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Old January 9th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #1
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Info about CamRail?

Does anybody know anything about the CamRail system made by Camera Tracking Company (out of the UK, I think)? I've been talking to a director who is interested in using this rig for an upcoming project. I've scoured the net and haven't really found any useful info as the company doesn't have a website.

All I know is that it allows for very controlled moves and that the camera can either be underslung or it can ride on top.

Anyone worked with it or seen any specs?
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Old January 9th, 2005, 12:38 PM   #2
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I've been looking, too

Matt, I have no experience with this, but the utility of such a rig seems obvious. A quick Google search for "camrail" turned up these links:

http://www.smsprod.com/rental/suppdoll.html
(that's a Chicago rental house)

www.joson.se/akvagnar.htm
(a Euro house)

You probably already have found these in your search. I can't immediately find a Camera Tracking Company, UK or no. FWIW, I've recently discovered that a similar rig---the E-Track---has apparently been discontinued. See this threadlet:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=35682

I've considered crafting my own imitation of these rigs, possibly using this doodad as a base:

http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/to...50#attachments

... but that kind of homegrown solution is often more trouble than it's worth.

If you turn up a LA renter or reseller, please post here.

JS
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info.

I noticed that the Chicago house claims that there are only half a dozen Cam-Rail rigs availabe in the US. I hope there's not a big demand for these if an LA house has one.

I'll keep searching and post whatever else I find.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #4
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Found it!!

OK, so "Camera Tracking Co." is NOT the manufacturer of Cam-Rail. It is made by a company called Re-Film out of Stockholm.

Check out: www.cam-rail.com/
(the one URL I didn't try! hahaha)

This is a really smart design. Based on a monorail, the rig is totally portable and modular, can be mounted and secured in a variety of ways, and has different lengths and curves of rail. The camera sits in a 100 or 150mm bowl trolly that grips the rail the same way that a shop hoist/sled grips an i-beam.

I want one!

Now the grim news: It seems that the Chicago house is right-- these things are SCARCE within the US. The closest house to LA that I could find is Film/Video Equipment Service Co. (www.fvesco.com/) based out of Denver.

I also found a link for a directory of a bunch of rental houses of various types all over the US: www.hollywoodrock.com/production/info/link3.htm
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Old January 9th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #5
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Good job!

Thanks for finding that. I can think of a number of setups that this kind of rig would enable, provided the central rail is sturdy & portable enough.

When are you guys going to shoot with this (if you do), what will you shoot, what format, what camera, under what conditions (INT, EXT, etc) ...?

JS
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Old January 9th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #6
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IF it happens, the shoot's about 2 months away. We'll most likely be on an XL2. The director wanted to do some through-the-window tracking moves (ext. to int.) as well as some standard dolly moves in a tight interior space. They're still working out the budget, so hopefully it will go soon.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #7
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If you do shoot with the Camrail & somebody has an extra hand, some stills of the rig would be great. And maybe your opinion on how it performed.

(At Camrail's site, it looked to me as if the main rail was made of a composite or plastic, rather than metal ... could make a difference on long runs. I'll email them for more specifics.)

You may have noticed, in the thread to which I linked (above) Dan Selakovich gave a link to a down-&-dirty minidolly design of his. That could suffice, if a Camrail rental doesn't materialize & you have time to bang something together.

JS
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Old January 9th, 2005, 07:32 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm going to look into that backseat dolly rig, either way. That could be really useful for in-car coverage and the like.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #9
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This has been done in various ways both as products and as self
built indeed. Usually small dollies that either are above the track
or are hanging from a track which can be anything from a couple
of (heating) pipes to a ladder etc.

Shouldn't be too hard to build yourself following the homebuild
dolly designs (only then on a smaller scale).
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Old January 10th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #10
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I used something like this back in '84 on a film I was lighting, except the one I used was motorized. It worked just fine, but I would have prefered a regular 'ol dolly. I think this thing would be best for industrials, especially in tight shooting places. But because the rail is off the ground, it limits the blocking you could do with the actors--they can only walk so far before bumping into the rail! Frankly I like my dolly design better! I think to get the shot on my site of the dolly going through the back window of a car, this rail thing would be riding too high for the camera to fit. Not to mention the cost of renting this thing. But hey, that's just me, having been an editor most of my professional life, I like to spend most of my money in post!

Dan
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