Talk:Hand-held camera

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Does this article still need to be under the category of "Filming stubs?" --GHcool 21:33, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

It looks on the fence. It does have two other sections, but one is very small, and the other is a list that should be (IMHO) deleted. Too much has been handheld to list. I'd say leave it for now; hopefully enough editing will be done in the future to make the non-stubness obvious. Girolamo Savonarola 21:46, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


This article was incorrect. Hand held camera work was invented by Michel Brault and used in 1958 in a documentary called Les Raquetteurs. Sources and references were put to support this -- and someone removed them.

I am correcting this again. An exerpt from the 1958 film has been put.

Hopefully the fact hand held camera has not been invented by an American, or a French, will not be seen as a encyclopedic problem. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I'm afraid you are mistaken. The technique of hand-holding a camera is as old as cinema itself. The article already mentions World War II documentary footage. The Michel Brault thing might be interesting if reliable citations were provided, but its hardly the "beginning" of the hand-held camera. --GHcool 17:33, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

So do I GHcool, I also think you are mistaking.

But let's try to see on what we can agree.

YES: The fact cameras were used without a tripod IS as old as camara work itself. BUT the point of the fact is filmakers were not using hand-held camera for what it was able to bring to cinema. This is the way the article was already written prior to my intervention.

The article was mentionning Coutard as the first to use the camera in that way, citing Chronique d'un été. But three years before Chronique d'une été, Les Raquetteur used "cinema verite style hand-held camera". I also quoted Rouch and Les Cahiers du Cinéma, who admits Coutard (and others) were really influenced by Brault.

Go to a good cinema library and check the quote if you don't trust me on this. Brault showed Coutard how he did "cinema verite style hand-held camera" when he worked on Chronique d'une été. The director thinks so.

I have brought support to the fact he used the esthetic -- audio-visual support --and I will bring another link here [1] on Brault's influence in this period.

I have a quote. I have images to back it up.

MY POINT : If you suggest to remove the mention of someone inventing "cinema verite style hand-held camera", and want to see it as a beautiful and steady evolution -- I have no problem with it.

But PLEASE let's not say Coutard invented this esthetic 1961, when in fact he worked with Brault, or should I also dare say -- under Brault , who already had a lot of "cinema verite style hand-held camera", for example Les Raquetteur.

Does this make any sense to you?

Oh and by the way, I appreciate you take the time to talk about this instead of just thrashing the text like some do.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The French New Wave is not an area of expertise for me, so I'll take your word that all of the information you present is accurate. The only objection I had was the implication that the French filmmakers of the 1950s "invented" or "began" using hand-held shots, when clearly that is not the case. It might also be useful to provide inline or footnote citations for your New Wave section. As for the quote at the bottom of the page, Wikipedia protocol calls for such sections to be integrated within the article and discourages a "Quotes" section. If you are so inclined (and if you have the resources to do so), it might be worth giving a brief summary of hand-held camera usage from 1970-present. I don't have any serious resources that provide information for such this period and so I am reluctant to add this for fear of violating WP:NOR. For example, The Blair Witch Project, for better or for worse, made creative use of the hand-held camera that brought new popularity to the technique. Children of Men recently got an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography for its bold use of hand-held camera. United 93 also used the hand-held camera to achieve a "realistic" effect. --GHcool 22:08, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Please also cite the Rouch quote more accurately (ie, issue number, date, and page, or as much is possible; a weblink, even). I'd also be much happier if there was some more citation from outside sources who did not work with Brault. Thanks, Girolamo Savonarola 22:11, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I will try and organise all the information to satisfy your requests. But not tonight. I prefer to go out for now.

I would only like to add that Brault being a Canadian filmaker AND a French speaking Canadian (or Quebecois if you prefer) does not tend to help with the internationnal recognition of his contribution to film esthetics. French, English or American scholars (especially in the 70's) did not tend to spend to much of their life writing about artists emerging from 'smaller' cultures. Which explains why you may not have heard about Brault. Hell, I am sure I would not know about him if 1) he was not part of my culture 2) I was not in film.

But that does not change anything to the fact that the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) of those days, post WWII, was at the forefront of esthetic and technological advances in documentary work. It doesn't change the historical fact that Brault met with Jean Rouch (at a Flaherty seminar in California I believe), Rouch who saw that this canadian guy had found something new (Rouch saw Les Raquetteurs there). Rouch then invited him to France, and they worked on two or three film projects together. Coutard was also on some with him.

Rouch called that work cinéma verité.

In a pure camera work perspective, cinéma verité was basically -- and I am putting documentary ethics and intent aside here -- cinéma verité was basically Brault's work with a new catch phrase. And that you can judge yourself and first hand with the excerpt. I belive that is better than some book.

As for intent and esthetics, well that is another story, that of Cinema Direct, and of what became a real-ly loose concept, cinéma verité...

Bye for now.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

As I said, all we're looking for are citable references from reliable sources. I'm quite curious to learn about this - that all being said, please be aware of WP:POV and WP:NOR guidelines, especially with regard to lines like cinéma verité was basically Brault's work with a new catch phrase, if you plan to discuss this in articles, as these statements will be considered contentious and original research without proper citations. It's generally a good guideline when adding anything that might be considered "off" to have this all at hand to keep the matter as transparent as possible. Please also considered creating an account. It allows us to discuss this more directly without having to guess if your IP will remain stable (or have a constant user), among other things. Thanks! Girolamo Savonarola 04:51, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

This article, like the direct cinema article, has been undermined by someone's attempt to advance their personal point of view. Indeed, the NFB (both French AND English, contrary to the article's position) played an essential and often overlooked part in the development of hand-held camera techniques, but the above writer is clearly trying to advance an unbalanced view that Michel Brault single handedly invented direct cinema, using the same old Rouch quote as incontestable evidence of this. Indeed, Rouch learned a lot from Brault, but Brault developed his technique and aesthetic in close collaboration with other Canadians -- I am thinking of people like Wolf Koenig as well as the Equipe Francaise. See the discussion page for the direct cinema article to see how the reality is likely more nuanced, if less politically palatable to our fellow writer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Digital cameras[edit]

In this day of relatively inexpensive digital HHCs it seems weird to find no info on such devices in this article. More so when Cloverfield links here. Luis Dantas (talk) 04:15, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Cinéma vérité[edit]

This should be merged in with the Cinéma vérité article, as it's exactly the same thing. This usage suggests that those who do use it were simply ignorant that it was already an established and much discussed approach to filmmaking. It's no different than if I started saying that I like to paint in a "Zebra-style" which to me meant my paints featured both areas of dark shadow while having bright spots of natural light. Any person who has even had only Art Appreciation 101 knows I'm talking about chiaroscuro. RoyBatty42 (talk) 00:45, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with you there. Few (if any) would argue that a movie like The Bourne Ultimatum is an example of cinema verite. It seems like original research to say that all hand-held shots are an example of cinema verite. --GHcool (talk) 01:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The article Shaky camera discusses the same concept as Hand-held camera except that it has less about the 1920s and 1950s, and less about camera specifics. Instead, the Shaky camera article has more about the 1960s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. I propose that the two articles be merged into one comprehensive article going from early handheld experiments to 1950s and 1960s avant-garde "Shaky Camera" (Jonas Mekas's term) through to "Shaky Cam" as defined by Sam Raimi in the 1980s and beyond. Binksternet (talk) 22:55, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, but the name of the article should be "hand-held camera" as this is the standard name for the technique used in the film industry. --GHcool (talk) 19:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Hand-held camera should be the article which tells the story. "Shaky camera" and "shaky cam" are two alternate terms. Binksternet (talk) 14:01, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
No. They are two different things. Hand-held means held with hand. Shaky camera is where the camera shakes and could be held with hand or done in post production to give the shaky effect. (talk) 06:10, 18 December 2009 (UTC)SamInLA
I have a degree in cinema and have worked in the film industry all of my adult life and have never heard the term "shaky camera" in an academic or in a work-related context. This discussion is the first time I've encountered the term. It is not a real term used by anybody. --GHcool (talk) 00:38, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The merger proposal had merit, but nobody stood up to carry it forward. I am deleting the merge tags at the top of the articles. Binksternet (talk) 06:27, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

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Directors' section[edit]

Anyone else want to add Michel Gondry? Most, if not almost all, of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is handheld. AndrewOne (talk) 03:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Single-camera vs. Hand-held[edit]

Reading Single-camera setup for the first time, I am surprised to learn that this is the traditional standard deluxe way of filming, by shooting one scene over and over again from different angles -- it has nothing to do with Hand-held camera technique! I might not be the only reader who comes with this confusion. Right now these articles are not cross-linked and do not address these two separate subjects in a way that lets readers of one article know about the other. Please help improve these articles by pointing readers also to the other topic.- (talk) 21:40, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

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