A Dynamic Balance Primer

by Jerry Holway

In early 1988, Garrett Brown asked Arnold DiGuilio to write an article for the summer 1988 issue of The Steadicam Letter on the real mathematics that describe a Steadicam’s behavior.

For the past 15 years, Garrett and I have taught dynamic balance to hundreds of operators, and we have radically improved our practical methods and explanations.

Arnold’s mathematics were complete and accurate. However, Arnold’s wonderfully compact explanation left many non-mathematically inclined folks scratching their heads.

Many operators have never even seen this article, and a lot of confusion and misinformation still exist about dynamic balance today.

Therefore, it seems to be a good time to offer everyone in the Steadicam community a solid understanding of dynamic balance, including a full reworking of the basic physics and mathematics.

What is dynamic balance? How does one get a sled into dynamic balance? How important is dynamic balance? What are the real physics and mathematics that explain how a Steadicam behaves, both statically and dynamically?

This is an attempt to answer these questions in a reasonably full and complete manner…..

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