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Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?

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Ben Ferrer
Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Mar 16, 2008 at 1:09:46 am

Does anyone have experience with the PD-1 Dolly? It is made by Premier Studio Equipment and is sold through Alan Gordon Enterprises. I can not find anyone in my area that has one I can look at or even has experience with it.

http://premierstudioequipment.com/

The specs seem pretty good for the price, but I'd like to hear about practical experiences.

Thanks,

-Ben


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Samuel Bowlby
Re: Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 2:58:29 pm

I've rented the PD-1 twice, using Canon XL H1 cameras. It is as it's advertised. Because of its lightness, rolling over smooth concrete floors is a challenge. Every little, almost imperceptible imperfection in the floor transmits to the camera. Use the dolly track for your moves. It can be a little tipsy due to its lightweight, so cameramen should use some commonsense while operating it. As for the boom feature, it is reasonably smooth and once you get used to it, you can smooth it out for slow stops without jarring. If you're wanting more smoothness, go to the heavier more expensive units. Their mass makes for better control on smooth hard surfaces and for lifts. Their heft helps isolate camera movement and large cameramen won't tip them over. Overall, I think this small, lightweight dolly is pretty good, not perfect, but very good. I'd recommend it. If I had more use for dolly moves, I'd own one outright.



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Todd Terry
Re: Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 3:37:01 pm

Just curious, Samuel....

How exactly does that dolly boom since it says it has "no hydraulic system, no electrical system, no pumping required and no counterweights" yet still "gives smooth up and down camera movement."

Can't quite figure that out.

As for the weight (or lack thereof being a problem), no matter what type of dolly we use (from a skateboard rig up to a big crab dolly) I find it helpful to throw as much spare weight on it as I can. I read years ago that David Lynch likes to load dollys down with as many sandbags as they will hold... so that it takes two or three dolly grips just to start the move, and the guys have to start trying to stop the thing as soon as they start. He claims that gives him the exact perfectly smooth arc of movement and speed. That might be extreme, but more weight does indeed help.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Samuel Bowlby
Re: Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 4:54:51 pm

Todd Terry

A creative director with two first names - cool. The PD-1 is spring loaded with dampers. As is true with racecars, the springs can be loaded or unloaded to accept different weights and motion ajustments that fall within the motion curve of the machine. It has a deadman's break to control and stop the lift. To boom down, the operator must apply his weight (not much) to lower the arm. This is a compromise, but considering the portability of this little dolly, it is acceptable, in my view.



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Tim Wilson
Re: Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 7:48:41 pm

[Samuel Bowlby] "A creative director with two first names - cool."

Wait - I thought they were two LAST names.



Tim Wilson
Associate Director, CreativeCow.net
Associate Publisher, Creative Cow Magazine!


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Todd Terry
Re: Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Jun 25, 2008 at 7:50:44 pm

Duh... they are actually two middle names (insert eyeroll here).


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Ben Ferrer
Re: Any experience w/PD-1 Dolly?
on Jun 26, 2008 at 1:56:20 am

Thanks Samuel!

I've already put the order in for our company, so I'm glad to hear your comfirmation that this is a good product for the cost and portability. This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Your discription is how I imagined this light dolly might handle.

Terry, your suggestion of adding weight is appreciated also.

I do plan on ordering a heavier model for our stage when the budget allows, but for now I like the idea of a dolly that will do ok for location work even if I send out a small three person team.

Thanks again,

-Ben

Ben Ferrer
Director of Photography
Transvideo Studios
Mountain View, CA


Ben Ferrer
DP - SF Bay Area



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