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#1 Zander Kroon

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

I was just hired for a 15 day show as a dolly grip. Not sure when one yet although I'm assuming Fisher 10. This has motivated me to update/replace the tools I've lost and broken over the summer. Since I'm going shopping soon, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what clever gadgets, toys, tools, etc that some of the other dolly grips on the forum use.

What are your must haves?
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#2 Craig Shiels

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

If you assume that with a dolly grip it's all about his tools your going to have a very bumpy 15 days.
There's plenty of excellent dolly grips on here willing to give you advice if you ask the right questions and what clever gadgets, toys and tools certainly isn't worthy of there expertise.

Edited by Craig Shiels, 24 August 2012 - 05:15 PM.

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#3 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

I was just hired for a 15 day show as a dolly grip. Not sure when one yet although I'm assuming Fisher 10. This has motivated me to update/replace the tools I've lost and broken over the summer. Since I'm going shopping soon, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what clever gadgets, toys, tools, etc that some of the other dolly grips on the forum use.

What are your must haves?


I don't have any clever toys really. I have the new Dolly Mate pouch, held on by magnets that really works well. In it I keep channel locks, phillips head screwdriver, crescent wrench, allen wrench set, flashlight, a couple of small levels, and a razor knife, and a couple of threaded baby pins. I'm a Chapman user so I also have an 1 1/2" ratchet. I do keep a couple of extra washers and 1 1/2" bolts for rigging in my wedge cart as well as one with a baby pin welded on it. I had a foot peg for the Hustler 4 made up for those spots where a sideboard won't fit. I have a set of portaglide skate wheels that are really handy for long lens work.
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#4 John David Miller

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:09 AM

I was just hired for a 15 day show as a dolly grip. Not sure when one yet although I'm assuming Fisher 10. This has motivated me to update/replace the tools I've lost and broken over the summer. Since I'm going shopping soon, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what clever gadgets, toys, tools, etc that some of the other dolly grips on the forum use.

What are your must haves?


I think the best tool you can have is a good attitude and understanding of camera movement. You are about to become part of a close team that has to work seamlessly together. Your operator will be looking through the eyepiece to follow the action, keeping it in the frame lines. Your first assistant will be looking at his monitor, the acting subjects, and your marks. You may want to either buy or rent a nice HD monitor and mounting hardware so you can see what the rest of your team is seeing. You will be able to make corrections when subjects stacked or miss a mark. You will usually want to start and stop your moves with the movements of the subjects and many times you will not be able to see past the camera, 1st AC, cam op to get a first hand view; your monitor may help with this. I am not saying that you should always watch your monitor or your marks. It's a dance that takes tempo, feel, and experience. The "old skool" guys will say they don't need one, and they are right. But you are not "old skool" and may want to exploit any advantage you can get, if this is the career you want.

A nice steel tape measure(30')

A chalk holder if you want to be fancy. The plastic tip of a #1 handy clamp holds a piece of chalk nicely and a plastic tip off a #2 slip fits nicely over it as a protector.

A tape roll. (2" photo black paper, 1" white cloth, and 2" grey gaffers) I don't like a massive set dressers style tape roll on my dolly. Sitcoms are a different set up.

The dolly mate style tool pouch is good to have. You are still a grip and when the SHTF you should be able to jump in and help your brothers instead of chatting with your cam op at crafty.

Showing up with this stuff will send a clear message; you take this seriously. Good luck.
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#5 Chris Millar

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:11 AM

You are still a grip and when the SHTF you should be able to jump in and help your brothers instead of chatting with your cam op at crafty.


Nice post
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#6 Zander Kroon

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:36 PM

If you assume that with a dolly grip it's all about his tools your going to have a very bumpy 15 days.



I think the best tool you can have is a good attitude and understanding of camera movement.


I need to clarify here: I'm a fairly experienced dolly grip, I've been working for almost 6 years now. Young, but going strong. This thread was meant to be a discussion about tips, tricks, and unique tools that people have learned over the years but others may not have heard of.

For example I had to do a complicated dolly move for a 3d tv pilot this winter. The move had to be 1 minute and 35 seconds, 20 feet straight, 90 degree curve then another 16 feet to finish the move. Every second of the move had to match as closely as possible to the last take for VFX work. To do this I taped marks in time increments along the track and mounted a laser pointer on the dolly so I had an exact reference point. Then used a stop watch as I pushed through the move.

Edited by Zander Kroon, 25 August 2012 - 06:41 PM.

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#7 John David Miller

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

I need to clarify here: I'm a fairly experienced dolly grip, I've been working for almost 6 years now. Young, but going strong. This thread was meant to be a discussion about tips, tricks, and unique tools that people have learned over the years but others may not have heard of.

For example I had to do a complicated dolly move for a 3d tv pilot this winter. The move had to be 1 minute and 35 seconds, 20 feet straight, 90 degree curve then another 16 feet to finish the move. Every second of the move had to match as closely as possible to the last take for VFX work. To do this I taped marks in time increments along the track and mounted a laser pointer on the dolly so I had an exact reference point. Then used a stop watch as I pushed through the move.


I misunderstood you. When I searched your name on IMDB it came up with a Zander Kroon that started in 2008 til present. He worked on nothing but short films doing every job from Gaffer, to 1st. AC, to Rigging, to Key Grip, to Dolly Grip. I apologize for making assumptions; IMDB is not very accurate when it comes to grips. You may want to change your occupation in your profile here, it says Gaffer.

I'm not big on gimmicks and do not have many to share. I don't have a way for you to make a Technocrane from items at your local Home Depot. As complicated as your poor mans motion control sounds; I can assure you building a good feel that complements the rest of your team, compliments the subjects in front of the camera, and upholds the Directors vision is far more complex.

Young and strong are two qualities that mean very little to a dolly grip. I can help you spend some money though. As a serious dolly grip here are a few items to buy:

4' camera slider @ $7500
110' precision dolly track (3" Cadillac) $12,500
Portaglide Dolly Troughs $1,700
Nebtek HD Monitor $1,500
Camera Bazooka $7,500
Vibration Isolator $5,000
Aero Jib $45,000
Buildable Crane (Panther Foxy) $60,000
30' SuperTechno $225,000

Unlike that piece that connects your ipod to your walkie so you can listen to music in between all that mindless chatter...all these items make RENTALS.
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#8 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:27 PM

For example I had to do a complicated dolly move for a 3d tv pilot this winter. The move had to be 1 minute and 35 seconds, 20 feet straight, 90 degree curve then another 16 feet to finish the move. Every second of the move had to match as closely as possible to the last take for VFX work. To do this I taped marks in time increments along the track and mounted a laser pointer on the dolly so I had an exact reference point. Then used a stop watch as I pushed through the move.


For that kind of move a metronome works better than a stopwatch. You can get a metronome app on your ipod touch and listen with headphones if there is dialogue over the move. The speed of the clicks can be adjusted so you can tune it to whatever speed you need. You also do not need to keep glancing at marks, stopwatch and actors.
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#9 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:35 PM

Like D,
I too use Chapman where I have a choice. I own a Hybrid 3 and have made a bunch of bits for it.
I hate the push bars, so I made my own, which ends in an Anderton pin. This eliminates any play in the push bar to dolly connection and helps with slow moves when you've levelled lay-of-the-land.
I also made it longer, so I don't have to stoop to push.
If I think of more, I will post.
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#10 Zander Kroon

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:43 PM

Unlike that piece that connects your ipod to your walkie so you can listen to music in between all that mindless chatter...all these items make RENTALS.

I come to this website to have mature, educational discussions about this industry and everything related. I'm not here to be talked down to or disrespected.

I'll just take my questions elsewhere.
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#11 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:12 PM

Zander take a look at http://www.dollygrippery.net

Use the search function. There is a wealth of information there.
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#12 Chris Millar

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:17 PM

Young and strong are two qualities that mean very little to a dolly grip. I can help you spend some money though. As a serious dolly grip here are a few items to buy:


Not nice post
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#13 John David Miller

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:27 PM

I come to this website to have mature, educational discussions about this industry and everything related. I'm not here to be talked down to or disrespected.

I'll just take my questions elsewhere.


My first reply to your OP was what I felt are the "must haves" for a dolly grip. I looked up info about you and gave a reply based on what experience level I could find about you. Some of the most credited dolly grips in film don't show up with any more tools than what I originally advised you to bring. I took time out of my day to answer your post as thoroughly as possible. I look back on my first reply and do not see how you feel spoken down to.

Your response to my first reply took nothing of my advise. You asserted with your 6 years of experience and a description of an obscure use of a you and a dolly as a motion control rig that my tips and tricks were not the kind your were looking for.

I responded again, I reiterated the need for rudiments/fundamentals. Told you I don't have any crazy tricks, then I listed 9 of the most valuable pieces of gear (valuable info) that a varsity dolly grip could buy. Mr. Humber told you he didn't have clever toy and Mr. Sheils told you dolly had nothing to do with tools. Out of all the valuable info I gave, you quote about some silly gimmick, call me immature, and say your taking your ball and going home? I am sorry you feel insulted, I was trying to give you and anyone wishing to push dolly some sound advise.
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#14 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:44 PM

Tape measure, chalk and a level; not very high tech. If you get a prep day I would inspect the dance floor package, and I would cut enough 3/4"x4"x9" plywood pads to half fill a milk crate.
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#15 Jaden Scholes_65655

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 08:11 PM

Tape measure, chalk and a level; not very high tech. If you get a prep day I would inspect the dance floor package, and I would cut enough 3/4"x4"x9" plywood pads to half fill a milk crate.

 

I a young electro mainly working independent film in montreal and have heard about a dance floor but don't know exactly what it is, do you think you could explain it to me or just send me to a link, and why 3/4"x4"x9" plywood pads would be necessary??

 

 

Thanks 

J


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#16 Dan Muchnik

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 11:19 PM

It goes without saying that the best tool in your arsenal, as for any job on set, is a good attitude. That said, what are your guys' thoughts on pledge / baby powder for a sticky track? I've seen it happen many times that dolly track gets rented out without a crate of wedges too, so I would always keep some of those and a good level on standby just in case if I were in your shoes.


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#17 JD Hartman

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 06:09 AM

For the track the dolly grip gets what the dolly grip likes to use, pledge, baby powder, silicone spray. 

 

Track but not wedges or shims??  Not the job of the rental house to baby you.  If you put in an order for a dolly and track, you should know that you're going to need the tools to level it, otherwise you shouldn't be pushing.


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#18 Rafael Monta

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:44 AM

SequenceShoot with Dolly Fisher:

 

The great Orson Welles used to say :”A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys. Anybody can make movies with a pair of scissors and a two-inch lens.” And as usual, the master was totally right. Thanks to movies such as “Children of men”, “Gravity” or “Birdman” (and a lot more) the sequence shots are once again very popular and with the help of digital cinema that removed several limitations we previously had (such for instance the time limitation of 10 minutes due to the size of 35mm film magazines), this kind of shot has become RELATIVELY easier (or at least possible even for small and medium-sized productions). The capital letters are on purpose, since shooting a one-shot sequence is still an extremely complicated thing to do, the longer the harder.

Rodaje-Camera-Car.jpg

Last week, a friend and DoP offered me the chance to pull focus on a short movie which would be shot on a single shot of approximately 1 minutes length, in a studio with 9 actors. The camera would be the whole time on a J.L. Fisher dolly with rubber wheels to not disturb the actors with tracks and...

 

More info here.

fabio%20giolitti_1.jpg

Fabio Giolitti - Focus Puller.

 

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