LOS ANGELES—As a director of photography I work with everything from DSLRs to Arri ALEXAs and 35 mm film.
While camera support for larger cameras has evolved for more than a century, the DSLR world is in serious need of some great camera support products. There are a lot of companies out there trying to make something for DSLRs, but few get it right.
Along these lines, a friend introduced me to Libec’s Allex slider early in its production. I had not had the opportunity to work with many Libec products and was therefore a bit skeptical. However, after using the slider for several months, I’m really impressed with its performance.
I work on both narrative and documentary projects and have found that the Allex slider is great for both. It’s all inclusive and comes at a great price. You get a tripod and 28-inch slider for less than you’d spend for most tripods. And once I started using the slider, I equally was impressed by how well it performed.
BIG PERFORMANCE IN A SMALL PACKAGE
Libec has struck the perfect balance between simplicity and versatility with the Allex. Its small size (it easily fits in my suitcase) allows me to carry it to all of my shoots in case it’s needed. On more than one occasion it has—and is likely responsible for—providing me with additional jobs.
Directors I’ve worked with have been impressed and thankful that I’m able to instantly “up” the production value of their projects with the sort of moves that the Allex provides. It has proven very useful in instances where we’re doing close-ups as the actors move through their blocking. The slider allows me to keep the eyeline close to the camera and the close-ups intimate, while at the same time allowing the actors to move more freely in the scene.
This slider is perfectly sized to increase production values without being intrusive. Any experienced camera operator will tell you that shooting in Hollywood is high on the list of “most frustrating” assignments. I found myself in this situation not long ago while shooting B-roll for a documentary series. However, with a little help from the Allex I never had an easier time shooting my way through “Hollywood.”
ALLEX GETS A REAL WORKOUT
Not only was I able to get the standard B-roll, I was also able to quickly position the slider down on Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame” quickly to obtain the most dynamic shots of the “Stars” I’ve ever had.
Later that week I was asked to shoot some footage on the beach. This task was made easy with the Allex, as I could to carry both camera and slider system without assistance or multiple trips. I shot with the system for several hours—both on sticks and in the sand. During the shoot the slider ended up getting covered in sand. However, after a quick rinse, the Allex was all set for another assignment the next morning.
All in all, I’m very impressed with this product. It’s lightweight, versatile and a cost-effective addition to any DSLR camera kit.
Austin Smoak attended is a freelance cinematographer. Her work as a director of photography and camera operator includes several feature films, television, webseries and commercials. She may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Libec at 310-787-9400 or visitwww.libecsales.com.