Saturday, March 22, 2008

Using Sliders

Sliders (or overkeepers) have their place, although, like Azurgrip, I tend to prefer to hold overs myself ("overkeeper?, I AM the overkeeper.") My sentiments exactly. Sometimes they do come in handy especially for confined spaces. I often will help the operator use one and apply tension by sliding my thumb along the bottom of the slider and the top of the rail. I can help him hit exact marks in this way. As a financial necessity and because every job has one now, I've acquired a few in different lengths (with a partner) that I can bring with me. I have a 6', 4', 3' and a 2'. (We basically bought a company that had them). They also come in handy for shots when a lateral move is needed during a move and you are on track. I have overcome a little of my reluctance to use them and see them as just another tool for camera movement which has it's place. They can save you if used in the right way. They can also be a nuisance if you're working with a director or DP who doesn't really understand what a dolly grip does. They can be unweildy, and tend to sag at one end or the other as the camera moves, making it necessary to support the ends. The main thing I'm trying to get across is, don't forget you have it as an option when you have a tricky move. It can save you if you know how and when to use it.

8 comments:

chris said...

i worked on a series last year where the director ,my key told me demanded overkeepers on both a and b dolly all the time.i was like what a drag that's the funnest part of the job.

anyway after the first week we just left them off because the director never left video village.he had no idea we were not using them.

but you are right they have their applications in a tight room on a bazooca works great.

i used a 5 foot linear bed as we call them the other day on a rock video on a fischer 10 doing a cool move from outside a balcony you can get a cheap crane shot if you know what your doing using the damn things!

The Grip Works said...

Check out the use I put a giant (10ft ) overkeeper to. I had to rig the camera to dolly under a moving truck from one side of the road to the other. Certainly has its use sometimes :)

http://www.thegripworks.com/rigging.html

D said...

Thanks Chris, you and I have the same philosophy.
Great shot, Gripworks. Things like that are where we earn our money and prove our value to producers.

Azurgrip said...

On my last show, we carried '3, 4', 6' & 10'ers. Too many sets where you couldn't get a dolly in, but the sliders came in handy. Did one great shot just leaving the 10' on the ground and threw the camera at the action!

CBGrip said...

D, Did your purchase SuperSliders?

D said...

Hi CBGrip,
Yes. I had a mutual friend with Tommy who called a while back and said that he had been offered the company by the family and asked if I wanted to go in on it. Although I didn't know him personally, everyone says what a wonderful person Tommy was and I'm sorry not to have known him.

CBGrip said...

D, Do you have plans to rent... I was carring 5 per week on my last show. Tom made, in my mind, the best sliders around and i miss him and his sliders a great deal.

P.S. Did you find a short 12" slider that Tom would have been working on?

D said...

Hi CBGrip,
I do have plans to rent. I just picked up everything Tom had from Mehran on Friday and haven't had a chance to go through it all yet.. I know I have 2-6', 1-5', 1-4', and various 3' and 4' in states of completion as well as a 28". I haven't found a 12" one. Unfortunately, I'm leaving to go to a movie in Boston on Thursday for 3 months and don't know if I'll have a chance to get it all straight before then. You are right, Tom did beautiful work and they're great sliders. If you're interested in using any of them, stay in touch and I'll get one to you when I get it all straight. At some point, I'll get it all up and running and build out some more to the same specs as Tom had.
Thanks.