In So You Think You Can Dance there is usually a camera movement I can't decipher how is made.

In this case the camera move right to left, and enter forward to the scenery. Time 0:42

My only guess is camera is floating with some kind of cable over a rail on ceiling.

At 8:41 the camera enters stage and circles around.

Here's my guess - a guy is holding the camera but the angle looks like is very high and moves very fast and smooth.

That effect usually also happen at the end of the show when all dancers are on stage. And either they edit the video, or the guy with the camera is very sneaky because I haven't see it yet.

  • I can't find any specific proof but my guess is that it's a giant crane with a camera on the end. They're commonly used for shoots with a studio audience and to get a good amount of movement in the shot. They certainly do use cameras on cables for sporting events but I don't think they're necessary in events like this. Something like this.
    – Catija
    Aug 12, 2015 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


There are four possibilities I can think of, but I'm pretty sure they use the first one (a jib).

Possibility 1: A jib. This is crane arm with the camera on the end of it. You can raise and lower the arm, and also pivot the are left or right to track things left or right. These are sometimes on dollies so they can roll across the floor too.

man operating a jib

Possibility 2: A camera operator can be carrying a steadicam, which allows for perfectly smooth movements while the camera operator is walking around. However you pointed out that the camera angle is too high, so they probably aren't shooting with these.

enter image description here

Possibility 3: A "skycam" (I think that's what it's called). Football games sometimes use these. There are 4 cables coming from the top 4 corners of the arena, or in this case the stage. The camera is suspended from where they meet in the middle. Each cable is on a pulley, and a computer controls how all 4 of them are extended or retracted to lift the camera, lower it, and move it around the space. I doubt they're using this too.

enter image description here

Possibility 4: A remote-controlled 'copter with a camera on it. This seems dangerous, unnecessary and loud for an indoor shoot with an audience.

enter image description here

  • I could have made this list, too... this answer will be a lot more valuable if you can find some actual information from SYTYCD production that explains which is the correct option.
    – Catija
    Aug 12, 2015 at 22:26
  • Fair enough. I'll hunt around. Aug 12, 2015 at 22:30
  • For the first case maybe the Jib can work and the steady cam for the second case if use a wide lens. But in both case they do a great work hidding from the other camera shot. Aug 12, 2015 at 22:40
  • 1
    Today I watch the beggining of a new season and during the interviews I could see the jib in the background. Still pending to see if they also use steadycam. Aug 15, 2015 at 1:42
  • 1
    Today I saw the steady cam. They were still exiting the floor when the camera switch to the front. Still they do a very good work with cameras. Aug 14, 2017 at 14:44

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