Creating Cinematic Video Shots On A Budget

DIY DSLR Camera SliderWe have all seen this amazing videos on YouTube that have dramatic cinematic gliding shots in them.  The more videos I saw with these gliding shots, the more I found myself very intrigued in the ability to create my own in some of the videos I’ve begun shooting recently for my clients.

So, I went in search of ways to create that appeal and found that most of them were created by either some sort of dolly or camera slider system.  I then of course headed over to Amazon to look at buying the right gear. The average price I saw on sliders/dollies that were of any quality ranged from about $250 and up into the thousands.

But, as I searched on YouTube I had seen dozens of video examples of DIY camera sliders that people built on their own.  After watching several, I began creating a blueprint for my design and before I knew it, I was headed off to the hardware store to buy some supplies. I knew the key to this project was going to be to create some way to smoothly glide a DSLR camera and found that the bearings used in inline skate wheels would do the trick. I found a great deal on the necessary amount on Amazon and placed that order as well.

Once everything arrived, along with a few late nights working in the garage, my DSLR camera slider was complete.

I think the end result turned out well, and here’s a video highlighting the design.  Also, make sure to check below the video where I’ll give you a full list of parts used to create this DIY camera slider.

Supplies needed:

  • Inline skate wheels & bearings $22.99 from Amazon. (affiliate)  
  • 1- 5″ x 8″ stud plate- $1.84
  • 1- 3/4″ x 10′ conduit pipe $3.98
  • 1- 1/4″ x 4′ Aluminumn Angle $7.17
  • 10- 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ Hex Bolts @ $.17 each= $1.70
  • 1- 1″x6″x4′ Select Pine Board $7.92
  • 1- Bag of Nylon Lock Hex Nuts $2.74
  • 1- Bag of Hex Nuts $1.57
  • 1- Bag of 3/4 Galvanized 2 Hole Pipe Straps $2.09
  • 3- Bags of 6mm 10 count flat washers @ $.68 each= $2.04
  • 1- 2 Pack Of 4″ Hex Tap Bolts $1.26
  • 1- 8 Pack of 1 1/2″ Gripper Pads $3.65
  • 1- 4 Pack of 4″ Stanley Mending Plates $2.48
  • 2- 2″x6″x2″ wood blocks *free (had scrap wood)
  • 4- Self Tapping Metal Screws *free (already had)
  • 1- Can Of Black Spray Paint *free (already had)

Total Cost: $61.43

You can mount just about any type of tripod head to this slider that you wish.  I purchased the Fancier 6664H Pro Heavy Duty Ball Head With Quick Release. (affiliate)  It seems to have a good weight and is strong enough to hold my Canon t3i with an 18mm-135mm lens securely at any angle I place it.

If you decide to build a DIY DSLR camera slider like mine, leave a comment below and show it off!  I’d love to see what you create!

Jeremy Blanton

Jeremy Blanton is the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. He is a social media speaker who shares with thousands of people each year on things like how to use Facebook for Business, Blogging, and How to use Twitter.

When he is not coaching or speaking, he spends most of his time working on Custom WordPress Sites for his clients.

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  • Nice job making the slider Jeremy, great effect when filming houses.

  • Thanks David!

  • Debbie Kirkland

    I’ll pay you if you build me one. Good Job!

  • I don’t know how I could fit one in my carry-on bag 🙂

  • Dave Bartz

    Looks really good Jeremy. It’s adds so much to the video.

  • Thanks Dave 🙂 I do like the effects it adds.

  • Paul

    Hey great DIY! Can you show step by step of how you put it all together?

  • Henry Brigden

    Hi it looks really good. I am considering making this but how did you fix the aluminium angle in place using the bolts? Obviously the bolts hit the aluminium at an angle so I’m not quite sure how that works properly? thanks

  • I drilled a hole into the corner of the L bracket. Then when you lay the bracket down onto the mounting plate flat you simply put a bolt straight through the bracket into the hole you drilled in the mounting plate.

  • LadyCamouflage

    So I’m confused of what size nylon bolts and the other ones that don’t have sizing are supposed to be…? There are some loose ends here.

  • Sorry, they are also 1/4″ just like the bolts 🙂

  • LadyCamouflage

    What are the gripper pads for?

  • Those go on the bottom of the board to keep it from sliding when you place it on a solid smooth surface. It also gives a slight bit of padding to reduce any vibration.

  • LadyCamouflage

    Thank you! Is there yet a step by step tutorial on how to assemble this?

    Sorry to bombard with questions. Just found myself in Lowes yesterday uncertain of everything I was needing to buy 🙂

  • LadyCamouflage

    One more question. What size is is aluminum angle? How long are the sides?

  • Ashay

    How did you attach the roller bearings to the angle plate. Also is the angle plate attached this way “^” or this way “V” to the metal plate?