Roller plate, dolly with tires ... what do you use? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 30th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #1
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Roller plate, dolly with tires ... what do you use?

I have been looking at the dollys from www.panther.tv.

http://www.panther.tv/pdf/brochures/...Flyer_2003.pdf

No doubt is it professional equipment, but the prices are also heavy for semipro use.
Are there any cheaper alternatives? Or how do you make this smooth moving look?
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Old June 30th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #2
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I love that panther dolly. I've monkeyed around with it, and it's pretty cool. But most of us just build our own dollies. It's not hard. I have a dolly design that runs on rails in my book "Killer Camera Rigs That You Can Build". Its design is a little different than other plans you'll find. It has the ability to hang upside-down on rails for some interesting over-head dolly shots. You can also make platforms of various sizes and just move the wheel assemblies from on size platform to another depending on your needs. Another alternative is to get something like this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=37320

Keep in mind that anything with tires needs a super smooth surface. If you have a rough surface, you'll have to lay out sheets of plywood for the dolly to ride on. Better to get something with rails.

dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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Old July 1st, 2005, 05:13 PM   #3
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We just finished shooting an Indie and used a home made dolly that worked exceptionally well. I cut 2x4's into 2 foot lengths. I used three of them. About an inch from either end of the 2x4 cut a V. Next purchase two 10 foot ( or whatever length track you want) 3 inch PVC pipe. Lay the PVC into the V's you cut into the 2x4's so you form a railway type track. This part I lucked into. I found rollers that are used to slip under appliances such as fridges or stoves to slide them in and out of tight spots. Mine were about 14 inches long and have several sets of small wheels. I then bought a 2ft x 2ft piece of plywood. I never even attached the rollers to the plywood, just placed them on the PVC, laid the 2 x 2 ply on top of them and it worked like magic - extremely smooth. I did spray the rollers with a heavy shot of WD40 oil. This eliminated any noise and allowed the platform to float down the PVC. I did use some carpet on top of the plywood to dampen any vibration from the rollers. Sound for this film was recorded separately on a DAT so I don't know if any noise would be picked up on an on camera mic.

Total cost was $33.00 US. Also, you have to buy some wood shims to use in leveling the track. Pick up a tiny bubble level as well to place on the plywood to watch as you slide it along the rails. This insures a completely level track.

Everyone raves about rollerblade wheels for this type of dolly. I bought 8 of them and will attach them to some angle iron and bolt it to the plywood to see if it is all it is cracked up to be, but for now, I was really pleased with the one we built. If my description is vague or confusing, I'd be happy to e-mail you some pictures.

Unless you're working with the big studios, don't waste your money on a big track. The above idea was given to me by a guy that used to work on Miami Vice.

Good luck.
Rob
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Old July 1st, 2005, 07:00 PM   #4
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Hi Rob,

I look forward to your pictures show the the dolly in detail.

Regards
Leigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Mitchell
We just finished shooting an Indie and used a home made dolly that worked exceptionally well. I cut 2x4's into 2 foot lengths. I used three of them. About an inch from either end of the 2x4 cut a V. Next purchase two 10 foot ( or whatever length track you want) 3 inch PVC pipe. Lay the PVC into the V's you cut into the 2x4's so you form a railway type track. This part I lucked into. I found rollers that are used to slip under appliances such as fridges or stoves to slide them in and out of tight spots. Mine were about 14 inches long and have several sets of small wheels. I then bought a 2ft x 2ft piece of plywood. I never even attached the rollers to the plywood, just placed them on the PVC, laid the 2 x 2 ply on top of them and it worked like magic - extremely smooth. I did spray the rollers with a heavy shot of WD40 oil. This eliminated any noise and allowed the platform to float down the PVC. I did use some carpet on top of the plywood to dampen any vibration from the rollers. Sound for this film was recorded separately on a DAT so I don't know if any noise would be picked up on an on camera mic.

Total cost was $33.00 US. Also, you have to buy some wood shims to use in leveling the track. Pick up a tiny bubble level as well to place on the plywood to watch as you slide it along the rails. This insures a completely level track.

Everyone raves about rollerblade wheels for this type of dolly. I bought 8 of them and will attach them to some angle iron and bolt it to the plywood to see if it is all it is cracked up to be, but for now, I was really pleased with the one we built. If my description is vague or confusing, I'd be happy to e-mail you some pictures.

Unless you're working with the big studios, don't waste your money on a big track. The above idea was given to me by a guy that used to work on Miami Vice.

Good luck.
Rob
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 12:59 AM   #5
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Rob,

Thank you, but yes I would love to see some pictures. Sounds very interesting...!

Bjorn

My email: reklamefoto@mac.com
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 08:00 AM   #6
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Rob,

A pic of the rollers would be nice, as that is the part that seems confusing to me. How a set of flat rollers sits on a round surface. Do you use two sets at angles???
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 10:05 AM   #7
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I'll get the pictures posted by Monday. The rollers are hard to describe. The rollerblade wheels are on an angle. I'll do a drawing of that one.
Rob
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Old July 16th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #8
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Hi Guys,
Sorry about the long delay but I was out of town on a shoot. I got the pictures up at this address. Hope they help.
Rob

http://www.blueoceanfilms.com/dolly/cam_dolly.html
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Old July 16th, 2005, 09:02 AM   #9
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Thanks for the pix Rob. I understand now. I see that the weight is really only sitting on the inside set of rollers. The outside doesn't touch the PVC rail.

How is the wear and tear on the inside rollers?
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Old July 17th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #10
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Hi Richard,
There really isn't that much weight on the rollers. I'm not sitting on the platform like the big studio dollies. Those rollers are built to move stoves and fridges so they should take some serious wear and tear.
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