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Old February 23rd, 2013, 10:24 AM   #1
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Using sliders for interviews

Anyone have any recommendations for sliders when used during an interview. So quiet and works. Also are there any that will automatically slide back and forth so you don't have to run it?
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Re: Using sliders for interviews

Why would you want to? It's as if you don't think that what the interviewee is saying is interesting enough that it's got to be jazzed up with camera movement. Try watching some French morning tv such as Télématin where they use about five different and quirky angles during a studio interview in case the viewer is getting bored...
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Using sliders for interviews

If it is structured or scripted a little it might work, but if it's a real Q&A type interview, you could get yourself into a bit of a pickle in the edit where a couple of shots don't cut together very well because of the movement.

If you have more than 1 camera and you have one static and the other moving it should be fine, but for a single camera thing, I wouldn't risk it unless it is scripted at least a little bit. Not enough info to really give any sound advice, just my first reaction... an other thing you can do is get 2 good takes for each question. One static wider shot and another tighter shot with a little movement in the slider. Takes longer, but gives you some nice options in the edit for cutaways and to trim the story down a bit too.

I have a really cool tripod dolly that's nice and quiet that works great for these types of things. Rides on PVC pipe. I put a sandbag on it so it doesn't "get away from me".
A quality slider should be plenty quiet though... to get back to your actual question.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: Using sliders for interviews

I just did a series of 7 short interviews where I used a slider. For a dramatic promotional video I think the subtle movement was awesome. Granted, it was the third angle and I had an additional shooter to run it. I feel like the shots work best when the subject was really getting to the heartfelt part of an answer, or to introduce them for the first time. I wouldn't want to use it all of the time, so I had a nice wide close set up as well with the slider at a medium-close shot. I put the slider (a 40" Digital Juice Slyder Dolly) as close to the main camera as possible, and just to the outside, I thought the shots looked best moving outside to inside - opposite of and never crossing the subjects eyeline.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Using sliders for interviews

Yep, I would say that's a great use for it doing cutaways and add a little dramatic impact etc.
Gotta be careful if you have shallow DOF though! Sliding back and forth will def change focus...
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Old February 25th, 2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: Using sliders for interviews

For sure. I think I was on F5.6 or so with about a 35mm shot. Also made sure the slider was "square" to the subject. So distances from either end were at least somewhat close.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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Re: Using sliders for interviews

Hi Travis...To answer your question (and not judge whether you know what you're doing or not :-)) I'd probably use something like the Dana Dolly, not a traditional bearing based slider, as they all make a fair amount of noise. The Dana dolly and others that use something like a skateboard wheel are all pretty quiet, and give extremely smooth hand controlled movements. Absolutely it needs to a be a second camera situation, though, to echo what others have said. I'm not sure there are any motorized units out there that are quiet enough to use in the same room as an interviewee, unless you're shooting in the pits at a nascar race.

Focus is almost always an issue even when the movement is parallel to the subject, so to really be doing a consistent job on a live interview, better plan on a camera operator to maintain framing plus a camera assistant to pull focus. Pretty hard to do by yourself.

Barry
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