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?
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.
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
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.