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Old December 3rd, 2007, 12:52 AM   #1
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length of track

If you had one piece of track for your average dolly shot - how long would it be? 10', 15'

I want to experiment with a single length of pipe that can curve - I don't want any joins. I'm thinking that 5m (15') should cover most requirement - what do you think?
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 05:08 PM   #2
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Hi Paul, you could try rubber tubing.

There's one dolly I've seen online (I don't remember the name right now), that uses 25 or 50 foot lengths of rubber tubing. It looks about as thick as a garden hose, but it's got a thicker wall to it, so it won't crush as easily. You should be able to find some in a hardware store I would think. The site says the hose they use provides some friction so it doesn't slide around once it's in place. You can make S-curves and arcs and things with the hose and then it coils up to a 12 inch or so coil and fits in a small case.

I have yet to build/buy a dolly, but it's a great idea, as long as no one bumps the tubing and sends your train off the tracks, so to speak. :)

Eric
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:26 AM   #3
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I'm a couple of days away from putting mine together and one of the first shots we want to try is a straight line with a curve at the end. My first idea was hose supported by PVC half pipe but I can't find anything that will bear the weight (I'm estimating 70k per wheel with an operator and 1st AC).

I'm now going to try irrigation pipe (nice and smooth) supported from the inside by PVC pipe - should make it strong and straight.

For curved I'm theorizing that the same PVC pipe cut 2/3rds of the way through all the way along (think of a comb) will provide the support inside and the bend. If I'm right I will have one length of pipe that will start off with a straight section and then curve - and I can roll it up when I'm finished!
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #4
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I have a spider dolly and flextrack, its flextrack is 40lbs at 40 feet and gives a 17 foot run or use two for up to 40 foot run, curved or straight, its track is about 2 inch diameter solid robber tubing and is also friction gripping on the floor, has rails for a straight run and a floating arm to adjust for slight inpreferctions in the tack spacing. The rubber makes it run extremely smooth and the dolly is amazing. You can build it as a 3 arm for tripod mounting or add a platform and fourth arm and seat/push/pull and camera mount to make it a riding dolly. If you can run whatever dolly you have on a track that thick I would say the tracking itself is worth it for any dolly at all, great investment.

I also have a much, much smaller point of view dolly that has its own plastic tubing, this one being so small has 3/4 inch tubing also grips well, two seperate 20 foot runs and also runs great and smooth and can be put almost anywhere, on counters, tables, floor (very low perspective) or you can run a borad between stands and raise and lower it. Its also a great tool and fits in a case that is 20"x18"x7" without head I attached a motorized pan and tilt head to it and the whole setup is great and completely portable.

I find that most straight runs I do are near to 12 feet with a little push and pull at the ends so figure 14feet, and circles are between 8-16 feet, so the track has to be long enough for that.

If you get the pvc to curve and run smoothly like that please let me know, I have seen it tried and it never worked out, but I am not sure how much time and trial error they went through to make it work, the solid rubber flextrack from spider dolly did it for me and more so I stopped looking into it, but still interested in seeing other viable options and trying things out. I do know that on the attempts that worked they ran a wire down the track so when pulled tight and clamped it would create/form and hold the arc nicely, just the dolly never ran smooth :(
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Old December 14th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #5
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I ran out of time to experiment with the curve so I came up with a combined straight dolly & jib move (someone else mentioned this idea) - it worked pretty well, even with a focus pull at the end.

I'll keep working on the idea.

just attached a clip of the 1st & last shots - I don't think they're the best one's but they give you an idea - I don't ever want to see another chocolate biscuit as long as I live


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjw-wBUOgs8
can't seem to upload so I put in on youtube
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Last edited by Paul Mailath; December 15th, 2007 at 12:27 AM.
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