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Alessandro Brambilla

Production Title Shot Name
Il divo The party
Vidocq In the Lab
Vidocq The Secret Door

IMDB Details

  Q & A
Do you remember the first time you saw or heard of the Steadicam?
Yes. It was in 1983. By that time I was a part time cameraman in a very small Italian tv station and some guys who were older than me and more experienced had a chance to work for a bigger network and see one Steadicam in production, probably one of the very first to work in Italy. I often think of the description they gave me of this magic thing. No one really could tell how it worked, it was an alien device but worn by a human. I was only 16 and started dreaming....


What was it about the Steadicam that made you want to pursue it as a career?
Probably the fact that right from the first steps you move with it, you improve your skills and it becomes more and more rewarding but also challenging, you never really reach a point where you tell yourself that there's nothing left to learn. Even after more than twenty years I am still learning and enjoying myself.


What were you doing prior to Steadicam?
Tv documentary camera work. Thanks to the Steadicam now I work in cinema.


What were some of the biggest challenges you remember about becoming a Steadicam operator?
The purchase of the hardware, in the beginning. Building a good reputation to the point of being well known even abroad


What are some of the biggest challenges now?
I woulld not know. May be the idea of having more or less 15 years of career in front of me, talking of Steadicam only, I would go on forever....


Did you ever have a "big break' moment? A career event that clearly changed or paved the way for everything to follow?
Yes, the first film. For too many years I was only shooting commercials. The first film got me started in a new dimension


From whom do you take your inspiration? Has that changed over the course of your career?
The Classics. Garrett above all. I was honored to help him teach a few workshops and he is and remains 'The Guru' Than Larry, Elisabeth...Ted


Is there a shot, film, or moment in your career that you can think of as your most proud?
An Italian film: 'Il Divo' there are a few shots I was happy I did. But the real pleasure and pride was the chance to help Paolo Sorrentino, one of the most creative and visionary (in an 'Italian' way) directors we had in my country since Fellini died.


Is there a shot or film you can recall as being your most challenging? Why?
An 87 minutes long shot, passing the sled twice to another operator during the take using a rather simple technique I've invented for the film "Valzer" by Salvatore Maira I've shown this to Garrett once during a workshop and he dropped his jaw! Even Vittorio Storaro was very impressed. Jerry Holway asked me to write a page about it for his great Steadicam manual. Yes, that was challenging


What work of your peers do you admire?
One of my colleagues I admire most is also from Europe Jörg Widmer on Tree of Life Pure Energy


Many people will say they've tried on a Steadicam once, and immediately thought, "absolutely not." What do you think is different about those of us that say "absolutely"?
The very first time I did try it was Norman Guy Bee who helped me wear it, back in 1990 at calamigos in Malibu. It was an EFP prototype with a very light Panasonic VHS camcorder on it and It took me a few steps to think ' absolutely not! ' I hated myself and the situation I had put myself in. I don't rember who said something like: the very things we really cannot do without are those we most hated the first time we tried ? Could be Oscar Wilde ?



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