What's in this session?

  • A camera slider is a track with a movable carriage you can mount your camera onto
  • Add elements in the foreground and background
  • Tilt your camera
  • Get a tripod and slider
  • Be mindful of your setup
  • Shoot slow and steady

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

The camera slider is one of the most affordable and straightforward ways to introduce movement into your videos. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t make it easier and more efficient, and so in this video, I’ll share with you five tips for getting better looking slider footage. Well hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from storytape.com, a cinematic stock footage site that gives you access to unlimited video downloads for one low monthly cost. We publish video production tips and tricks on this channel, so make sure you hit the subscribe button below to get the next video, and if you like this video, make sure you give it a thumbs up as well. It’s true, a camera slider was the very first piece of supplementary video gear that I ever owned aside from a tripod. Before gimbals were affordable, before drones were available to consumers. There was the humble slider. My experience is, the camera slider is one of the most affordable and straightforward ways to add movement to your videos. So here are five tips for making the most of it. No doubt about it, the absolute best tip I can share with you when it comes to capturing stunning slider footage, is that you need elements in both the foreground and the background. The slider that you’re working with probably isn’t very long. Maybe it’s three feet, two feet, or even shorter. That’s not a lot of track to work with. So to make the most of it, we need to put an element in the foreground of our shot. And the reason this is important is because when we have an element in the foreground, the movement of our slider, even if it’s minimal, will be obvious. And the momentum of this movement will transfer to the entire frame. Take a look at this example. Here we have a beautiful shot of downtown Toronto, Canada. The slider we’re shooting on though, it’s only a couple of feet long. And considering how far away we are from the skyline, even if we move the full length of the slider track, it’s not gonna be noticeable in our clip. No problem, though. We remedy this by positioning the rail in the foreground of our shot. Which illustrates the movement of the slider, and that movement translates to the entire frame. This is the biggest key with camera slider movements. Introducing elements in both the foreground and backgrounds to make the slide obvious. And we don’t stop there. It’s easy to get tired of doing the same lateral slide move over and over again, right? Left to right, right to left. And so on. One adjustment I’ll make to this basic shot is to tilt my camera directly up or down using the tripod head on the slider. And especially when pointed up, this gives a majestic and awe inspiring feel to the footage, very regal. In my experience, one of the most boring yet important parts of your camera slider setup is the tripod. And if your slider setup isn’t steady, well it’s effectively useless, and I’ve experimented with a lot of tripods for sliders. And I’m glad to say that I found one that’s both affordable and sturdy. It’s the Davis and Sanford provista 7518b tripod with a v18 fluid head. It’s just about 150 bucks, and with that you’ll get a solid video tripod with a fluid head that can support up to 15 pounds. Right now, one of the sliders we’re working with most often is the Cinevate Duzi four. It’s two feet in length, and when we put a manifrotto fluid head on top of it with the Ursa mini pro, V-mount battery, cinema lens it’s quite the hefty setup. And the tripod we had before just wasn’t cutting it, so we started using the Davis and Sanford tripod, and what a world of difference that has made. On the other hand, another thing to consider that is quite obvious in retrospect but alluded me when I first began using sliders, is to make sure that you don’t set up your slider to run parallel with your tripod head. This will drastically reduce its strength. So, if your tripod release plate runs north-south, make sure that your slider is running east-west to maximize its strength. Now, to close this out, let me say that there are plenty of great tutorials online that will show you a myriad of different camera slider movements, and while these aren’t bad tutorials by any means, I’m personally an advocate of slow, deliberate, and basic movements. I think a lot of what is being done with sliders feels gimmicky. Cause at the end of the day, if you’re going for smooth cinematic shots, there’s really nothing that can replace just a deliberate and basic moving shot. So, don’t overthink things or feel as though you need to do something elaborate to capture a great looking slider shot. That’s not all though, because here’s the deal. If you like the look of any of the clips that we used as examples in this video, you need to know that these clips can be downloaded instantly by you along with more than five thousand other clips, and used royalty free in any of your creative projects. It’s all part of a platform we built for you called storytape. Storytape.com, it’s a stock footage site that gives you unlimited access to thousands of cinematic video clips, shot in four k pro res. We add more than a thousand new clips every single month, and oh yeah, did I mention there’s no download limits? Not only that, but all of our clips are shot in groups that we call scenes. So now you can be the director, and pull from dozens of different clips from the same identical scene to craft the perfect narrative for your story. And, because there’s no download limit, you can always grab the exact number of clips that you need to create the perfect video. So, go to storytape.com and check out all that we have to offer. Again, that’s storytape.com, where finally you can license unlimited video downloads on a single subscription. Including every single video clip you saw in this tutorial. Thanks for watching this video, and I’ll see ya next time.

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