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how can I make my own dolly


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#1 Andrew Armentrout

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:25 PM

I'm making a short film on a shoestring budget and I'm wondering how to make a quality homemade dolly. Also, what price range would dolly rental be if I were to rent one instead? I only need about ten feet of straight track.
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#2 Rob Vogt

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:45 PM

Ten ft track you can get for $10 at some places. You're going to need to account for the size of the dolly if you want a 10' move and you use a doorway dolly which is about 4' long you need ~14' of track though. What part of the country are you in so we could recommend a rental house?
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#3 Mike Hall

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 02:26 AM

There are a couple of kits available on Ebay, search "camera dollies". Or, just get some plywood and angle iron and skateboard wheels and make one up. If you just need 10 feet of track, consider using metal conduit instead of PVC for track. You can keep the track spaced with sandbags if needed.

Is also another idea for a dolly that isn't on the ground.

If you want to make your own ground dolly, here's a good instructional video:



If you make a ground based dolly, you will want to use at least 85 hardness wheels, and stagger the holes a bit to make it a little smoother.

There are also some good tips to making your own dolly from an old pro here: http://www.rondexter.com/ Ron Dexter ASC made some of the earliest skateboard dollies. He has a good web page of tips for the upcoming do it yourself cinematographer. He is very good at sharing his information and experience like David Mullen ASC, the two are a credit to the craft and will always be a benefit to the industry.

Disclosure: I work for the company that makes the Dana Dolly, and I have made a ton of skateboard dollies over the years.
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