Cinematography Tutorial: How You Can Use a Slider to Achieve Smooth, Cinematic Jib Shots
Jib shots are great, and there's no doubt that they can add massive production value. However, they can also be a tremendous pain in the ass to set up and operate, especially as a one man crew.
Luckily, like most technical aspects of filmmaking, jib shots can be hacked. In an excellent episode of PremiumBeat's newish tutorial series, aptly titled Awesome Cinematography, filmmaker Brent Pierce shows us just how simple it can be to use a slider to capture vertically and horizontally-moving shots that would otherwise require a small jib. Also, the results of this technique look absolutely fantastic.
The main caveat to producing this effect is that it requires two fluid tripod heads in order to pull it off correctly, one of which has to be able to handle a good deal of weight. As anyone who's ever gone shopping for a new fluid head can attest to, that's not an inexpensive proposition by any means. Luckily, only one of the fluid heads needs to be a higher quality one, or at least one rated to handle high weight. Depending on the combined weight of your slider, second fluid head, and camera, you can probably get away with a head rated for between 15-20 pounds, although that could be cutting it a bit close if you own a heavier slider.
If you're interested in the other possibilities of what can be accomplished with a slider and two fluid heads (it really is a versatile combination), Brent did another tutorial a few years back that explored the concept even further. Check it out:
Have you ever hacked a slider to achieve different types of camera moves other than a slide? If so, share your tips and tricks with us down in the comments!