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Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?

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ryan elder
Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 12, 2018 at 10:23:21 am

I am deciding which of the two would be better. A slider is slight cheaper it seems, depending on which one you buy. Here's two movie clips with some dolly moves, and I wonder if a slider would be just as do-able to make a scene look good. A slider would look very different for these scenes, cause it can't bend, but do you think a slider could still make a serviceable substitute if you wanted to move closer or farther, like in these scene examples?







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Blaise Douros
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 13, 2018 at 4:37:33 pm

This was probably shot with a trackless studio dolly on a hard concrete floor; a tracked dolly or slider will not get you moves like this. This is possible because most old movies like this were shot on a sound stage, not on location.

You need to plan out what your scene needs, and then rent or buy exactly the right tool. If you don't have the budget to work that way, then you need to plan your scenes around the tools you have available. Trying to buy something that will take care of all situations just isn't possible.


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Todd Terry
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 13, 2018 at 5:08:30 pm

I use our sliders tons, just because it is so easy. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I did a legitimate dolly. If I walked next door to the stage I'm betting the dolly has stuff piled on it.

My rule of thumb is, if I need a dolly move three feet or less... I use a slider. If longer is needed, then obviously that's a dolly job... or I re-block the scene so that a shorter move will work as well.

For years we wanted a curved slider that would emulate an arching dolly shot, but at that time there was no such thing and we couldn't find anyone to build one for us (we tried several machine shops). Finally a few curved dollys came about, but the arc was always way too tight on them... good for tabletop stuff but that's about it. We finally contacted one of the manufacturers who makes great equipment, but doesn't know that much about film. They said "What should the arc be? We just guessed." I told them that if they designed one that had a six-foot radius, that arc would be exactly the same as curved Matthews track. Well they did, and it works like a charm. In our productions 99% of the time now if you see a classic dolly arc it's not really a dolly shot at all, but our curved slider.

Slider shots are just SOOOO much easier/faster/cheaper to pull off, that's the usual MO here.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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ryan elder
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 13, 2018 at 10:28:06 pm

Oh okay thanks. But wouldn't a flex track get me movements like that, since the flex track can be bent to move the dolly in curved shapes?


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ryan elder
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 14, 2018 at 2:15:45 am

Another thing that worries me about the slider is that it's more difficult to hide the track since it's much higher up compared to a dolly. So I would have to zoom past the track which could be problematic in a smaller location, where I need a wider field of view. So is hiding the tracks often a problem on a slider, when pushing in and pushing out?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 15, 2018 at 2:13:38 am

Answer: neither : use a jib:-)


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Blaise Douros
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 15, 2018 at 4:35:13 pm

Or a jib on a dolly. #hellyeah


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ryan elder
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 15, 2018 at 10:37:31 pm

But how would a jib work for those moves though? Wouldn't it not have enough range, if I get small enough to fit into most locations?

Plus if I wanted to push into someone's face, would the jib looked controlled enough for that type of movement?


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Blaise Douros
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 16, 2018 at 4:41:13 pm
Last Edited By Blaise Douros on Aug 16, 2018 at 4:45:17 pm

You can either have a big, heavy, stable jib, or you can get a small one that won't be as stable. Or you could listen to what we've all told you over and over again, which is this: if you can't afford the right gear to make the shot you want, then plan the shot around the options you DO have available.


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ryan elder
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 16, 2018 at 10:13:20 pm

Okay thanks. I can afford to get the gear for the shots, I just want to get the correct gear, but need to know what gear is best and what is correct.

The slider and dolly both have their ups and downs, so just not sure, but I can afford one of them.


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ryan elder
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 16, 2018 at 10:14:18 pm

A lot of people say they like the slider cause it's cheaper and easier, but wouldn't there be a lot of situations where a filmmaker would desire moving more than three feet though?


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Todd Terry
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 17, 2018 at 1:44:52 am

[ryan elder] "wouldn't there be a lot of situations where a filmmaker would desire moving more than three feet though?"

Obviously, yes.

And that's when you use a dolly, or a stabilizer... or a tongue move with a jib.

Use whatever is the right tool.

No one said sliders would do everything. But if you want a short dolly move nothing else does it easier.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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ryan elder
Re: Should I choose between a dolly or a slider?
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:32:17 am

Okay thanks. But would the jib look as controlled in the movement as a dolly or a slider since is a jib moves a lot more freely though, if that makes sense?

What about the slow and controlled movement of this scene, for example?







During the push ins to the faces especially, would the jib still be a good tool for the job, or does it move too freely and wouldn't look right, or look as controlled?


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