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Adding Movement To Your Shoots

Adding Movement With Dollies And Sliders

Video is, by definition, all about movement. Adding a bit of subtle extra movement to more static shots is a great way to keep viewers engaged. Side to side tracking moves give a greater sense of depth to a scene, while push ins can be used to draw the viewer in. Throw in a little foreground, or a low angle shot to really emphasise the motion and with very little effort your images are instantly more dynamic.

Whether you're shooting on a DSLR or a Sony FX9, a track and dolly kit or a slider is a sure fire way to increase the production value of your work without breaking the bank. The track and dolly can be used to create a little or a lot of movement, whether you're tracking along with a character, or slowly and subtly tracking across the room during an interview.

The advantages of using a slider on the other hand is that it's much more compact and easier to set up. In many situations a small amount of movement will suffice, especially where you can put something in the foreground. With the help of a sturdy tripod sliders can be used at a variety of heights, but they really come in to their own when placed on the floor for a low angle shot.

Dollies and sliders open up a wide variety of options for the film maker, everything from simple reveals to more complicated manoeuvres such as the famous dolly zoom made famous by the film Vertigo.

For operators that prefer a more run and gun approach many of these techniques can also be implemented using a stabiliser like the DJI Ronin S. Without the need to set anything up (apart from balancing the camera of course) a stabiliser gives you much more freedom to experiment, as well a the ability to do long tracking shots without the track coming in to frame.

So next time you're watching a film pay attention to how directors use subtle movement to add to the shot and have a think about how you can incorporate that in to your own work.
Posted By Rich Twilton