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Todd Terry
Looking for dolly ideas
on Aug 6, 2010 at 9:46:47 pm

I'll cross post this in the indie forum, hope no one minds...

We're in need of a new "mid sized" dolly, and I'm looking for some suggestions or what has worked well for other people.

Here's our situation... we have a skateboard-wheel platform dolly, and we have a spider dolly that I have put track wheels on as well. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a gigantic (much too big) hydraulic crab dolly. It's a great dolly but weighs almost 700lb so it pretty much lives on stage... we rarely (if ever) drag it out of the studio.

I need something in the low-middle. Something strong and big enough to handle mid-sized cameras (including 35mm) and maybe sometimes a jib... but still small and nimble enough to easily use on location. Hydraulic boom (although counterweighted would be ok). Both track and studio wheels. Does not have to crab (although that would be a perk).

The nearest cine rental houses are 2 hours away from us... and although their Fisher 10 and 11 dollys are quite affordable, they seem to be in high demand these days and are sometimes hard to book.

It would solve some headaches if we would just buy something appropriate.

I would probably get a Cameleon, but Premier Studio now lists it as "discontinued." I have to admit I haven't seen a new one in a while, so that might explain that. I haven't been able to find any used Cameleons from the usual sources (Able, Visual Prod, mandy.com, etc.).

Premier has some other choices, but we don't have deep enough pockets to go for a Phantom or other higher-end models. They seem to have an interesting and affordable model called the PD-1 (its on their home page at http://www.premierstudioequipment.com ), but I've never seen or used one and its non-steering swivel wheels seem kinda... weird.

So, has anyone use this? Or have any other recommendations I haven't thought of?

Much thanks,

T2

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






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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Looking for dolly ideas
on Aug 7, 2010 at 12:24:40 pm

Hi Todd,

We went with lower end dolly from Matthews called the round-d round dolly.

http://www.msegrip.com/mse.php?show=product&cat=422&products_ID=26698

We liked the pneumatic tires but also got the hot buttons for tracks:

http://www.msegrip.com/mse.php?show=product&cat=422&products_ID=25518

We added the seat and an extension.

It is really a simple dolly with no boom or range so it probably is less than what you are looking for. However we got good results from it in the field or the studio. We sandbag it down for additional weight, our op is 250lbs and its very easy to transport. Wheels come off, the dolly can be carried by two people easily, fit everywhere and doubles as a cart to carry equipment.

With the tracks it is very smooth and is balanced with wedges very quickly over uneven surfaces with the Matthews tracks. We didnt invest too much in a dolly (as we discussed earlier) we do everything with a steadicam. So I am not sure if this would fit what you are looking for.

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Todd Terry
Re: Looking for dolly ideas
on Aug 7, 2010 at 4:54:15 pm

Thanks Emre...

I had looked at the Round-d-Round in the past. It seems like a super uber-cool doorway dolly... but you're right, ideally I'm looking for something a little more than that. I'd really like a boom... I think the bazooka-style mounts would be a little limiting... unless I put a shorty jib on it, and then we are getting more complicated, not less.

Hot button wheels are very nice. I recall them as being pretty darn expensive though, compared to other track wheels. You get what you pay for, I guess.

There's probably something ideal out there, just haven't found it yet. Fortunately I'm not in a rush.

T2

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






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