In the last blog we told you how to turn HandlePod into a smooth camera slider with four strips of Velcro. By covering the rubber feet with Velcro, you can slide the HandlePod over any smooth surface and it will glide effortlessly for stable tracking shots. But what if there is no even surface to slide the HandlePod over? In that case you have to provide a track or rail to slide on. Commercial versions are available for a price or you can build your own.
Using HandlePod as your camera mount, you can build a camera slider in a matter of minutes for less than three dollars! Incredible, but true! All it takes is a yardstick, a length of lumber and some glue. Any yardstick will do as long as it is one inch wide. The one shown is from Orchard Supply for 99 cents. Then you’ll need a length of lumber 1.5 inches wide and one half inch thick. I used a furring strip also from Orchard Supply for $1.19. Then you just cut a three-foot length of lumber and glue the yardstick to it, being careful to center the yardstick on the wood. That’s all there is to it. You may have to sand the lumber a bit so the Velcro doesn’t get hung up on any wood splinters.
Now you have a three-foot camera slider that you can use on any surface for ultra-smooth tracking shots. And it works incredibly well. The yardstick happens to be wide enough that the Velcro-covered feet just touch the edges of the yardstick and ride firmly along the length of the rail. You will be amazed at how smoothly the HandlePod glides on the slider. And HandlePod has built-in finger slots so it is comfortable and easy to push along the rail at any speed. The secret is in the Velcro that makes a friction-free cushion for the HandlePod to slide on. Without Velcro, the rubber feet would grip the rail and make it very difficult to move the HandlePod smoothly.
Covering the HandlePod feet with Velcro gives you so many tracking options. You can slide it along tabletops, desks, shelves, glass—anything smooth. Placing a straight edge against the HandlePod will keep it pointed in a straight line. Or you can build the slider described above for smooth tracking shots on any surface. Another option is to attach the slider rail to a tripod for easy tracking shots in any location. More about that in a future blog.