A Man With An Impeccable Eye For Creativity — Steadicam Operator Eric Catelan
Without fluid action and movement, any film, TV show, or audiovisual production would likely fail as a form entertainment. Remember all the great camera shots of Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou running in the Louvre and elsewhere in the film The Da Vinci Code? Each of those tracking shots were fluid and smoot, allowing the audience to become absorbed in the action. There were two reasons that allowed such onscreen magic to take place: the first was the camera operator, Eric Catelan, and the second was the Steadicam that held the camera that he was operating. Eric also happens to be a master instructor with inventor of the Steadicam Garrett Brown — just to add to his long list of accomplishments.
Eric Catelan is one of the premiere Steadicam operators in the world today. In fact, you could call him an expert in his field because he is trained as a Steadicam Master Instructor with the man who invented the Steadicam, Garrett Brown. Eric Catelan has also worked with other experts in the motion picture industry, such as world famous directors like, Ron Howard, Luc Besson, Romain Gavras and Norman Jewison, to name but a few. To date, Catelan has worked on close to a hundred movies and commercials and each time he straps on the Steadicam vest, starts the camera and begins following, he and the camera become one.
Operating a Steadicam is second nature to Eric Catelan. He has been a Steadicam operator since 1996, and he knows fully what the device is capable of. He has experimented with so many types of movement throughout the decades that he fully grasps the Steadicam’s potential and knows intuitively and from experience how the unit will function in any given situation. That being said, he never steps foot on a sound stage or location on the day of an actual shoot without doing all of his homework first. He comes fully prepared and when he is on set, he is ready to go.
When preparing for a new production, his homework can be any number of things. It can be mapping out on a model or a drawing just where he is to walk or move with the camera. Then, he will physically walk the actual route with the director or director of photography. If he is shooting film, he will know just how far he can go without having to change film magazines. Eric Catelan is not only an expert but he considers himself to be one of the luckiest people on Earth because he is doing something he loves to do.