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Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Lesson 12 of 39

Movement with Sliders

Victor Ha

Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

12. Movement with Sliders

Lesson Info

Movement with Sliders

This is where people lose their minds. They completely lose their minds on it, because it's like, wait a second Victor. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait a gosh damn picosecond here. You mean to tell me this thing. This guy, can do what I'm about to see? It's three feet long. How in God's green earth can something that is three feet give me anything that is cinematic at all whatsoever? This clip has been done with a three foot slider. (gentle guitar music) So I'm gonna teach you guys about how to get the most out of you camera sliders, but that's the business, isn't it? Isn't it cool. It just looks good. It's like oh, sweet! I've got some friends from New Zealand and they always go, "Oh that's just sweet. "That's cool ass men. That's cool ass." Like evidently yes it is, it's really cool. Okay. So here is the behind the scenes photograph. Cameras can fit on top of trucks. They can go down on the ground. You can do what my friend Tony sweet likes to do and do with belly photography. Okay, get...

yourself nice and dirty. See, camera sliders here, and I will talk about this shoot tomorrow that we did. They are really cool because they're simple, they're basic and in their simplest form they require just that. They require you to do that, and if you can do that, you can get a good movement. It's just knowing some of the background material to get it. So the first tip is you do what's called shoot in layers, and I'm not saying like layers like Photoshop. I mean foreground, middle ground, background. Layer your image. Give me something to move. Okay, because if I give you, (gentle music) if you give me something to move. This image is actually in effect moving, but the minute I put something in front of the lens, it moves. It really moves. It's moving, I guarantee you I was moving slider, but the minute I put something in front oof the lens, what happens? I get motion. Okay, next thing. It's moving, got a plane? Drop the camera low, go wide and you get this. Something that's just beautiful. Shoot in layers. I cannot tell you how many times I'm in a workshop and somebody is using a slider and they go, "Victor your slider is broken. "This thing is broke." What are you talking about it's broken? It slides, doesn't it? "Yeah just, I can't get that." Could I just shoot in layers? Best thing you can do is give yourself from like in front of the lens all the way to infinity. Let that motion happen and it's there, it's there. It's beautiful every single time. Okay, so you take a look and we go alright, it's a lot of basics. The next thing is slider length. Everyone under the sun, when they first start going into motion, things that they need to carry on a five foot slider, coz they're under this impression that the longer the slide the better you get more motion out of it. Okay, I'm five foot eight. Believe me, I've measured 20 times, I'm five foot eight. Could you imagine me carrying a five foot slider around? Okay, I will be carrying my twin. Not only in weight, but in height. So the idea that you wanna carry a five foot slider around is laughable, because not only is it tougher to manage, it's actually for one person not practical. Don't get me wrong, there will be times that you will want your five foot slider, but I will guarantee you that at some point, all these three clips will look the same to you. (soft music) So here is your set two foot slider. Three foot is coming up. Still looks same, don't it? But wait, maybe the five foot will look different. No, it still looks the same. In fact I'm gonna put them all three next to each other for you. Still the same shot So believe me, if you're not gonna use the entire length of five foot slider. It's not worth carrying the extra weight around. Now I will say control situations, control productions, where you have help. Dude, carry one, coz if you're not gonna carry it, awesome, but if you're gonna be the one carrying it. You might as well just save yourself the back. Save your back a little bit. Now another one. Focal length. So we talked about shooting layers. We talked about managing the length and that pretty much all the lengths give you the same shot. Focal length. So focal length looks like this. (soft music) Wide angle. The minute you put a telephoto on, look at what happens. It's a two foot slider now. I am on a two foot slider, I put a 70 to two hundred on, I give myself foreground material, I move it and it goes for days. Alright it goes for days, why? That compression element of telephoto lenses. Okay, so you learn something here. Wide angle or telephoto, never 50. Don't use a 50 millimeter. It's not gonna get you anywhere. It's not gonna get you anything. There is not enough reach, it's not wide enough. Okay so you go super wide and you get that motion in the foreground just starts to move. You get that telephoto and it just starts to exaggerate everything that's going on. Okay. Is that true for full sensor? Full sensor, it's true across the board. The widest lens you can put on your camera will give you that same effect. The longest lens you put on the camera will give you the other effect. Okay. Okay. How we going? People are kind of enjoying the ideas. They're like, "Oh my gosh I've never thought about that." Or, "That's amazing." So lots of very positive feedback. Alright well, okay I wasn't expecting to be get skewered today. This is great. We actually, I just wanted to share this one. Orange Film says, "What I love about Creative Live "is that all your teachers are so amazingly passionate "and inspiring I wasn't even really interested "in this workshop, and now I'm not only watching "way past midnight but I'm looking at model pods "and tripods online." (laughs) Mission accomplished. Alright. So choosing a length, when you wanna pick a slider length just look at the job. Are you mobile? Is it an event? Is it controlled? Do you have space? Do you have crew? All of that matters. If it's you and a one man band stick to two and three foot. That's it, okay. Just stick to two or three foot. Now focal length. Wide angle exaggerates the foreground and then telephoto just exaggerates the overall movement. Okay. So now we got basic movements. Now depending upon the slider that you pick, you may have all or some of these movements. Like for example, some sliders have the ability to mount underneath, which are all these holes right? Some sliders have the ability to mount on N, which let's you mount vertically, but other sliders which you can mount here you can mount and then tilt the video head that way, right. There's a lot of different things you can do with a slider if its got mounting options, and typically, with a slider you gonna wanna make sure you have a heavy duty head because the minute you get the camera to one end it starts to tip. Just gonna make sure you have enough support on that head, okay. So the basic, so if your head can handle 17 pounds to twenty pounds, that's a good slider head. Put that on the head. A lot of people what they will do, is if they wanna use this slide, this head on the slider, they will just remove the head, put on the slider and then screw the ball right into the slider itself, okay. So when it comes to the basic movements, they look like this. Okay, come on. Alright. So you got your horizal, left to right, and again, it's about what it feels like, right? So you got your back to front. Okay, so the back to front it's like no don't do it? Right? You get your vertical, okay. So it's, again, I just want you to think about the movements. So being that I talked to a lot of film makers. I got some videos to show you from a company called Loaded Boards, and they are letting us use three of their videos today as part of the class, and I think it's really neat because the first video will show you over saturation, okay, and the second video will show you, okay, I like this, this is kinda cool, and the third video shows you okay well, maybe, maybe the material doesn't always have to be the focus, okay. So this one is a great video. Let me crank up the tunes here. (squeaks) (gentle music) Oeh! Oeh! (foreign language) Strategy little beauty. (foreign language) (gentle music continues) (screams) (foreign language) (foreign language) Extraordinary. (foreign language) So what did you think? Pretty awesome. Pretty awesome, yeah? Now at some point you should have felt like okay, it's a little bit too much sliding, coz I feel like it just hit just slightly too much saturation on the sliding, but they made that video with the explicit purpose of doing a bunch of slides, because that's what they're doing in the video, right? Sliding a whole bunch. So here's one shot them use in this ladder. So they center mounted it, got it up high, another shot is here done low on a rock. Okay. So they're not even using a video head here, they're just using a simple photo ball head. They're just moving it with their hand. Okay. So I mean, here is another one. Here, that's the filmmaker Adam. He's a really, really cool guy. Really, really cool guy. Get it up in these, the way that they use these tools is amazing to me because I mean I would have never, I would have never done that. I know I would never gotten those shots and some of the lifts and some of the back to front motion, I mean they're just really phenomenal. All of that was manual focus. All of that was by hand and all of that was done with that one slider right here. Still that slider. Okay. So we're gonna go from that video and I know there's already some questions brewing about how they did the following. Hold that question I will answer that in a second. You know what size slider they used? That's a three foot. It's a three footer. Okay, so here we go. Here's another one. I love this video. This one is fun tot me, I really enjoy it. (squeaks) (soft music) (changes to lively music) So here is a different slider. This one mounts on like end for C stand. So if you pick different sliders you can do different things to them, right. So this one you pick different C stands you can elevate up there in a little step stool and you gain that higher shot. Here is a close up of one of the camera lens they're using. I will talk about that later coz that plays into how they did the following, okay. So here is another look, again C stands. Just get some different look in this guy again, with belly, right? Getting low. He's in the trees here. I actually got the picture and I was like where is he, what are they doing? And I was like oh he's right there. Camouflage. There is a wonderful shot in this video, where he pulls it across. Pulls it aside from the phone pole when they're doing this and that's them right there doing that. Got the slider up in a set of tripod sticks and pulling it across. So when it comes to following. So I know how they did it in this video and I can't say that it's the same for all the other videos they shot, but when I talk to Adam and I only impersonate him because I love him so dearly, and I was like yoh Adam, what did you do for the following? He's like, "Oh man. "So I took this camera and I put this lens on it, "like super wide and I stuck it in this carrier "and he's gone on skateboard "and started skating." It took a second for me to register what he was doing because he was kind of just super into what he was talking about. So this lens. If I can analyze it properly is either an eight, 215 lens, or it's a 14 millimeter rectilinear from Cannon, which means it can focus very close distances, and because it's so wide, has a very long depth of field. At what they're shooting up out there is probably like 16 or 18. So the ability for Adam to set his lens to hyperfocal, get on a skateboard with a camera here like a hand carrier and skate along blew my mind, and here is a thing. Here is a thing guys, he just wanted to do it. So he did it and he didn't know the technical side of it. He just felt like hey I wanna get on my skateboard, and it normally works when I have like wide lens onto it So I am just gonna go and do it. That's falling in love with the process of film making. That's not getting mixed up in like needy greedy details and getting would rather (mumbles), no just get on your skateboard and do it, if you can do it. But he skates, right? Yeah, yeah, totally skates. He didn't just get on a skateboard and do that. No, no, no, no, no. He's totally legit. Like he's really... Those hills are a little bit ridiculous. Yeah, he's really, really good. So I want to show you one thing here. Let me get this scrubber. Okay. Oh come on. Sorry. This is really silly. This is the one thing, okay, here we go. So there is a couple of things here. Alright. So what's the skating movie, what's this movie about? Skating. We had a conversation earlier today about cut away footage. Does this have to do at all with the primary focus of skating? No, could it be cut? Yes. Why did they put it in there? Because it adds fluff. It adds transitional material. It just helps set the scene. Okay, and there is another sequence in here, where it's all this type of stuff, okay, and it's because they just pulled off some huge little cool, little trick and they wanna cleanse your pallet, they give you different shots of San Francisco and then give you back more skating. Okay. So that's kinda of like what's so neat about this and here's one camera, two camera. There should be maybe three cameras there. That's three cameras capturing that one shot. So there are some things here that are really, really neat, and if you guys end up getting the class and you can review the footage in my slide deck, you're gonna be able to really kind of dissect these videos. I watch videos that (mumbles) and I will just scrub through it just to kinda see where it goes. I really do that and I try to do it live with you guys so that you get in the habit of looking through videos, finding that one moment you really like and re-watching it over and over and over. So you can internalize what's happening on screen. (mumbles) at the beginning of the film one of the film there, this where the camera looks like it's moving forward. Is that zooming or is that...? That is slidery, that's on a slider. It's on slider, it's up and it's sliding down. So the slider is oriented. That's very cool motion. Back to front in case what's in this orientation. They have a video head on top of it and they're tilting up as they're coming, and then as they're coming to the end of the slider they're leveling out that look. Very cool, very cool. There was a one shot that I noticed in there was that the shot started to slide and then he like allyed over through the bushes and out. So, Oh yeah. The camera is already moving and then they were moving in the same direction, Yes. That the camera is already moving. Yes. I thought that was interesting shot. So the thing is like you can do so much with a slider when you know where the action is coming from. You can either go counter to the action of the movement or go with the movement. It's really, really neat. Okay. So we're getting to the end here of my presentation. I wanna make sure there is room for this video. I really like it, because what I feel like this video does, it's again same group. They're awesome. I really, really love this company a whole lot because they really are passionate about making films and they're passionate about making skating films and making skating films that aren't just like fish eye, okay. So um, I really like this video. I'm just gonna let you watch it, we'll talk about it after, okay? (gentle music) So kind to kind of book ending. If you guys watched that video and I have seen it a bunch of times. There are so many points where focusing for them, they use the same technique that we've talked about. They find a point, they focus the subject who is in the focus. They... Like the motion, the fact the camera is moving is so forgiving, because everything is blurry anyway because they're shooting at 24 frames a second, and then when they hit that final stopping point, that person is in the focus and they are so good at it. So good at it. Shooting DSLR's, you're just passionate about film making, and here is a thing. We watched three different videos from them, and we purposefully watched three different videos because it's the same film maker and each video felt different because of the movement, and that's what I really wanna get at. Is that the same film maker is able to evoke so much emotion out of us from watching. That last one was so cool. I don't know, maybe I feel there is affinity towards it because it was shot in the Pacific North West or it feels like it was shot in the Pac North West. Whereas all the other places like one was in Northern California when it felt like Southern California and it was like sunny, and that was just like so serene, and whereas like the other videos were so like sliding and crazy. This one was just all about the footwork, right? It was all about the footwork and the motion lent itself to the sensation of that footwork. So some people just have that talent and Adam is one of the most talented film makers I have ever come across. In terms of these kind of stuff, he's just great. He's phenomenal, he's a great guy too. So to kind of bring this home at the end of day one guys. I think where it leaves us is with this segment, understanding that camera movement with a purpose is so important. It's just so important. Just camera movement with a purpose allows your film, it allows your motion to say something that mean something. It's not just throwing in a slider movie because it looks cool, it's throwing in a slider movie because that's, that movement will have a lasting impact on the viewer. I love that last video you watched and it's still affects me coz it's such a beautiful, and the music is perfect, and the skating is perfect, and the camera work is perfect. It's a good video, and it was almost six minutes long and you don't feel it. It's almost six minutes long. When you can get Victor Ha to watch a video for six minutes you did something right, because I got the attention span of a nut, okay. So, that's all really I can say guys. We started the day and we broke it down to the story telling elements and shooting for an edit. We moved into working with cameras and understanding how to really set up and look at our cameras as a tool, and then we went into more kind of like, hey let's step away from our cameras and do something simple with Instagram and you guys have homework assignment and we talked about some film making concepts that we can think about everyday as we're watching television. As we're watching our movies and then we came in to camera movement and now tomorrow it's like a springboard into learning about opportunities for ourselves as photographers. Talking about maybe some creative production ideas. Talking about a bunch of different other topics that I think today I laid the foundation for.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

If you own a DSLR camera, you already own a powerful filmmaking tool. Ready to learn how to use it? Join CreativeLive and Victor Ha for a course that will cover the core principles of capturing video with your DSLR.

Through hands-on demos - including how to create compelling video interviews - Victor will guide you through the core techniques of DSLR filmmaking. You’ll learn how to apply the compositional skills of still photography to taking video. You’ll also learn about how to navigate the video-capturing features of your DSLR, choose the right gear for your filmmaking needs, and incorporate audio into your shoots. From framing shots to producing simple projects to spatial relationships, the skills you gain in this course will leave you ready and inspired to create high-quality, engaging film projects.


Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!