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Soft Compound Wheels for Fisher 11


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#1 Anton Delfino

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 11:26 PM

Hey everyone -

I'm thinking about ordering some soft compound wheels for an upcoming shoot. We will be in locations that have very smooth surfaces - a hospital and a kitchen with hardwood floors. I've seen them in action when dancefloor has been laid down and the DP seemed to like it better than the standard wheels. However, I have a few questions:

1) The DP still wants to use track for some shots to ensure the move is precise and consistent with focus marks. Since the dolly would be placed on the u-channels, will the weight cause an indentation in the tires from the walls of the sled, thus affecting the smoothness of the wheels once we get back to the floor?

2) The non-track moves will be pretty small - say no more than 4-6 ft. Is the difference between the standard wheels and soft compound wheels noticeable? Note: these locations both have interiors and exteriors meaning wheel changes will need to happen. I remember the last time we swapped wheels, it took 2 people a decent amount of time. That's two less hands to light the next scene, you know?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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#2 robert duke

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:52 AM

Hey everyone -

I'm thinking about ordering some soft compound wheels for an upcoming shoot. We will be in locations that have very smooth surfaces - a hospital and a kitchen with hardwood floors. I've seen them in action when dancefloor has been laid down and the DP seemed to like it better than the standard wheels. However, I have a few questions:

1) The DP still wants to use track for some shots to ensure the move is precise and consistent with focus marks. Since the dolly would be placed on the u-channels, will the weight cause an indentation in the tires from the walls of the sled, thus affecting the smoothness of the wheels once we get back to the floor?

2) The non-track moves will be pretty small - say no more than 4-6 ft. Is the difference between the standard wheels and soft compound wheels noticeable? Note: these locations both have interiors and exteriors meaning wheel changes will need to happen. I remember the last time we swapped wheels, it took 2 people a decent amount of time. That's two less hands to light the next scene, you know?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


1. They shouldn't.
2. think Princess and the pea. some guys will some guys won't. I personally feel that you would not notice the change for a short move, esp. on hospital and kitchen floors.
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#3 Anton Delfino

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:33 AM

1. They shouldn't.
2. think Princess and the pea. some guys will some guys won't. I personally feel that you would not notice the change for a short move, esp. on hospital and kitchen floors.


Sweet! Thanks, Robert.
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#4 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:21 PM

#1.
Robert is right, they shouldn't. However, not every rental house keeps their gear in the best of shape (especially here in NYC -- some houses have better reputations than others). The soft compounds may be worn in certain areas, making them more susceptible to warping or (at least temporary) indentation. Air pressure can be a factor too -- check with Fisher (818-846-8366 in CA) to see what the tire pressure should be (not every joe and harry at the rental house will know); this will not only affect your indentation worry, but also the dolly's performance in general. This is something that should be made sure of during the checkout.

Also, you might want to check out soft wheels (different than soft compound wheels, and something we did not use on that shoot). They are harder and more durable. They are more common in terms of availability (especially with smaller, cheaper houses), and they may be fine for what you are doing.

#2.
Noticability is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. I have dolly gripped for some guys that were absolutely anal, and others who didn't care as much. Often, it just depends on the shot, and also the lens being used. For me, if I see and feel with my hand the seams in the floor (like on a tiled kitchen floor, with about 1cm of grout in between the tiles) then I like to do what I can to make the ride as smooth as possible. If it's like a hospital or supermarket, where the linoleum tiles are butt up right against each other, then little modification to the dolly might be fine. Ultimately, I think it's best to have a good rapport with your camera op and DP to see what they are comfortable with, and what will make the shot work. Eventually, once you are "vibing" with them, you will know what they want before they even have to think about it.

Also, changing dolly wheels should NOT take that much time at all. An experienced grip can change 8 tires in well under 5 minutes (on that shoot that you were talking about, I believe, things went a bit slower because of the general pace, level of experience, and atmosphere of the shoot).

Edited by Daniel Wallens, 19 March 2008 - 02:23 PM.

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#5 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 08:06 PM

Fisher wheels ought to have a label with the correct pressure on the wheel. If they don't, Soft Compound Wheels should be 25 psi, and Soft Wheels 40psi. Ask your rental house for Fisher's Skateboard Wheels. They're new and may not be easy to get, but they are designed to best fit Fisher's wheels and avoid the issues you're concerned about. Fisher dollies also have "No Tools" hubs to speed up changing the wheels. Just remember to NOT set the brake while the rear axles are without wheels - this can bend the spring on the brake drums and cause the wheels to not fit properly back on to the dolly.

And I agree with the other gentlemen as to the necessity of different wheels. If you have a compressor or foot pump handy, you may just want to let a little air out of the standard wheels.
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Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Opal

Visual Products

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC