10 Ways to Move Your Camera That Won't Cost You a Dime on Gear

Credit: Cinecom.net
The best things in life are free... especially when those things move your camera and are already somewhere in your house. 

As a filmmaker, you have to get creative with what you have—and sometimes that isn’t a lot. I am a firm believer that the more creative you need to get with capturing a shot, the better it will be.

In this video, Cinecom breaks down 10 camera movements that you don't need expensive gear in order to pull off. Most of the things used in these hacks are common household items or something your friend may have in the backseat of their car. 

Check it out below: 

Here is a list of the 10 camera movement hacks used in this video:  

  • Hold your camera with two hands and press it against your chest or stomach. By pressing the camera against your body and bending slightly at the knees, you’ll be able to move left or right and create a steady sliding movement. 
  • Slide over the table. Hold your camera firmly, then use one or multiple fingers to slide your camera forward or backward. This keeps the camera at the same distance from the table while keeping the shot steady. 
  • Move faster to eliminate the wiggle. Any time you’re holding a camera, there is going to be some unsteadiness to the shot. To reduce the amount of wiggle, move the camera faster while recording the shot in slow motion. This will allow you to capture a more stable shot. 
  • D.I.Y Steadicam. You can use the camera strap to cradle the camera as you use the remainder of the strap to hold the camera up. This method allows you to move the camera freely without the fear of dropping it. 
  • Make use of objects that can move. Set up the camera of a swivel chair to create a steady pan shot, or attach the camera to a door handle to capture the movement of the door. Anything you attach the camera to will translate the movement of that object to the camera. 
  • Place your camera on a ball. Press the camera against the ball to make sure the camera is locked on to it. This movement allows the camera to rotates any way you desire. 
  • The drop. All right, be careful with this one and take the needed precautions before you drop your camera. When I say drop, I mean you’re going to drop your camera, then catch it. This creates an effect that is perfect for transitions. 
  • Move without walking. Your shot will always have a little bit of a wiggle in it if you’re walking. To reduce the wiggle, try rollerblading, skateboarding, placing the camera on an office chair, or film from the passenger side of a moving car. You can also wear thick socks to slide across the floor in order to get a steady shot. 
  • D.I.Y gimbal. Attach your camera to a long but sturdy pole, then place the pole on a chair, and place a counterweight at the opposite end of the pole. This allows for the camera to move up and down, but make sure to hold the camera securely.  
  • Use a skateboard to move up a wall. Clamp your camera to a skateboard, then place the board on the wall. Lean into the board as you push the camera up. This creates a lifting movement that is steady and effortless. 

What are some other great movement hacks you’ve learned while being a filmmaker? Let us know below.     

Your Comment

1 Comment

These are all great, there are so many variations, the wheel chair, etc. The one I'd say is worth actually practicing and using all the time is the stepping technique for smooth walking shots. I forgot what's its called, army legs or duck legs or something, but it's a heel to toe walk that takes away the bounce. Even with a gimbal, you still see the operator walking in an otherwise perfect shot, unless you practice this walk.

December 10, 2020 at 12:45PM

Jeremy Solterbeck