There isn’t much that’s more boring in film than just seeing one locked off tripod shot after another. Getting that camera moving really adds emotion to a shot. And watching just about every movie made over the last few decades you’ll spot the same four camera moves.
Anybody getting into video soon realises that camera movement is the key to getting more interesting shots. Often the first investment made to get that movement is in some kind of inexpensive camera slider. Sliders can be amazing, but sometimes you just need more. Especially on location, sliders aren’t always the best option, sometimes you need a track dolly.
In this video, Logan at Premium Beat shows us how we can make a simple track dolly for under $50. Of course, this price may vary depending on the cost of materials available to you, but it’s a good guide price to get you started. You can possibly even get it for less if you’re patient and look for good deals online.
A while back we asked the world to add a small Gyro to each camera so that shake can be eliminated. It looks like the world was listening and a new kickstarter aims to bring smooth and steady shots be recording camera movement and applying it into the stabilization algorithm.
SteadXP is a small box that attaches to the back of the camera and does one thing: it uses an accelerometer and a gyroscope to accurately record your camera’s movements.
This should enable you to get complex moves in a smooth way without the use of big gear like steadycams or heavy gimbals.
As a child of the 90’s I can testify that there was nothing bigger than Jean-Claude Van Damme. Back when he had all his hair. But in the early 90’s it was harder to shoot Van Damme, to get a good camera move, you’d have to physically move the camera, either by foot, on a crane, or on a frigging flying sofa. It was a lot harder than navigating a camera-mounted drone. Not to mention more expensive.
Paul Raimondi was a movie maker back in the 90’s and one of his demo reels – The Moving Camera – shows how you can make a camera move to get the shot. Some of the simpler ways were steady cams and ‘helmet cams’ but there are also huge cranes, motorcycle mounts and one sofa tied to a cable. At approximately 1:03 we also see what the 90’s used as a drone.