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Old April 21st, 2004, 10:30 PM   #1
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Tripod Dolly use...

In what situations would one find it useful to use a Tripod Dolly?
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 03:04 AM   #2
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You mean a tripod on a dolly? Well, to get the camera higher in
the air ofcourse. To be at eye level or a bit lower or higher. Tons
of uses.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 06:51 AM   #3
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Tripod use is essentail, but you already knew this. As for the dolly, this allows you to explore the fundamental element of cinematic technique: a camera in motion.
Get a basic guide to cinematic shooting techniques and you will find the details of trucking along to mimic the shots that we take for granted on the big screen.
You can actually build a dolly for less than 150 bucks and weighing in at 75 pounds, ut has all the mass required for a smooth movement across pvc piping.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 02:14 AM   #4
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It's also handy to move the camera from one setup to another (given a reasonably smooth floor). Most good tripod dollies - or rolling spiders, to give it the correct name - will allow you to lock off the wheels to make it stable when you've found your position.

Robin.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #5
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Floor Cover for Smoothing Out Floors?

I just bought a tripod dolly and it works much better than I had anticipated. One of my scenes, however, is on a smooth marble floor with 1/8 groove lines every three feet -- so every three feet there is a slight hiccup when the 3" wheels ride over the grooves.

Question: Is there some sort of floor covering that I could roll out over that area, say 4-5 feet wide by 10+ feet in length, to smooth out the dolly ride?

Can someone think outside of the box and give me a suggestion or two? I'm not looking to purchase a steadycam right now, so I'm only interested in possible suggestions relating to my specific problem.

Thanks!
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rentzel
One of my scenes, however, is on a smooth marble floor with 1/8 groove lines every three feet -- so every three feet there is a slight hiccup when the 3" wheels ride over the grooves.

Can someone think outside of the box and give me a suggestion or two? I'm not looking to purchase a steadycam right now, so I'm only interested in possible suggestions relating to my specific problem.

Thanks!
How about track?

I built a nice little doorway dolly that runs on pvc pipe for under $100.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones
How about track?

I built a nice little doorway dolly that runs on pvc pipe for under $100.
Thanks David. I have a tripod dolly (spider dolly) with three wheels. A conventional track wouldn't work (at least I don't think so). I'm trying to utilize the equipment I already have, but find some sort of surface to lay down (or unroll) quickly and easily to smooth out the rolling on rougher surfaces.

Plywood would work if it weren't so bulky and heavy. Thoughts?
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Old January 29th, 2007, 06:43 PM   #8
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pick up a piece of carpet-3 foot wide by what ever length you think you need-8 or 10 feet is fair "standard" in stores-go to a carpet outlet store and see it they have cut offs-you don't want a deep pile but something a bit heavier than indoor/outdoor should do the trick. You might also try puttting it on the floor with the pile down towards the floor and run on the backing. Make sure though that you tape the ends down with some gaffers just to hold them in place.

Don
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
pick up a piece of carpet-3 foot wide by what ever length you think you need.....
Don
Wow. Thanks Don. Sometimes the simplest answers are the ones we never think of! Sounds perfect. Thanks.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #10
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You might not be happy with the carpet ...since you have a tripod dolly, this is easliy converted to a track and dolly rig. Go to the plans for the conversion of the single wheel to a chunk of angle aluminum. Then 4 roller skate wheels are installed on the angled metal creating the running surface ready for a cylindrical cross section of your choice ... abs inch and a quarter pipe works very well.

Might cost you 50 bucks including hardware for the rig.

I just can't see running rubber wheels on the backside of peice of carpet being very smooth. It also won't compensate for the abrupt elevation changes found at doorway thresholds, curb inperfections on sidewalks etc....
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Old January 30th, 2007, 07:12 AM   #11
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Jimmy
if you notice he said he was on a marble floor with grout lines every 3 feet or so. Having done this type of floor with a dolly on 5 inch wheels I can understand the thing he's going thru and only suggested the carpet after trial and error on my own and having found that for the money (a few bucks) it worked just fine. As well as a track system or a steadicam? No but for about 20 dollars for a quick temp fix with a few minutes of practice moving on the rug it worked fine.
IF he had mentioned curbs and threseholds I certainly would not have even mentioned the carpet trick.

Don
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Old January 30th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #12
 
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well, if he's using cable snubs, that carpet won't work very well 'cuz the cable snubs keep catching on the nap. best bet is 3/4 plywood, taped at the seams with metal tape.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #13
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Dollies on carpet are always slightly wobbly anyway - a better trick would be a roll of vinyl flooring with a smooth surface, but it is heavy stuff.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #14
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Have a free weekend?
As Jimmy suggested, your dolly can be converted to a skater for very little time and money.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
Jimmy
if you notice he said he was on a marble floor with grout lines every 3 feet or so. Having done this type of floor with a dolly on 5 inch wheels I can understand the thing he's going thru and only suggested the carpet after trial and error on my own and having found that for the money (a few bucks) it worked just fine. As well as a track system or a steadicam? No but for about 20 dollars for a quick temp fix with a few minutes of practice moving on the rug it worked fine.
IF he had mentioned curbs and threseholds I certainly would not have even mentioned the carpet trick.

Don
Agreed. Sometimes the budget (both time and money) preclude such homedepotish innovations.

My crappy crane suffers a similar drawback ... I'm working on an elegant pan tilt electronic mechanism to iron out my lousy falling from the sky shots..

Thanks Don.
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