The Fawcett Exovest with Small Socket Block from Steadicam is a semi-rigid exoskeletal vest designed to transfer the weight and torque of your Steadicam camera support system to anatomically appropriate areas without interfering with natural movement. Primary weight transfer is to the pelvis via four pads ergonomically placed around the waistband, and primary torque transfer is via a pad system at the upper back. Lower pads on the front and back avoid compressing the abdomen and the base of the spine. Upper pads avoid compressing the neck, shoulder joint, shoulder blades, and spine.
Crucially, the absence of chest straps allows for unrestricted breathing and arm movement. Pad systems are connected by rigid sliding components, and tightened by double- and triple-purchase straps for precise fit under load, so weight-bearing characteristics can be fine-tuned on the fly. The rigidity of the outer structure extends the torque-resisting lever-arm to a high-shoulder level, halving the force required to counterbalance a Steadicam rig.
Symmetrical twin-rod spars rising from the waistband on the front and back increase the vertical range of the socket block and permit both front and rear arm mounting. Four integral pivots allow the vest to conform to natural body movements. The rise and fall of the hips as weight is shifted from one leg to the other is accommodated by a lower pivot system, so the socket block remains level and at the same height when walking. This results in less muscular strain and better overall stability and balance.
The Exovest's upper system allows for free movement of the shoulders, giving a feeling of increased lightness and control. Between takes, the entire vest may be relaxed by means of one over-center lever, as the upper pad system beds in only under load.
The vest arrives in a goofy configuration but can be easily switched to a regular configuration with an Allen key.