Support for sweeping camera moves


The FLOATCAM HD DC-Slider from Matthews Studio Equipment recently helped Ohio-based cinematographer Jeff Barklage’s commercial shoot for SmartSide far more exciting, thanks to its reach and versatility.

“When you are shooting in stadiums, you aren’t permitted to take dollies out onto the grass,’ Barklage explains. “For the Nashville part of the shoot, the location was HALE Stadium at TSU (Tennessee State University). The script required camera movement that was beyond simple lateral slider moves; boom downs, diagonal motions, sweeping past talent, and more.

“These are shots that cannot be accomplished with a dolly or crane, yet we had a list of some 30 shots to do before lunch!’ he says. “There was no way of cheating all of our shots to the sidelines to bring the action closer to the dolly (which was only allowed on the sidelines). Nor did we have the reach with any conventional cranes to do these shots. The majority of the needed shots took place on the 50-yard line smack-dab in the middle of the field.’

Enter FLOATCAM’s HD DC-Slider from Matthews. It was a support tool that Barklage had been waiting eagerly for months to add to his arsenal. “As soon as I got one of the first HD DC-Sliders to be delivered, I knew I would be able to open up many of my shoots, because of the Slider’s versatility,’ he says.

For this shoot he used the FLOATCAM on sticks. “We could quickly re-configure it to low mode on apples, then back up to big sticks, etc. Being only six feet in length, two grips could carry it all over the field for additional shots. This allowed us to give virtually every shot some sort of interesting movement. Not just a series of lock offs!

“And, when we did stunt work with A and B cameras, we mounted the Phantom (cranking at 2500fps) on a hi-hat or sticks, then using the HD DC-Slider, we could bring the camera right into the shooting area allowing for a much smaller footprint.’

Barklage brought the HD DC-Slider to the stage as well. Here he was able to quickly do moves off of foreground objects, travel over tabletops, sweep through doorways and more. “Things that usually called for massive camera support rebuilds,’ he explains. “Bob Egle, our director, turned to me at one point and said: “How did we work in the past without this?’

“He was right. I really don’t know how we did it before,’ Barklage admits. “Often times we need to do a compound move but cannot fit the dolly into our shooting area. Or, there simply isn’t time for track set up. Now, for the first time ever, you can take your “slider’ and use it standard as a lateral slider, but with a few quick turns of a lever, it becomes a “dolly’ with the ability to do a boom diagonal move! A few quick readjustments and it is a jib-arm! These features are really great to have all rolled into one unit. Now, I can use the FLOATCAM on a dolly or I can use it on sticks, or on apples, etc. It’s a very versatile piece of production machinery.’

FLOATCAM’s HD DC-Slider from Matthews has the same multifunctional camera platform as the DC-Slider but can accommodate cameras weighing up to 70lbs. It has the same variable-angled camera slider track and the same state-of-the-art technology and precision engineering.


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