About Me

The classic “About Me”:

I am an LA based steadicam owner/ operator, camera operator and camera assist. I have freelanced in reality TV, live TV, video and film productions in the camera department since the beginning of 2008. I have experience with a wide variety of formats including scripted shows, live TV, reality TV and film. My equipment experience extends from professional cameras, ENG cameras, HDSLRs and film and specialty cameras. My steadicam rig can support any size camera from small HDSLRs to 35mm film cameras and everything in between.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss working with you at your earliest convenience! Please don’t hesitate to call or email me with any questions!

-Mike Nelson
(720) 220-1665
mikenelsoncamera@gmail.com

 

The “About Me” with a little more personality:

My role in the camera department is the perfect way for my technically orientated mind to mingle, create, and work with great story tellers, great artists, and amazing people!

I’ll start off with: I LOVE this filmmaking stuff!

Whether is live TV, reality TV, a feature length movie, a commercial, or anything else I love my role in the camera department. As a camera operator, steadicam operator, jib operator or an AC, I find myself moving within the camera department from shoot to shoot because I can’t get enough of it all! Each role that I play presents its own set of challenges and requires its own specific skill set to overcome those challenges.

My first love in camera is steadicam because it’s much like chess: it’s easy to show someone the basic principles, but takes a lifetime of dedication to master. I first dawned a vest, arm, and rig in 2008 and was amazed at the way the camera became one with my body. Since then, I have been refining my skills and knowledge to use my body to gracefully move the camera where ever it’s needed for a shot. The idea of using my body to become one with the camera and doing a dance with actors and the action in a scene is ultimately appealing. No matter what the camera, no matter the shot, no matter the circumstances, steadicam and the lifestyle surrounding the craft is something I have dedicated myself to for life.

In a very close second place is shooting for reality TV. Not quite sure how I ended up here in the wild west of television but I’m grateful to be a part of it! Operating a camera in reality TV tests me in ways I never could have imagined. It’s a fast paced, nonstop, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-and-only-stop-rolling-to-change-tape, blink and you’ll miss it environment and I can’t get enough of it! Reality allows me to be creative with a camera that I normally wouldn’t be able to explore because every situation is different and decisions about what to shoot, when to shoot it and how to shoot it are made on the fly. No two days in the world of reality are the same and I never know what’s going to be around the next corner!

My love for film wouldn’t be complete without the world of ACing for scripted shoots. I love the technicalities, the precision, and the art of pulling focus, anticipating the needs of the operator and the DP, running the camera team and organizing & caring for the equipment. I love the hustle of being on set and being a part of everyone working seamlessly together as a single driving force to create art. After all the preparation is done for a shot, with marks laid down and  measurements taken, I love hearing “Roll Camera”, taking a breath, and being the person to push the RUN button. I know that during each take, my role in pulling focus is a vital one and I love the pressures and rewards of pulling off memorable shots!

Lastly and most recently, my newest venture has been exploring the jib arm. Like steadicam, the jib is a great way to move the camera through space to create shots that seem impossible. There’s something fascinating about having to use my whole body to swing a 35’, 500 lb arm while at the same time precisely manipulate the camera with controls in both hands. It’s another combination of man and machine making art.