The humble pizza cutter. Who knew it could be such a wonderful cinematic tool? Well, it turns out that it might be. For your smartphone, anyway. The folks at COOPH have come up with a great way to get a dolly or slider for your phone without actually buying a dolly or slider. All you need is a pizza cutter.
I own, maybe 8 tripods. I also have a monopod, couple of sliders and a gimbal. Each of these has heads which take some form of tripod plate. A way to attach your camera to the device. But the big problem with them is that they all typically tend to use different tripod plates to each other. This means lots of switching out plates on-set as you need to move from one to another.
This number of camera supports might seem excessive, but I am not alone. Many folks out there own a number of tripods, sliders and other units, especially if they shoot video as well as stills. This video from Jordy Vandeput shows us how we can standardise all of our tripods to make swapping out a breeze, saving a lot of time.
Finding that perfect slider or dolly is a challenge. I’ve got a few of them now, and they all annoy me in slightly different ways, and for different reasons. None of them look quite like this, though. The MUWI is an ultra small, folding dolly for smartphones that packs up about as small as the phone itself. It’s not just for phones, though, it’ll also handle small cameras.
Currently funding through Kickstarter, the MUWI has already smashed its $35,000 goal and currently sits at $195,000 with two weeks still left to go on the campaign. Prices for the MUWI start at only $39 for the early bird basic model, but there are a bunch of extras available, too, including a motor to automate your movements.
Syrp has just announced the new Magic Carpet Pro slider. Designed to handle some seriously heavy duty filmmaking the Magic Carpet Pro offers some very cool and interesting features. For a start, the flywheel is located in the carriage itself, removing the need for belts and pulleys for manual control. But this also allows for another perk.
Combined with new “Track Joiners”, you are able to create a slider of just about any length you wish by simply adding more lengths of track. No longer do you need to worry about having belts of different sizes, regardless of how long you want to slide. Of course, you can also add motion control it if you wish by adding either the Genie or Genie II.
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.
Anybody who shoots video or timelapse knows that the key to getting great shots often involves camera movement. This is why sliders and dollies are so popular. Almost every timelapse shooter or filmmaker I know owns one. Of course, they’re not cheap. So lots of people have come up with ingenious ways to build their own. Including one from way back in 2011 by Frugal Filmmaker that costs less than $20.
For Eric Strebel, though, while it worked great, he wanted more. So, he upgraded the one he made to add a motor. The problem is, it’s too fast. So now he’s upgraded it again to turn it into a motorised Hot Rod table dolly. The construction extends Frugal Filmmaker’s original design quite nicely. It’s a fairly simple modification, but you may need to use a few more tools.
Edelkrone’s SliderONE, whilst small, is still quite mighty. The SliderONE was introduced back in 2015, and it’s proven to be popular with those who own one. Last year, they added motors and motion control. Now the whole thing’s been updated with a slightly longer SliderONE Pro. But it’s also received some pretty cool app updates, too, offering some great motion control options to let bend time to your will.
The Edeklrone Wing also sees a second generation update, along with a new Wing PRO. While not a slider, it offers slider-like motion, allowing for a lot of movement in something that takes up very little space. This, too, has seen an update, offering higher load capacity, as well as more stabilised movements.
Making a video of cinematic quality doesn’t only depend on the quality of the camera. You can even shoot with your phone if you’re on the budget. But, you may want to add movement to your footage to make it look more professional. InMotion is an automated slider aimed particularly at those filming with smartphones. Additionally, it can support action and mirrorless cameras if that’s your preferred gear. In either case, it promises to provide you with “Hollywood quality content” without breaking the bank.
Sliders are one of the best tools to come along for those who want to add some interest to their video and timelapse sequences. They come in all shapes and sizes, and many of us own one. I own three. What I don’t have, though, is a good small motorised slider. That’s where Rhino Camera Gear’s new ROV slider hopes to fit in.
Rhino are no newcomers to sliders or timelapse gear, yet the new product is being launched through Kickstarter. And it sees some pretty good early bird deals, too, with backers able to acquire their own ROV slider for as low as $229. It looks like a neat piece of kit. Definitely handy for throwing in your backpack for those impromptu timelapses while out with your phone.
Good sliders aren’t cheap. Most cheap sliders are rarely good. But when your budget’s ultra low, what are you going to do? Either you buy something that you’ll probably use twice and throw away, or you build your own.
The latter is the option chosen by YouTuber Atti Bear in his most recent video. In it, Atti shows us how he build his slider with items bought from Ikea for a total price of less than $20.