Some thoughts on sliders at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 25th, 2012, 02:56 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,148
Some thoughts on sliders

Something I'm very curious about -- how do you use your slider? What sorts of moves do you make? What sorts of opportunities do you hunt for?

For me personally, the list of slider moves/opportunities in an events environment isn't large, and the slider is one of the first things to get left behind if I'm worried I'm taking too much gear.

I'm very keen to see if you think about using your slider in different ways to this:


1. Reveals. In practice, this seems to be how most people use sliders. Revealing brides getting ready, revealing brides walking down aisles, etc. Tends to be placed at floor height, perhaps because of the visual interest added by low angles, but probably just as often because it's a pain to centre-mount sliders on tripods. Tends to be horizontal rather than vertical or diagonal.

2. Movement down a line, which in effect is a lot of little reveals. Eg: lining groomsmen's cufflinks up, or bridesmaids' shoes, and sliding down them.

3. "Keyframe to keyframe" -- moving from nice composition A to nice composition B. Probably the main way dollies are used outside of an events environment -- the art of coordinating camera movement and actors' blocking. But given that events are fast-moving and unplanned, I think you're only really going to see this sort of technique on staged shots, and probably only on furniture.

4. Pushing in and pulling out. Very rarely: pushing through something, to make the shot more engaging, like a bead curtain or a fountain. You can, of course, create the illusion of pushing through something (like a fence) without actually moving through it.

Given that any slider you have in an events envrionment is likely to be at the short end of the scale for ease of carrying about, you may need something to emphasise movement through space if you're going to push in or out -- objects that you're going past as you slide.

Pulling out can be a nice way to end a sequence, just as pushing in can be a nice way to start it.

5. Tracking a subject through something, with objects in the foreground to create perspective and interest. In a non-events environment, you might combine this with a hand-off -- following a waiter who takes you from the protagonist's table at a restaurant to the antagonist's.

6. Combination move: combining the slider with a tilt/pan/focus pull, just for the sake of visual interest. For instance, coming around someone's letterbox and pulling focus to the house as an establishing shot. Doing a wide-angle low-angle of a dress, and dollying into it while tilting up to try to create some sort of feeling of wonder. The ability to combine techniques in this way is a big advantage sliders have over Steadicams.

Never actually seen anyone do a Hitchcock and combine a push in with a zoom out.

7. As a static composition substitute. Movement for the hell of it. For instance, you might slide next to an object, but pan subtly to keep it in the same position in the frame.


I guess, in almost all of these cases, the camera movement isn't as significant as in a movie. The psychology of the move isn't as careful, the meaning of the move isn't controlled. Mostly, it really is just "visual interest", just icing on the cake...
Adrian Tan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2012, 08:48 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Never actually seen anyone do a Hitchcock and combine a push in with a zoom out.
That's because we are not aiming to produce a sense of unease in our audience:-)

BTW Thanks for the insightful postings analysing sliders & other tricks of our trade.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 209
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
That's because we are not aiming to produce a sense of unease in our audience:-)

BTW Thanks for the insightful postings analysing sliders & other tricks of our trade.

Maybe it could be used on the groom while he's getting ready.
Daniel Latimer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 154
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Adrian,
Your discription of the possible shots was framed as "what kind of shots do we use the slider for"...my guess is you really meant to say "while everyone is using the same old tired slider shots" what can we do to up the creative use of this tool? The answer would be...get creative on your own and quit trying to copy other people's style and ideas....but that's just me...I don't use the damn thing because EVERYONE ELSE DOES!!!
Tom Sessions is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2012, 03:05 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scotland, Ayr www.amour weddingvideos.co.uk
Posts: 304
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

lots of slider work here. some sliding forward other times across.
it was used at 1 min 12 secs to film from behind railings as the bride walked along the balcony.

__________________
john estcourt
www.amourweddingvideos.co.uk
John Estcourt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2012, 07:43 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Nice shots but slider shots are so darn short! I still prefer to work on stedicam...it's a lot easier and you don't need to move it from location to location as it's part of you so you just walk. You can't do 360's either with a slider.

I guess it's useful if you are doing jewellery style shots at the bridal prep where you can often set up a slider and bring the subjects to it....I had a 3' one but cos my cameras are around 8lbs I have to use double stands on a slider.
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2012, 01:55 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scotland, Ayr www.amour weddingvideos.co.uk
Posts: 304
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi Chris, yes the slider i use sits on a single.tripod so i do sometimes wish it was double the length.(if not triple).
I use a dslr on the slider so its fairly light and quick to move.
I have looked at steadycam but the cost of a quality one is high and the set up time during the day puts me off. But yes ive seen stunning steadycam work and i take my hat off to those who manage to master them. Perhaps i need more patience :-)
All the best John.
__________________
john estcourt
www.amourweddingvideos.co.uk
John Estcourt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi John

Don't get me wrong I think slider shots are very cool ..just hard work for the videographer ...As you get used to a stedicam's full rig and vest, you can zip into it in about a minute (initially it took me a LONG time)

Since you are on DSLR maybe a handheld rig would give you some extra flexibility?? However the BIG issue of course is try to focus a manual lens which would upset rig balance!! My mate Philip has just bought a stedicam "smoothee" and believe it on not flies a GoPro hero on this...I'm waiting for some footage ..but I like the idea ..almost a portable slider and more BUT obvious zero control of DOF!!!

I do envy you guys I must admit!!! I am adaptable and I DID try a DSLR but didn't get too enthusiastic about it so I cannot do all the neat things you guys can do!!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Estcourt View Post
I have looked at steadycam but the cost of a quality one is high and the set up time during the day puts me off.
My experience is just the opposite, I have a simple slider but hardly use it, just because it's too much hassle to drag around and set up during the day. Only when I have enough time I use it but even then it's just for a few shots.

My blackbird steadicam otoh (combined with a 550d and a 14mm lens) is used much more, setup time is very quick (didn't actually time it but I think it's not more then 15 minutes taking it out of it's case, assembling it and balancing) and I can use the included stand to put it on the floor, ready to be used when I need it. So when I"m filming with my second dslr on a tripod and if something happens that requires my steadicam I just put my tripod aside, pick up the steadicam and I"m off.

I only start using it from the reception (usually around 3-4 in the afternoon) because before that it's the church and a lot driving around from location to location and then I prefer just using tripods and a monopod. The reception is the last location so all my gear is offloaded and placed in one location, only my slider often stays at home.

Having a vest and arm would certainly take the strain from my arms/back but that would require me to leave the vest on all afternoon and evening and that can't be fun on a hot day, with the blackbird I can act quicker and often that can mean the difference in getting or not getting the shot.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2012, 04:12 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Scotland, Ayr www.amour weddingvideos.co.uk
Posts: 304
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi Noa,
Its interesting to hear how other people are working during each wedding and I suppose its all down to how we prefer to work or how comfortable we are with certain pieces of equipment.
I suppose the venue also has an influence on what equipment I will choose to use on the day.
I must say though that my DSLR spends a lot of its time on the slider, either on the tripod or on the ground.
I find it light weight and quick to switch to my monopod when required.
I do however have my other cameras set up ready for the service already, so that does give me a bit of time.
I think the blackbird looks a great piece of kit and i know it gets great reviews. I will look at it again perhaps in the future.
I must say I do admire the work some people do with them as my previous attempts were, shall we say wobbly ! :-)

john
__________________
john estcourt
www.amourweddingvideos.co.uk
John Estcourt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2012, 05:32 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

I'm with Noa. I usually forget to pack the slider now & even when I do bring it I never get around to using it as it's too much hassle dragging it around. I extensively use a Glidecam 2000 with 5D2 or 5D3 as sort of my replacement for a shoulder mount camera but I also use it for 'slider' & 'crane' shots. It's so much quicker & easier & more fluid & natural to use.

Occasionally I get the chance to use my Steadicam Pilot but then I need more room & also need to concentrate on just Steadicam as it's difficult to e.g. sort out wireless mics operate a camera on a tripod etc if you have the arm & vest on. It's not the vest per se but the arm that is so unwieldy.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; November 4th, 2012 at 11:14 AM.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Hi Nigel

Agreed!! I stopped using the vest inside Churches a while back and trying to walk backwards down the aisle produced awesome shots but was somewhat hazardous to people learning out and getting wacked by the arm...the Blackbird is an under-camera gimbal so that's more compact. My dual arm probably sticks out at least a foot or two from the side of my body and can do a serious injury!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

John - that's a nice rotation at 1'07" - what sort of tripod adapter have you to enable you to do that? It looks fairly dead central - is it?

Pete
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Salida, Colorado
Posts: 555
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
John - that's a nice rotation at 1'07" - what sort of tripod adapter have you to enable you to do that? It looks fairly dead central - is it?

Pete
That was a nice shot.

I also noticed all the reveal shots were from right to left. Is there a reason for that?
Charles Newcomb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2012, 08:02 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tipperary, Ireland
Posts: 587
Re: Some thoughts on sliders

picked up a glidetrack last week - secondhand, i can see how it can increase production value, i'm still practising and will need plenty of it i think!
I've mounted it on a carbon fibre tripod so i can operate the tripod head with the slider attached to get some interesting angles and that. I had a camcorder on it which is a bit heavy at 2.9 kg so i think i'll be using a EOS 7D for the slider shots.

From doing my practise shots, i notice that most are from right to left i suppose it's because i'm right handed - feels more natural to do it like that.
__________________
http://www.robertcantwell.com
Rob Cantwell is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:20 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network