I got my first taste of filmmaking at the age of five when Margaret Mead came to our house in Connecticut and tested out her Bolex on me before heading off to the South Seas….
I made my first 16 mm film in high school, ended up with a film degree from Cornell University, and started making documentary films before graduating. For several years I worked on documentaries, industrials, and political spots, and earned a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.
I learned how to operate a Steadicam in 1982 while I was teaching filmmaking at Penn State. Several years later I left teaching to become a freelance cameraman, specializing in Steadicam. In 1991, Garrett Brown invented – and we developed – Skyman™, the first of several low-tech “flying Steadicam on a wire” devices that I own.
I have been the head instructor at many Steadicam workshops since 1990 (Philadelphia, Malibu, Scandinavia) and I am the author of the Steadicam Workbook, The Steadicam EFP Manual and Videotape, The Steadicam Ultra manual, and The Dynamic Balance Primer. I also wrote many articles for and I was the editor and publisher of The Steadicam Letter.
I’ve had a hand in many improvements to the Steadicam, including helping with the creation of the Buddycam and Slavecams. I invented an electronic circuit called the “Bubble Tamer.” I also invented the inertial augmentation system called Antlers, and I came up with the basic concept for the Steadicam Ultra and the Ultra’s integral tilt head. Garrett Brown, the Oscar winning inventor of the Steadicam, and I are co-patent holders for the Ultra.
Recently I have been Director of Photography on several low-budget movies, but I continue to operate the Steadicam, write, and invent Steadicam accessories.