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Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?

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Andy Stevenson
Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 8, 2012 at 5:05:43 pm

Hi all,

Looking for a track dolly that's portable with a fast setup time for News Magazine/doco...trying to add some production value with not a great deal of setup time. Also need to fly with it...

A couple of guys have suggested the http://www.wallydolly.com'>http://www.wallydolly.com and the Microdolly....

Any ideas?


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john sharaf
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 8, 2012 at 5:34:27 pm

Andy,

I recommend the Ronford Spreader Dolly:

http://www.abelcine.com/store/Ronford-Baker-Universal-Rolling-Spider/

It's cheaper, better and stronger. In addition has castor wheels for smooth floor use without track.

Only drawback is conventional dolly track, such as from Matthews:

http://www.msegrip.com/product/dollies-track.html

Which is difficult to transport unless you have a truck or roof rack, although the dolly could be made to work with PVC pipe, which is available everywhere.

Whatever track you use, don't forget wedges and cribbing.

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 8, 2012 at 6:14:18 pm

I haven't seen the Wally Dolly before, but it seems pretty straightforward.

As best I recall the price on the two systems is pretty comparable.

They do the same thing, but they do them in fairly different ways... so it largely depends on what you are shooting, what kind of crew you have, what your travel requirements are, etc.

The Wally is a more conventional pipe-dolly system. The Microdolly is an ultra-lightweight affair that rides on its own prorietary ultra-skinny and extremely lightweight pop-together track.

I like the Wally, it looks pretty substantial and like it would do a good job. However, I think it's probably a fair bit heavier and definitely will take longer and be a bit more cumbersome to put together than the Microdolly.

So.... hard to say. If I had a crew, decent size and weight allowances, and time enough to deal with it, I'd probably choose the Wally over the Microdolly. If I was a one-man-band guy, or had extreme size and weight restrictions, and needed to be able to set the thing up within 30 seconds, then the Microdolly is the way to go, out of those two choices.

John suggested the Ronford, which is indeed an excellent dolly (I've seen it a couple of times though have not personally used it)... appears head and shoulders above either the Wally or the Micro (and it's not very expensive). It's a "real" filmmaking tool, whereas I think the other two fall more in the "cheap/indie" category (not that there's anything wrong with that). However the Ronford is pretty big and heavy, and I'm assuming you're not traveling with a fully-loaded grip truck that has plenty of big/heavy Matthews track at your disposal. But as John said it can also run on PVC... which we have bought countless times on a remore location for a few bucks and then just ditched it after a shoot. I'm guessing rubber flex track would work as well... but that's also heavy and a beast to cart around, and really just doesn't work as well as rigid track (and you really need to start with a pretty-much perfectly flat surface).

T2

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



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Andy Stevenson
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 9, 2012 at 9:45:56 pm

John thanks for the link to the Ronford, its a solid looking piece of gear and if you have the time/space to haul around the track it would be great.

Todd thanks for the indepth reply. For me its a crew of two, myself and my sound guy and of course a producer on the edge of meltdownnmost of the time. :)

There's a clip on the Wally Site here which has me interested, showing wacko-speed ramped time lapse of a guy setting it up in 2:30....thinking that at 5 minutes total for setup and breakdown plus 5 minutes shooting to turn a boring shot into something a little more cinematic ie the subject at a desk working would be right on.

http://wallydolly.com/features/dolly-setup

The Micro looks interesting but it's all joined together a la tent pole style. The fact that you can out down only 3ft of Wally track if you like or 20ft in sections seems to allow a lot of flexibility.

Its like you said though, different horsesnfor different courses.


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Andy Stevenson
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 9, 2012 at 9:46:27 pm

John thanks for the link to the Ronford, its a solid looking piece of gear and if you have the time/space to haul around the track it would be great.

Todd thanks for the indepth reply. For me its a crew of two, myself and my sound guy and of course a producer on the edge of meltdownnmost of the time. :)

There's a clip on the Wally Site here which has me interested, showing wacko-speed ramped time lapse of a guy setting it up in 2:30....thinking that at 5 minutes total for setup and breakdown plus 5 minutes shooting to turn a boring shot into something a little more cinematic ie the subject at a desk working would be right on.

http://wallydolly.com/features/dolly-setup

The Micro looks interesting but it's all joined together a la tent pole style. The fact that you can out down only 3ft of Wally track if you like or 20ft in sections seems to allow a lot of flexibility.

Its like you said though, different horsesnfor different courses.


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Todd Terry
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 9, 2012 at 10:55:10 pm

Andy... if you are just needing little short dolly moves and are not having to, say, track walking subjects or dolly long distances... you might consider skipping the dolly altogether and just using a slider.

I've been on many shoots where we just need short moves, and found that I end up using a 3' slider all day... the dollys never even make it out of the truck.

I use a slider both on the ground, and on top of a tripod (with heavier cameras I offset the slider on the tripod and use a monopod or C-stand to give a little support the other end).

For example, all of the dolly shots in these two spots are really just via a slider...

http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news087.html
http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news089.html

In the second spot there the moves are very subtle (and short), but I could do a three-foot dolly move very easily, in about a 20-second setup. It also lets you do short dolly moves in confined spaces (such as a small room or office) that otherwise would be a lot of trouble with a real dolly and track.

Not sure if it fits your needs.... just a thought, where speed and weight is critical.

T2

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



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Bob Cole
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 12, 2012 at 3:55:34 am

Nice spots. I think I've been to Airport X.

Any specific rec's on sliders, Todd? There are a ton of them of them out there, thanks to the DSLR market. The big impediment to a dolly move is always the time it takes to set the tracks, so a slider is appealing.

The idea of confining myself to 3' of travel is a little off-putting, but it makes sense - that's often all I use even if I have a much longer section of track laid.

As for the tripod-dollies, I have never tried them, and am not much interested. It's very limiting, and as John S. commented, you still have the nuisance of the tracks. If the camera is on its own tripod, a la Wally/Ronford etc., I can't imagine there's much you can do smoothly in the way of reframing, tilts/pans, focus pulls. Am I mistaken?

You can always make a dolly from plywood and skateboard wheels. You still have the nuisance of setting track, but at least you have a platform to stand on, so you can operate the camera more completely. I love the Dana Dolly, but I don't like the acrobatics of reframing plus moving the dolly.


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Todd Terry
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 12, 2012 at 7:00:34 am

Hi Bob...

I really don't have a recommendation on a specific slider... we've used several and frankly they are all pretty much exactly the same (unless you get into the really higher-end ones that have features that are nice but don't really warrant the 10x price, at least for the work that I do).

I started using them myself after realizing I was often traveling only 3'... after laying 20' of track.

I personally don't have much trouble with the tripod dollys (when I still use them). One of ours was formerly just an extra Manfrotto spider dolly that we had laying around... I took the caster wheels off and replaced them with track wheels. Framing and focusing and such doesn't take too much getting used to. I actually prefer the nimbleness of them to ride-on dollys now. In fact a few months ago I sold our big crab dolly (a McAlister, similar to a Fisher10) because I finally realized that I hadn't used it in forever and it was just taking up valuable stage floorspace (at 600 pounds, to boot). I don't miss it at all.

T2

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



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Bob Cole
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 12, 2012 at 12:55:01 pm

The reason I ask about your slider is that my main interest in one is for moco timelapses, for which the slider has to be pretty close to perfect, I imagine. (Yes, there are a ton of sliders out there; Google just linked me to one for an iPhone! What a world. I would say, just wait for the XLR to iPhone adapter, but I am pretty sure it must already exist, and I don't want to Google to find out.)

Then there is hand-holding while riding a hand truck (with the help of a strong and trusted grip).

I wish it were otherwise, but lack of time seems to be a reality. Yesterday we did two "dolly moves." Of course, they were really handheld "sweeps," but there was no budget for anything more elaborate. Sometimes the handheld move is more natural - less linear and confined - than the slider or dolly move. That's what I tell myself.

btw - on my list of my pet peeves, at least until I do it myself: the dolly interview! Whenever I see that, I hear the producer yelling, "WE'VE GOT A DOLLY! Aren't we cool?" It seems disrespectful to the interviewee, and distracting to the viewer. I'm just waiting for the dolly interview where the interviewer starts texting during the two-shot.


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Todd Terry
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 12, 2012 at 10:07:30 pm

[Bob Cole] "...on my list of my pet peeves, at least until I do it myself: the dolly interview!... It seems disrespectful to the interviewee..."

Haha... I have to confess, I do that ALL the time. Never thought of it as "disrespectful," but now I'll give it another thought.

I won't stop doing them, mind you... I'll just think about it. Haaa

T2

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



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Bob Cole
Re: Anyone tried the Wally Dolly?
on Dec 12, 2012 at 10:13:13 pm

No offense meant, Todd. Anyway, I'm not objecting to the slider during a quick soundbite, esp. when it's to-camera. But I've seen these dolly moves during an extended interview, and it's like, where the heck is the camera GOING?


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