As far back as Woodstock, concert filmmakers have been a godsend for music fans that can't make it out to the big show. Camera technology has come a long way since Super 8mm. Today, viewers can stream fan made videos on YouTube thanks to the ubiquity of smart phones with high definition video capabilities.
Phone video may be enough to get the gist of a performance. However, it fails to immerse the viewer in the concert experience. It's not the video quality that is to blame. Replace that phone with a professional camera and the footage will still be stationary and disconnected - lost in the sea of the crowd.
A new technology has the ability to spark a revolution in concert video: the gimbal. Gimbals aren't exactly new, but they have become more affordable than ever. They offer consumer level videographers smooth, stable camera movement. Now video makers can document performances with cinematic motion - transforming their footage into a choreographed concert film.
I came to realize this revolutionary potential when I got my first gimbal. Attending local music venues in Philly I met plenty of concert photographers, many of which had DSLR's capable of video. Still, they only took photos. They knew the stationary footage would be useless. So, I found a need and filled it. Thanks to my gimbal I was able to capture artists in a way that matched the kinetic energy of their performances.
Every day gimbals are becoming more affordable and thus more mainstream. Gimbals are now being sold for smartphones - making them accessible to just about anyone. As gimbals pervade consumer culture, we may start to see not just higher quality concert footage, but a new age of smartphone film making. This is good news for live music lovers and anyone who hates shaky YouTube videos.