If you're a fan of Rocky or figuring out how some scenes in film work out, this one's for you.

The steps scene in Rocky is arguably one of the most iconic shots in film history; it's an allegory for personal victory and has been copied and parodied countless times over. The story behind it, however, is pretty fascinating. Garrett Brown was a camera operator who invented and patented a brand-new type of rig that would allow for smooth, unhindered movement of a film camera.

In order to test its usage, Brown and his wife went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's steps. Brown then asked his wife to run up and down the steps whilst he followed her, purely to capture the smooth movement of the camera on uneven terrain. Thinking nothing more of it, Brown processed the footage and went to Los Angeles to sell his rig.

As Brown tells it, he shot the scene pretty quickly as he had a flight to catch and he was eager to sell his rig to a production studio. The first person he met with was John G. Avildsen, who was directing a small film in Philadelphia called Rocky. Upon seeing both Philadelphia and the remarkable footage, Avildsen was sold and hired Brown to act as camera operator.

The shot of Rocky climbing the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum - the same as Brown had done with his wife a few months previously - became one of the most iconic scenes in film history. Brown would then go on to be hired by Stanley Kubrick for The Shining. Brown's Steadicam would go on to become a regular feature in countless films and earn him a place in film history.

Here's the man himself, explaining his invention. Keep an eye out for the test footage and the similarities between it and the one used in Rocky.


Via YouTube