2 years ago
Seriously: if you are a filmmaker in the big City, NYC, LA, Toronto, wherever you are: you need a slider. There is no way around it. Especially if you have to travel as light as possible or are taking any form of public transportation. If you;ve ever driven in NYC you know how hard it is to find parking anywhere and sometimes it just makes more sense to travel on the subway. After all the subway extends through most of the city and you can get anywhere. Kind of hard to do any low budget shoots with a dolly, when you have to transport all of that extra gear. The slider puts an end to that and kills lengthy set-up times.
A lot of independent filmmakers don’t use a dolly mainly either because of rental costs, lack of having one or whatever reason they can come up with for not having moving shots. Call it style if you want. The truth is that once you have a dolly at your exposure, all of a sudden your style changes and you almost never want to go back to a static shot ever again. The trick is figuring out when to move the camera after that, but it’s at least an option.
I built my first skater dolly years ago and then a few after that, each one becoming better, and I’ve never looked back. The level of dynamic movement that the proper use of a dolly introduced to my films was phenomenal. I coupled it with a jib a couple of times but the results were mixed. Since then I have made a habit of travelling with my dolly wheels and building a dolly on site in some cases… but I’ve always had my dolly wherever I went. Downside is the bulk, weight and the fact that I always needed tracks. Here in NYC that became an issue when I couldn;t travel with the dolly tracks.
My friend Joe Saba, ZazaCast on the DVXUser.com boards, came to the rescue. He’s been promoting his ZazaSlider (www.zazaslider.com) for about 2 years now, a little DIY affair that has grown in usability and opened up a brand new market. Filmmakers now have a new inexpensive tool on their hand that offers great usability, easy set-up and a small footprint.
Joe has very kindly donated the use of the slider to the production, ensuring that we can get those dynamic shots we needed, especially in tight corners and public places without too much hassle. Plus, combined with the Canon Rebel T2i camera, we’re able to get away with a lot more, like being able to tell the cops that we were doing a “photoshoot” so no, we didn’t need permits (true story).
I’ve been using the slider for about 2 weeks now and I can’t say enough good things about it. This isn’t supposed to be a plug or anything, or even a review, but fact is: it’s a damn good product and it works awesomely.