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Dolly Track on Beach


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#1 Matt Workman

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:09 AM

I have a music video coming up that I would like to use a doorway dolly on. Regular straight steel track. Only problem is that its at a beach.

Can I lay some sort of platform down then the dolly? I'm sure sand is not good for the wheels and the dolly may shift under too much weight.

I realize a crane would work better, but we don't have a crane. :ph34r:

How do you setup a dolly track in the sand?
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:33 AM

How do you setup a dolly track in the sand?


Lots of apple boxes and wedges, and a shovel. You use the sand to your advantage to secure the boxes in place, but you need to keep the track above the sand.

I'm not a key grip but I've never seen anyone lay down plywood on top of boxes. You usually have more precise leveling control putting the track directly on the boxes/wedges.

You do have to ask yourself though how much time you would save (and therefore money) by renting a jib and operator. I've done beach shoots with a jib and it's much faster and easier to de-weight, move, and level a jib than it is to level track.
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#3 rajavel

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 07:50 AM

we have managed with 10*4 size wooden plywood...that are 14mm in thickness. u can use couple of them in ur truck....comes in handy in beach...and other irregular surfaces. ofcourse u need the wedges. levelling gets faster and easier with these plywood planks. we have used panther on it. cheers!
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#4 Bob Hayes

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 09:31 AM

Apple boxes work well and are pretty easy to use. You only need pancake high boxes but you need them where ever you have cross ties. Make sure the pancakes are well settled before using wedges to level track. Plywood sheet is over kill you only need it if you have a crane. I?ve also had success with 1? x 6? planks.
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#5 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 09:48 AM

You should also get a stack of basso blocks and 1/2 basso blocks. You'll still use a ton of wedges ... Sometimes it helps to lay down 2"x12"x16' planks that can bridge a lot of the undulations in the sand, but you'll still need the wedges and boxes and basso's.
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#6 David Erlichman

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:16 PM

How long of a run do you have? One method I would use is I-Beams (or "stringers" from the local Scaffold rental place). I use the ones with the embedded 2x2 wood on top (to screw your track down to).

If you have a small to med length run, it's great to use 24' I-Beams and to be able to level 3 pieces of rail as if it was one and only have to support it in three places across the length - saving on cribbing.

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#7 Hans Kellner

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 12:12 PM

I'm sure sand is not good for the wheels and the dolly may shift under too much weight.

The biggest problem I had with a beach setup was with blowing sand. It would end up on the track and the dolly would start stuttering. One thought I had after the fact was to erect a small barrier along the upwind side of the track to block the wind/sand. Something only a foot or two high should work.
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#8 Bob Hayes

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 04:54 PM

Yes sand on the track is a big problem. Mostly it is just from people kicking sand onto the track. A solution I have been play with but have yet to apply is get 4 cheap large paint brushes and flex arm them in front of the wheels so the ?Paint? the track clean as you roll.
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#9 Matt Workman

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:40 PM

Thank you for the replies and answers.

I'm just looking to add some movement to the shots. It sounds like a real hassle. Using a 8-12' jib sounds like an easier idea.

We won't have a grip army either, so setting up the track would probably take hours.
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#10 Bob Hayes

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 11:48 AM

It's really not that difficult. Two grips can easily accomplish it. Theices as small so it's easy to carry and assemble on sand. You will have to do much of the same gripping to creat a base for the jib to stand on.
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#11 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 12:56 AM

Well, w/ a 8-12' jib, you're still going to need to move that around, w/ the weights and the weaver-head etc. If you've just got 20' of track, that's two 10' sections of Filmair lightweight track, which isn't that big a levelling job even on a beach. One thing that will help w/ any beach shoot is a John Deer Gator w/ which to move your gear. Good luck.
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#12 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 12:51 PM

Hello,

for small movements you also could use a truss (trilight / lightbeam) as track. Just let the doorway run on the aluminium. Easy and quick setup; just shuffle through the sand long enough until its stable (no need for leveling as the beam are a straight line)

Good luck,

Onno
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