 2. BTW, this shot was taken by Garrett. I was caught by surprise.

For those who are interested in the Merlin 2, here is the link.

Click Here to Steadicam Merlin 2 Site

For those who are interested in Garrett Brown, check out the interview he did a few years ago.

And here is a nice write-up about him and the films that uses his invention.

Some more photos of him. He is very, very tall and super nice guy.

I love the intensity in his eyes when he touches his invention. He is 70 years old but when he is doing his stuff, he is like a child in a playground. 🙂

BTW, the Merlin 2 is sold at Cathay Photo in Singapore. I did check out the price. It is sold at S$1,259 (On the website, it mentions that it is on special offer at S$1,059 ).

The price is steep but Garrett did ask me a question. If I am a violinist and want to become a good violinist, would I want a good violin or a cheap violin. The answer is obvious but I guess this is a decision I have to make.