A portable video camera slider is an essential tool for independent filmmakers, and for small productions. For several years, Caroline and I hauled around a slider for all our assignments, and although it was a “travel-slider” (38″), it had heft to it, and required a protective case for long travels. Although it served us well, it was an absolute burden in long hikes in the wilderness and in urban treks. Many “portable” sliders out there do address size and weight “friendliness”, but when you factor in other gears that filmmakers-on-the-move are required to carry, and the distances needed to be traversed to get to locations, every ounce kept or removed makes a tremendous difference in helping limit or exacerbate fatigue.
So we made it our mission to find a new slider.
After many hours scouring the net and reading forums, we finally discovered the perfect slider for filmmakers like us – Rhino Camera Gear’s two-foot Carbon-core slider! www.rhinocameragear.com
In 2014, while Caroline was in Singapore, I travelled to the French Riviera; it was the second location for a music video production, and it was a very welcomed second location indeed. I had shot most of the scenes in Montreal, Canada during the winter months, so it was nice to be in a warmer climate, palm trees, and Windex-blue waters, it is not called the Cote D’Azur for nothing.
The weeks after France, I hopped on the plane again, and took off to be with Caroline in Singapore. From there, we headed out to Palau in Micronesia, Cambodia, and Thailand. We mostly shot footage to help promote my work as a DOP focusing on travel, but we also got some video stock footage.
Please click the link to Vimeo to see the slider in action during the trip in a fun short video. https://vimeo.com/100666597
We also went to the Philippines to see my father, whom I have not seen in 18 years, and had no contact with for at least 7 out of that. This side trip, however, allowed me to get footage, and develop a little promo video (Day at the Pool) for a local swim team that my dad trains and coaches.
Throughout my journey on planes, buses, Jeepneys, cabs, Tuk-tuks, tricycles, kayaks, speedboats, and on-foot, was the Rhino slider. It allowed us to capture incredibly stunning locations quickly because of its easy-to-set-up design. We felt like the folks over at Rhino read our minds, and implemented specifics tailored to us: light weight construction, weather robust, and design features that really matter; like built-in foldable legs and rubberized feet, which allowed us to finely adjust, position, and secure the slider between two columns in the Cambodian ruins.
The slider also has knobs to fine-tune the fluidity of the carriage slide, multiple ¼” and 3/8” treaded holes that allowed us to attach a mini tripod to get vertical and diagonal slides.
And the no-brainer – carriage brakes – which locked-off the slider and kept our camera safe while still mounted, and finally, a treaded bolt to attach a fluid-head onto the slider. Our first slider did not include these in their design; instead, we had to buy them separately.
Also, being able to take the Rhino slider apart makes it efficient for packing and ideal to be in carry-ons. Weighing in at only 3.2 pounds, this slider is simply an awesome travel sidekick. It is also a cost effective slider ($425 USD) that does not skimp out on design, function, and built.
Rhino; the company; really thinks about it users. They offer replacement roller wheels, rubber feet, and roller assemblies should you ever break or lose them. Personally, we always take precautions not to have to replace anything, especially when we are working, or out in remote locations. However, you can always order them, and have them in your bag as spare parts, just in case. You can also purchase a pulley, and counter weight bag for the slider. It mounts on the end bracket, and on the carriage for smoother slide action.
Note: Our slider came with the original roller assemblies which came loose, and fell a few times (you can order the upgrade for $5 USD – for both outer roller bearing wheels). However, The new sliders now come with the upgraded roller assemblies.
Hopefully, we have sparked some interest for you travel filmmakers out there. If so, go on, and head over to www.rhinocameragear.com
Happy filming and tread lightly.