What’s a Slider?

Camera movement can add quite a bit to your story, if it is done with a purpose in mind. Here’s a brief list of how you can use movement in your next project.

  • Reveal a scene
  • Establish a location
  • Hold on a shot longer
  • Give a unique perspective of a room
  • Maintain the pace or consistent framing with a moving subject
  • Emulate the environment
  • Add complexity or make an otherwise static subject more dynamic


With the emerging DSLR and lightweight camera market, the tools needed to make cameras move have become lighter and more portable. One of my favorite tools for adding camera movement is the slider. Sliders allow you to smoothly move the camera on a horizontal plane (left to right or a backward/forward motion). Some sliders even let you move up and down. Once again, if this is executed with a purpose, it really adds another dimension to your story.

There are several companies out there that manufacturer camera accessories designed to add movement. If you’re looking for a slider, you can checkout these five companies that produce lightweight solutions for smaller cameras (i.e., DSLRs). You’ll also find that some of these companies have solutions for more complex setups.

Now, you might be wondering what types of shots are created (or could be created) with a slider. Well, here are a few samples that help describe camera movement and how a slider can be used.

Kessler does a great job of not only showing what a slider is, but demonstrating what it adds to a shot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MexD3ov6UOE

Patryk Kinzy uses a slider in this video to really explore the room. Notice how it makes your feel like you are right there in the room:

Yep, we use sliders quite a bit here at 522. Recently, we did a music video for Tyler Toliver that used a slider which helped give an extra dimension in the barn:

In this example, Garrett Mountain is explored and, due to having a slider, longer shots become more interesing:

White Collar is one of my favorite shows due to the cinematography. They use a slider and other forms of camera movement. Notice how subtle the slider moves are but still effective:

We reviewed the Ikan SLider a while back that I really enjoy using and even made a video with nothing but slider shots.

Resources

Creating a video doesn't have to be complicated. Here are a few resources to help you along the way.

  • New to Video?

    A first timer's guide to
    producing video.

    Get the Book
  • How Much is
    a Video Worth?

    A complete guide to
    calculating the ROI of video.

    Get the Book
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