Sliders vs Dollies – Tips from leading video marketing production company?

Comparing Sliders and Dollies – Video marketing production advice

Here’s a secret that every video marketing production company uses to make powerful and engaging videos? It’s called ‘grip’, an umbrella term that covers all kinds of fancy mounts that move the camera smoothly. These moving shots can transform subjects and create a more dynamic shot, giving your production that stand-out high-end feel. The two most popular types of grip used in video marketing production are sliders and dollies, so which one is right for your job?

What are they?

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Slider

A slider fits between the tripod and the camera. It’s a rail (usually metal or carbon fibre) upon which sits a base plate which is free to slide from one end of the rail to the other. The camera is mounted on this plate, so that it can smoothly travel from one end of the rail to the other.

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Dolly

A dolly (or ‘dolly and track’) consists of a cart and rail. When assembled, the rail resembles a train track. The camera cart rolls back and forth on the rail with the tripod mounted atop. It can curve and travel further than a slider, but is a far bulkier piece of kit.

Tracking Shots

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Slider

A ‘Tracking’ show refers to a linear moment parallel to the action. They’re great for revealing spaces and adding subtle movement to boost your video marketing production, and sliders work great for them. Placing objects close to the camera amplifies the effect, just bear in mind that sliders tend to only be about a metre long, so the duration of your shot can be quite short, but a slow sliding movement will work well.

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Dolly

Firstly, dollies often have a segmented track, so you can make the camera travel as far as you want. It opens up the possibility for a longer shot duration and a faster movement, but there is another benefit to the dolly and track – a curved path. This makes it possible to arc around a subject, changing the perspective and adding a high-end dynamic effect.

Creep In Shots

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Slider

‘Creep-in’ describes the movement of the camera directly towards the subject. This type of shot is perfect to draw the viewer into the action, and perfect for showing off your product or service. Because a slider is close to the camera lens, the slider rail becomes visible when the camera is pointed along it, so creep-in shots are not possible.

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Dolly

Unlike a slider, the rail of a dolly is on the floor and out of sight, even with the camera is pointing in its direction. A long length of rail isn’t necessary for a creep; even at a gentle rate of travel a creep-in shot is very powerful. Using them draws the viewers into the centre of frame, positioned well they will help them connect with your message.

Versatility

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Slider

The majority of sliders are small and light, which makes them perfect for small crews that need to move quickly. Because they are raised from the floor, sliders are able to achieve smooth movement in environments where there is no even ground. Sliders perform best with lightweight cameras like many businesses and organisation already use for in-house video marketing production.

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Dolly

Dolly and tracks are generally larger and require more assembly time and possible more crew than sliders. What’s more, the ground surface needs to be levelled before laying any track, and the wheels of the dolly must be kept clean for everything the run smoothly. All this takes time which–as you know–can be an expensive commodity.

Cost

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Slider

On the whole, sliders are more affordable than dollies. Because they tend to require less crew and less time, shoot days can run faster when a slider is in use. They can be hired for a small daily fee from many video equipment rental houses to be used with a camera you already own. Just remember- sliders limit the size and weight of the camera that can be used. If you’re looking to hire one, ask if it’ll carry your camera.

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Dolly

Most large dolly systems are expensive to operate, because of the crew numbers and time required. However, small dollies can be just as quick to rig as sliders, and only need one or two crew members to operate. You’ll be surprised how inexpensive they can be to hire, but most of the more affordable options will be limited in length in the same way a slider is, so shot duration and speed of movement will suffer.

What’s the long and short of it all? Don’t underestimate the power that adding a little movement can have. By engaging your viewer with moving shots, your locking in a connection that could drive sales. Both sliders and dollies are capable of delivering shots that bring a high-end feel to your footage, but every job is different, so consider the location you’re filming in, the amount of time you have, and how heavy the camera is. Producing work on par with a leading video marketing production company is achievable using sliders for dollies. There’re affordable options for both, so adding that dynamic look and engaging your viewers has never been easier.

About fortyfoursixteen films

fortyfoursixteen films has over 15 years experience producing high quality video content for leading brands and organisations throughout the UK. Headed up by lead producer Neil Waddington we aim to create innovative, inspiring and engaging video for a wide variety of digital delivery platforms.