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Dolly Through High School


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#1 Dan Witrock

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:53 AM

I'm shooting a short where we need to dolly relatively quickly down a hallway and a cafeteria in a high school. The floor panels look and feel relatively seamless but I'm still worried that a Doorway Dolly or Wheel Chair Dolly will feel any bumps or imperfections. Unfortunately the shot travels backwards and so we cannot lay track.

Any thoughts if a Chapman or such would provide enough weight to help make any divets or imperfections on the floor not as noticeable.

Or any other options besides a steadicam.

Thanks.
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#2 Ed Sieb

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:02 AM

Assuming the floor tiles are properly laid, the floor should be relatively smooth. To be sure of smoothness, ensure that you have large pneumatic tires on the dolly.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:38 AM

There is also an anti-vibration mount that you can add under the camera head that might help, besides the soft rubber tires. Though this sounds more like a Steadicam shot, or a Steadicam mounted to a dolly.
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#4 Dan Witrock

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:33 PM

There is also an anti-vibration mount that you can add under the camera head that might help, besides the soft rubber tires. Though this sounds more like a Steadicam shot, or a Steadicam mounted to a dolly.



Thanks for the advice David. Firstly, as to the soft rubber tires... what type of dolly would fall in that category? Doorway and Hydraulic are both rubber... but soft rubber? Is that more along the lines of a wheel chair dolly then? And as to the anti-vibration mount I've looked around the internet but can't seem to find them. Are there specific 3rd-party companies that manufacture them, or are all the legitimate ones the very expensive ones that are all electronic and hydraulic one-of-a kind mounts used mainly in car commercials and the like.

Lastly, I know you've been helping out people on this website for years now, and I never took the chance to look at your work. You have some beautiful images from films you've shot on your website. A lot of great work indeed. I appreciate sincerely the fact you come on here to help out those of us in our earlier stages of our careers. Thank you.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:36 PM

it would be a doorway dolly with large pneumatic tires, or air filled tires, whereas on a typical track dolly it's hard rubber, not air filled.
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#6 David Erlichman

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:20 AM

Hello Dan;

Most school floors are great to dolly on - of course all depending on lens size choice.

Chapman makes the Vibration Isolator:
Vibration_Isolator_1085.JPG

And GripTech in Australia makes a version of it as well.

Using Chapman's Soft Tires on any of their chassis' would work fine. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, then a Doorway Dolly with it's pneumatic wheels would be your next option (but a PITA to deal with).

If you have the resources on your show, then a SteadiCam hard mounted to a larger dolly: Fisher 10, Hybrid or Hustler would give you the most options for height, speed and camera placement.
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#7 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:12 AM

Hi Dan,
David Erlichman's advice is spot on. If you are in America, go with any Chapman dolly and their vibration isolator. Get the soft compound wheels (high percent silicone), these are soft, but do not get flat spots. You will get the shot as long as the bumps are not terrible. You will be surprised how good the vibration isolator is.

Good luck

Sanjay Sami
www.thegripworks.com
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#8 JD Hartman

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:54 PM

By panels do you mean it's a Terrazzo floor, which is essentially concrete ground flat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrazzo Or is it individual vinyl tiles. If it's the former, not only will it be smooth, including the seams, but probably dead level in all directions. Any little imperfections are usually surface debris, which can be scraped off with a razor blade.
Have you tried a test shot with a dolly? If your not going to lay track, I'd try and get a western dolly which will have a wider stance and skip the additional cost of the isolation head.
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#9 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 05:34 PM

Hi Dan,
David Erlichman's advice is spot on. If you are in America, go with any Chapman dolly and their vibration isolator. Get the soft compound wheels (high percent silicone), these are soft, but do not get flat spots. You will get the shot as long as the bumps are not terrible. You will be surprised how good the vibration isolator is.

Good luck

Sanjay Sami
www.thegripworks.com

Ill second ( or third actually). Chapman vibration isolator. You might try pneumatics and let some air out of the tires.
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#10 Joshua Csehak

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:24 PM

I wonder if you had flexible track, if you could have a person on each side pulling the track out of the shot as you rolled along.

It sounds like big tires will be fine though. You could also let some of the air out if it turns out to be too bumpy.
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