Recently a new kind of product has emerged as a dolly substitute is the camera slider. A slider consists of a base piece of metal with two rails, and a carriage that rides atop or attached to the rails. The closest real world model for this would be a monorail. Some camera sliders employ wheels under their carriages, while many rely on a teflon material to allow the carriage to slide along the rails with little friction. A large manufacturer of polymer and metal components used throughout the world in a wide variety of manufacturing and design installations is Igus Inc., based in Providence RI. At some point someone discovered that the sliding mechanisms Igus sells to manufacturing facilities work pretty good for sliding a camera back and forth too. So Igus designed a few basic models and has become a leading manufacturer in the camera slider market. While not quite as smooth as a wheel or ball bearing based carriage might be, the plastic liners under the carriages on camera sliders are very smooth and don’t bump or wobble as wheels might. For one thing camera sliders are very small and light. You don’t need to lay any track down and level it, a process that can be very time consuming on most terrain. For very lengthy shots, such as the Tom Hanks’ monologue, using a handheld camera slider would be difficult to obtain slow and steady movement over such a long period of time. However, there are motorized camera sliders, most notably from Kessler, that would be ideal. But for most shots of 30 seconds or less, a simple handpushed slider would work. Another advantage of a camera slider is the variety of set up options. Typically it would be stabilized in just a tripod or light stands. Some people set the slider in a vertical position for boom shots. It might even be possible to use the slider as a jib arm to make a poor man’s mini-crane. The options are limitless. This is not to say that camera sliders are perfect. There are limitations. They are low-friction but not no-friction. It takes some practice to perfect sliding the carriage along the rails smoothly and at a consistent speed. Sliders are also limited by length. In theory they could be any length. Rule of thumb is that, at any time you put your camera on a tripod, ask your self if the shot would benefit from movement with a dolly or slider. Too often, time constraints prohibit setting up a studio dolly to make a camera move. But snapping a camera slider onto the tripod takes only seconds and now a static shot can become a beautiful shot with a dolly or push move.