Dolly shots are among the basics when it comes to cinematic camera movement. But if you’re just starting out, buying a proper camera dolly could be a bit of an overkill. So, why not turn to cheap, even free options, at least for a start? Caleb of Wondershare Filmora has a few ideas how to do it and still get those sweet, cinematic shots in your video.
The goal is not only to have your camera slide in different directions but also to minimize camera shake while doing so. Caleb proposes a few options that could do the trick, and you already have at least one of them at home.
Office chair: I told you that you have one “dolly” at home. :) you can use it not only to sit on while editing your video, but also to glide your camera across the set. Someone can push and pull you in the chair while shooting, or you can push yourself away using your legs. In the latter case, you might get a bit more camera shake and a less smooth shot. A plus side of the chair is that you can use its back to lean your camera on for extra stabilization; and you can adjust the height of the chair.
Skateboard: A plus side of a skateboard that it’s compact and portable, and it’s great for low-angle shots. If you’re not a sk8er boi and don’t have a skateboard at home, you can buy one for $20. You can even put a tripod on it. However, there’s not enough space to spread the tripod legs all the way, so it may be a little tricky. This is where the third solution comes in handy.
Furniture dolly: you can also get a furniture dolly for around $20, maybe even less. They work better with tripods than skateboards as they have a bigger surface.
Build your own dolly: finally, if you’re up for some DIY, you can always make your own dolly. You’ll find a great one here and further adjust it to your shooting needs. And for even more cheap video tricks, check out this article.
I don’t often do videos, but when I shoot something for fun, I always ride my office chair around the room to get the “dolly shots.” What’s your cheap dolly of choice?
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