Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hello Dolly!

DIY Dolly Truck
for my camcorder.

To improve my video shooting skills, especially giving it a 'hollywood effect', buying a camera support system is way over my meagre budget. A crane/truck/dolly would cost me about
US$3,000 at least. Above all, I need a spaceship to bring it from abroad!

There is no other choice but to try to build one.

After a two-week long shopping (not easy, mind you) for some castors, bearings and pulley wheels, I finally rigged one up.

Mounting it on a polycarbonate sheet ( 24ins. x 12ins. x 10mm ) and cruise on two aluminium tracks, the video shoot was 'floating' and nice.
It was really smooth and I am now ready to push/pull a continous truck-shot of over 20 feet! Great!

Would be posting a video of this effect after I iron out some bugs with You Tube.
p.s...Dear readers, sorry for the above (strange) nouns & verbs. These are terms used by movie/video photographers.


luxen said...

hehe, I like how you took the trouble to actually build one. Most people are trying to build a steadycam instead because they are more versatile.

You can actually buy a mobile for your tripod you know, check it out at Engtong. I think it should be less than RM300.

Birds Talking Too said...

Thanks luxen.
I know ET people very well and no, they do not have one that runs on tracks.
The shoot that I am doing run on a semi-circle and the dolly that I have done have rotatable rollers thus enabling me to auto pan while trucking.
The nearest is a device caller 'skater dolly' This costs USD 3,500.00! My DIY el cheapo one works well! The tripod I placed on is not the real thing. My shoot is done with a height of only 10".


luxen said...

Yeah, the skater dolly is very expensive. How much did you spend on your little dolly?

My office's engineering department had one custom build. It's a stainless steel chrome platform where you can sit on it and put a gib arm on it. Very sturdy. The tracks was the same material and we had 'straights' and 'curves'. Like one of those clip on toy train tracks but larger size.

Once we had to go for a shoot in Melaka and the crew forgot to bring one wheel, so we had only 3 wheels! So what we did was place all the equipment on the other end of the cart without the wheel so that it would roll on the track properly.