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Need a little help with a dolly


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#1 Graham Castronovo

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:36 PM

Hello, im working on a music video, and I know for a fact that im going to need steady shots.

I currently own the HV-20(with various wide-screen lenses and a Rode Video Boom mic).

The tripod I'm using is the Dolica ST-510


I found what I believe might work, but I need some confirmation.
http://www.google.co...itle#ps-sellers

Would this work on my tripod?

Do I need something else?


Please help!!! :(


~Graham
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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

You need a real dolly. It is next to impossible to 'walk' that dolly left and right and 'pan' & 'tilt' all at the same time... oh ya, and pull focus! You need something you and your A.C. can 'ride on'... but then again, if this Music Video has a budget of $4,500 USD.. then that will work just fine.
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#3 Graham Castronovo

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

You need a real dolly. It is next to impossible to 'walk' that dolly left and right and 'pan' & 'tilt' all at the same time... oh ya, and pull focus! You need something you and your A.C. can 'ride on'... but then again, if this Music Video has a budget of $4,500 USD.. then that will work just fine.


I definitely do not have a $4,500 budget. I just need smooth shots.
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#4 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 04:36 PM

"Smooth" is relative. How smooth is needed, how smooth you can afford, that's a different story.

To get the smoothest tracking shots (you have not stated what kind of shots need to be "smooth"), a hydraulic or electric dolly is required, something made most likely by Fisher, Chapman, or Panther if you are shooting here in the US. The rental of these will run you in the area of $200-$300 per day, not including track, which may or may not be necessary.


This should be in the grip section, as it has to do with camera support.
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#5 Tim Terner

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:36 AM

Given the budget restrictions I'd consider a wheelchair. Also there are lot of plans on the internet (with a google search) for making your own dolly and track
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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 08:11 PM

Rent a doorway dolly, track and hire an experienced dolly grip to push it. Smooth dolly moves require (besides an experienced operator) a heavy dolly or a dolly with weight added to it to smooth out the stops and starts.
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#7 Michele Peterson

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 01:31 AM

Those are really just rolling spreaders, not a true dolly in the traditional sense. They will not absorb any bumbs you go over, so unless you are on a blemish-free studio floor, it will not be smooth. Think of how rolling stands go over ground. Rolling makes it easier to get around, but can be very bumby, jerky.

If you really want a smooth shot and are shooting on uneven or bumby ground you need to have dolly track. You can rent a doorway dolly and a few sections of track for less than $100/day, or less if you rent for a week. You can then put your tripod directly on the dolly (sideboards and sandbags ought to be used).
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:51 AM

Also, where are you shooting? Are you outdoors, someplace where it would work to put that camera on a sandbag
on the hood of your car, frame it up, level and secure it and then put the car in neutral and push it? For certain shots
that can work suitably and could save you some money.
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#9 Ira Ratner

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:06 AM

Graham, here's a dolly I made out of PVC and an old pair of rollerblades that rides on PVC track--under 25 bucks. You either cover it with a piece of plywood and attach fasteners for the legs, or just drill holes into the PVC and stick the legs in:

http://www.cinematog...h...67&hl=dolly

If you want more specifics about PVC lengths, diameters, etc., let me know. But you can put the whole thing together in a few hours:

Edited by Ira Ratner, 06 March 2009 - 06:08 AM.

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#10 Alex Mizin

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:06 PM

Graham, here's a dolly I made out of PVC and an old pair of rollerblades that rides on PVC track--under 25 bucks. You either cover it with a piece of plywood and attach fasteners for the legs, or just drill holes into the PVC and stick the legs in:

http://www.cinematog...h...67&hl=dolly

If you want more specifics about PVC lengths, diameters, etc., let me know. But you can put the whole thing together in a few hours:



We have recently used a DigiDolly kit with great effect. Very light frame and track onto which you plant your tripod. Here in AUS its 65$ a day for hire.
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#11 ernesto valverde

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 09:19 PM

hi. i have used the PVC with rollingskates wheels and it has worked just fine. its armed in less than 2 minutes and on the table can go at least to persons. the camera and the a.c.
its has also some disadvantages like you to be on a flat floor because the PVC its kind of fragile, but putting some wood tables, or some gypsum board the problem can be solved. also you can't to double the PVC, so all the ways are straights.
the dolly track is easy to make and its has save me the day many many times.
good luck.


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