You’ll be more than surprised to know how many different camera movements you can do with a relatively short slider mounted on a sturdy video tripod with a fluid head on top. When you combine this setup with a photo head or a ball head for some extra angled movements the options increase significantly. And, the best part is that almost any mechanical slider will do the trick. Plus, you don’t need any fancy gear or expensive filmmaking equipment to build this setup. As Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom.net points out in the video below the number of possibilities is only limited by our creativity. So, here are his five creative tricks that you can do with a camera slider.
The first technique on the list suggests placing your slider on the ground and pointing the camera straight up. To make this trick work, you need to set your photo head to a 90-degree angle and flip the camera plate so that you’ll be able to mount the unit the other way round. Then put your slider next to an object and slide the camera to either side. This could be a great technique when you want to get more interesting interior shots or capture a different perspective of an object.
The next trick shows a way on how to do a slide-in on a wide angle lens. Typically, when performing a conventional slide-in shot like this you would see your slider in the frame, but by applying the shown reverse tilt trick you can frame it out. Just tilt the camera slightly up and then tilt the tripod down to countervail the former adjustment and slide the camera towards your subject.
The third movement on the list is an excellent solution when you want to capture easily a POV of your actors in a scene where they have to move in a circle while staring at each other. With the camera on one end of the slider and the actor pushing the unit on the other while looking into the lens, you can get this POV shot with ease.
The fourth slider movement can be used to emulate a jib motion on occasions where you need to reveal an object from a close up to a medium shot by sliding backwards. By adding an extra tilt movement with the slider itself and moving the camera away from your subject simultaneously, you can create a complex 2-axis jib-like camera motion that can be an excellent addition to your arsenal of creative camera movements.
For the last trick, you’ll need two apple boxes to put the slider on, upside down. This setup will allow you to move the camera very close to the ground thus producing some stunning low angle footage. Typically, this type of shots work best with a wider lens, but you can try out some other options as well. Just make sure that your camera is level when you bring it so close to the ground and always double-check your exposure, focus, and framing.
Overall, these five creative camera movements can be a fun way to spice things up, so don’t be afraid to experiment and explore new ways to move your camera on set, even when you’re using a simple filmmaking tool such as a slider.