A Film Riot Tutorial for Building a Cheap and Functional DIY Slider
One of the most coveted DIY projects around (next to perhaps the jib) is the slider. However, DIY is usually a balance between cost savings and function, and this $10-$15 slider from Ryan Connolly at Film Riot is no different. Let's take a look at how far you can stretch your dollar for a functional slider. Hit the jump for the tutorial:
Here are the parts used to make this slider and links to where you can find them:
- 2- Deep Handy Box
- 2- 3/4" PVC Tee
- 2- 3/4" PVC Coupling
- PVC Cutter
- #6 - 32 x 2" in Machine Screws
- 6-32 Machine nuts
- 1- Drill bit
- 1- 3/4 PVC Pipes
- 1- 1/2 EMT
- 4- 1/2" EMT Connecters
A few things up front. It should be noted that Connolly admits that this build isn't for pro productions, and that if you're doing a paying gig you should probably opt for something from Kessler. I would also consider the slider from Cinevate, or perhaps even my personal favorite for budget sliding, the DryLin slider. There are also plenty of Kickstarter options for sliders that have appeared over the last year or so, particularly an interesting one called the Rhino Slider from Rhino Camera Gear. Still, I think this slider is solid enough to be worth a look for your independent project.
FI really like the fact that it is based on a metal pipe vs PVC. This would clearly lend itself to being a lot sturdier as the video denotes. It's great that it's modular, and can be adapted to put a reasonably-priced tripod head on top if you don't want to simply go with the quick-release plate. And as you can see in the video, in the right hands you can get the results you're looking for. I would also wager you could mount the two ends on stands or tripods for better usability (vs. just setting on top of any flat surface with the rubber feet).
My biggest critique is really just a preference choice of Connolly, which would be those silly shop rags. I mean granted, this thing isn't going to win the slider beauty pageant award, but those rags would be a turn off on any set I could imagine being on. I would just opt for some multi-purpose WD40 or oil of some kind as mentioned. And with that, he also mentions that it isn't the smoothest slide without the rags, but I would guess that could be due to the fact that the bars themselves were spray painted. In my own build, I'd nix spraying the rails all together, as that could cause a number of friction problems. My final critique would be that to make this usable in an independent fashion or otherwise, would be to find a way to mount each end to a tripod. A simple screw hole on each end would solve this easily.
All that said, I see this as a worthwhile weekend venture if you haven't already ponied up for a better slider system. I've seen great results from other DIY solutions, after all. Have any of you had any experience with these kinds of sliders in the past?
Link: Film Riot
Disclosure: Rhino Camera Gear is a No Film School advertiser.