Jump to content


Photo

Dolly for Lighter Cameras (like HVX)


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:59 PM

The only time I've used a dolly on a shoot it was a pretty heavy duty deal with a pretty amazing head full of springs of somesort which held the camera from bumping.

However, I am going to be needing a much more portable, much lighter system IF (and I mean that IF) it can produce some good results without the jerkiness associated with some attempts I saw in the past. (all hand made by people who don't make them anymore.)

Any suggestions with links are appreciated. Please share your experience with how well these performed.

Thank you.
  • 0

#2 dr_gonzo

dr_gonzo
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • BROOKLYN USA

Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:15 PM

Recently I used a skateboard dolly running on track and hot button wheels while shooting a short with an ARRI SRII. It produced some pretty nice results when smoothed down with some sandbags for added weight on the dolly. It barely takes up any space in yr. grip van as well...

I got mine from hit and run productions in NYC. It was 70 bucks day rate for the dolly and 16 bucks per 8ft of track. Not too shabby.
  • 0

#3 Jesus Sifuentes

Jesus Sifuentes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Producer
  • Texas

Posted 08 September 2006 - 10:21 PM

you might try using microdolly products. havent tried them myself but they seem practical and intuitive.

http://www.microdolly.com

Edited by elgatonegro, 08 September 2006 - 10:22 PM.

  • 0

#4 John Mastrogiacomo

John Mastrogiacomo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 210 posts
  • Other
  • Las Vegas, NV

Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:44 AM

you might try using microdolly products. havent tried them myself but they seem practical and intuitive.

http://www.microdolly.com


I saw a friend of mine try to use a Betacam with a microdolly. I was not impressed with the results.
:(
  • 0

#5 Bob Hayes

Bob Hayes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1087 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Culver City, California

Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:45 AM

A lot of people love the micro dolly and rave about it. To me it seems too light weight and flimsy. It would work ok on a perfectly flat marble floor but on uneven surfaces it seems like it wouldn?t. I have a 16 wheel skateboard dolly on a ¾? sheet of Baltic pine and it is just stable enough to do professional work on. On moves over 20? you need to use real track and wedges especially over uneven terrain. On shorter runs speed rail or PVC works fine. When I?m on the road I just bring the wheels.
  • 0

#6 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:57 AM

The moves would all be under 20'. Most likely under 10' (all of them). Mostly these are just meant for slow push-ins on dramatic moments. That said, is there any solution that I'm not thinknig of which would be even more elegant?

The microdolly "seems" exactly right - but it sure does "seem" flimsy too. that's a tough one. (not as inexpensive a rental as I would have imagined too frankly).

Is there some sort of tripod supported "push" system which would be more like an extension arm? (which again matches the guidelines of being a light set up.

Thanks again.
  • 0

#7 Rod Otaviano

Rod Otaviano
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:29 AM

Any suggestions with links are appreciated.


You might wanna take a look at this article:

http://www.studiodai...kflow/6784.html

Btw, does anybody have any experience with this Indie dolly ? I'm kind of curious about it since it's relatively cheap to rent.

http://www.indiedolly.com/
  • 0

#8 Daniel Sheehy

Daniel Sheehy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Other
  • Brisbane

Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:30 AM

A lot of people love the micro dolly and rave about it. To me it seems too light weight and flimsy. It would work ok on a perfectly flat marble floor but on uneven surfaces it seems like it wouldn’t.


I have shot betacam on a microdolly and I think it's pretty good for shorter moves.
It is quite light weight, and it works best on a firm level surface, as noted above.

For a lighter camera it is also quite good. (I've used a dvx100a on it.)
It can be tricky with long or complicated moves.
  • 0

#9 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11941 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:56 AM

Hi,

You could try a Key West dolly, but try to get metal track and wedges with it - the PVC is a bit nasty.

Also - mind your fingers when removing the - ouch mustn't type with that finger today - handle.

Phil
  • 0

#10 Chris Clarke

Chris Clarke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 September 2006 - 07:05 AM

I read an article in the Guild of British Camera Technicians newsletter on a new light weight dolly that might be perfect for you. Combines a lot of the features of a Pee Wee but in a much smaller and lighter package. I've always found that you need a bit of weight in a dolly to get you smooth tracking.

PD1
  • 0

#11 Joe Lotuaco

Joe Lotuaco
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Grip

Posted 09 September 2006 - 08:43 AM

I pretty much only do my own student stuff, so nothing particularly professional, but I did use the ProMax tracking dolly on my last shoot.

http://www.promax.co...cts/Detail/6254

It's basically just PVC pipe and a skateboard type dolly. It worked really well and most importantly was extremely fast and easy to setup and move. With a bag of dirt or two, it was rock solid. Most of our runs were under 10ft as we only used the track in it's 10ft configuration.
  • 0

#12 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:15 PM

These are all really good suggestions and I'm researching all of them.

All that PD1 needs ia a foot pedal and an electric motor and you could do the entire move yourself. :)

hmmm... actually...
  • 0

#13 Joe Lotuaco

Joe Lotuaco
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Grip

Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:25 PM

Also, most tracking dollies are over $1,000. The Micro dolly that was mentioned earlier is $2,795 for the basic 13ft kit. The ProMax I used was only $400 shipped.
  • 0

#14 Mark Allen

Mark Allen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 September 2006 - 07:00 PM

Also, most tracking dollies are over $1,000. The Micro dolly that was mentioned earlier is $2,795 for the basic 13ft kit. The ProMax I used was only $400 shipped.


I'm interested in finding options both for rental (3k+ ish) and for ownership (400ish). I like the idea of having enough to do something basic instantly and then renting lighter "to-go" elements a la cate.

The interest in the smaller dollies is just in the size of productions I do, a fisher dolly can add so much extra labor ad require a very specific extra crew (i.e. very strong) with very specific vehicle to move them that it rules out their use on many smaller shoots. And I'd like the option to use them.
  • 0


Wooden Camera

The Slider

CineTape

Visual Products

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Opal

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Wooden Camera