Short, slow push ins/pull outs. Example films?

Posted on by

Home Forums Camera Short, slow push ins/pull outs. Example films?

  • Creator
  • #177107

      For a narrative film I ponder to replace a dolly with a specific slider that is ultra smooth and can be used for push ins / pull outs, as the length increases/decreases while the slider moves. (this one: )

      But the camera travel distance is only 1 meter / 3 feet.

      I think it could work, as the film is a slow burner, these short, slow moves would fit the mystery/thriller/horror plot and it would have many benefits keeping the crew small and agile (there also is a steadicam ready to create much longer moving shots to break the rhythm as needed). But I would love to see how it works in a movie.

      Does anyone know films (or cinematographers/directors) that make lots of use of very short, very slow push ins / pull outs?

    Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
    • Author
    • #177158

        I’m sorry, I don’t mean just push ins. Basically any kind of movement with a dolly, just limited to a very short distance.


          In my experience you can use a skater dolly or slider when there is no physical space for tracks or a big dolly.
          But all skater dollies I’ve tried are pretty hard to work when you need very slow moves as push-ins or push out. The whole thing, even with big camera packages (14/15kg) is too light. You can not finesse the slow movement.
          All sliders I’ve tried are the same. Normal speed movements are fine, slow push-in? Very disappointed.

          There is a reason why a full Fisher or Chapman dolly weights what it weights. You need that mass to create that slow movement in my opinion. And even then there is a limit about how slow you can go.

          Also let’s not forget a slider or skate dolly is useless when you need to pedestal the camera. Big reason to choose a full dolly or even a steadicam op.

          I don’t know the slider you mention. It seems one with electronic motors right?
          If it’s silent, motor speed is fully tuneable and holds you desired camera weight why not. You can give it a try.

          I think it’s more for cutaways, scenery footage o general views. It’s something you don’t want to use to cover a scene in my opinion. How would you adjust the camera tilt and pan while it’s moving? You moving behind with it?

          I won’t be popular to say this, but if you really need super slow push in just zoom in post. A push-in dolly movement and a zoom in post are completely different things yes. But you will get at the same place. And as I said, in my experience there is a limit how slow you can get with a dolly. It all depends the budget you are managing and the time. As everything that happens in set. Still if the change of framing is not huge between A and B I would tell post to zoom in. If it’s long movement with big frame changing there is no alternative. Lay track and use a dolly.


            “You need that mass to create that slow movement in my opinion. ”

            The slider I linked to does exactly that, with or without motor. It creates movement that looks like a heavy dolly move, even when just moving it an inch, which is why I consider it replacing a dolly. You can also pan and tilt. I tried dozens of sliders and none could do it, this does.

            I usually embrace limitations as they force my creativity, I’m just not sure if limiting “dolly moves” to 100cm camera travel length will be too much. Many scenes will have long tracking shots (steadicam), so using less movement for the rest of the film, in theory, should work.

            But it’s theory and maybe there is something out there for me to watch and get an idea if it’s worth investigating further.


              I don’t know. All sliders and skate dollies I tried could pan and tilt. You put your tripod head on them and you are set.

              My concern with a motorized slider is when you pan or tilt your are applying a force to do such movement that’s how a fluid tripod head works. Will the motor be able to move the camera smoothly and also support that force you are doing to pan or tilt? Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so.

              Still all sliders motorized or not  have same problem not pedestal moves possible. To me that’s crucial.

              Also as I said doing slow movements with a slider  is extremely difficult, basically impossible if you want it nice and smoothly and constant speed.
              Thats why I said a slider to me is more for general views, b-roll or not main camera footage.

              For me the big difference between big and small productions is camera movement. That’s why most of the small productions are shot hand held or have not moving framing. Nowadays any camera looks nice if you have some knowledge, if you have time you can choose best moments to shoot and only use the sun and some reflectors or negative fill for lighting and 2/3 Led lights are cheap and easy to use. But camera movement? There is no cheap substitute for a Chapman or a Technocrane.

              Rent one slider and try by yourself. A Dana dolly is quite cheap and all rentals should have few of them.



                Thanks but I was asking if anyone knows any films that use predominantly short travel, slow dolly moves.



                  You are welcome.

                  Films with slow and short dolly moves? Watch David Fincher recent movies. He use that quite often for example. But when you dig these movies you will realize how these movements are made.
                  Have a nice day.

                Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.