The handheld reality look


The handheld reality look is in now and has been for a while. It’s a look that some directors and/or producers want. In a real reality TV show like Cops the camera is handheld but the cameraman knows how to keep it steady enough. When they try deliberately to get that look it often looks phoney. I remember when NYPD Blue did it, they intentionally moved the camera about to make it look handheld even though it was on a tripod. The average person may not have noticed it but it was obvious to me. When they try too hard it can be damn annoying. I remember a director in a production that I was in wanted that look and he complained that I was too steady with the camera despite my best effort and when I had to fill in for an actor that didn’t show and the director manned the camera, you can tell the difference in the footage. Maybe they’re from two different schools (metaphorically speaking). The extreme cases seem to be fading, maybe the rest will follow.

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