Building a Better Homemade Dolly... - Page 2 at
DV Info Net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Dolly / Track / Cable

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 11th, 2004, 11:26 PM   #16
Major Player
Join Date: May 2003
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 936
Charles?! YOU did the camera work for Office Space?! I LOVE that movie! I SWEAR as I questioned the need for curved dolly track the EXACT thing I had in mind was the scene you just described. That's freaky... I was even going to reference it.

Yeah the camera move is critical to that scene because it conveys most of the meaning of that shot. Rather then jump-cut and use facial expressions it's far more effective to show the "sudden change in position" that Lumberg has within the company. Suddenly he is a target for the Bobs rather then on their team... The sweep around the table really gives substance to the whole moment.

I've always thought that movie was under-estimated because of it's creative shots that pay homage to gangster videos and dramatic film styles... while still being a comedy.
Matt Gettemeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 12th, 2004, 12:25 AM   #17
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,810
Good for you for noticing that visual motif Matt! That was something that was specifically discussed on set, and it was agreed that the shot had to be exact to have the proper effect.

That was an interesting few days, shooting in the conference room--I spent a LOT of time trying to deal with our reflections in the glass (and correspondingly operated a lot of those shots that look out to the office draped in duvytene!)

That was also the period of time that I first worked with John C. McGinley (as one of the Bobs). Three years later, we were reunited on "Scrubs" for a couple of years. Johnny turned in a great performance, as did everyone in "Office Space". He and Paul Wilson (as the other Bob) did a lot of improvising during those scenes, with Mike Judge's blessing. When Wilson does the bit about "Naga-naja-well, not going to work here anymore" and McGinley bursts out laughing, that was pretty much real laughter as that was an unwritten line!

Oopsie, off topic, uh, yeah, we did a bunch of dolly shots in "Office Space"...!
Charles Papert
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13th, 2004, 08:19 PM   #18
Built the VanceCam
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 109
Pneumatic Wheeled Dolly

As an alternative to the skateboard wheels/track dolly, consider the free-rolling pneumatic wheeled dolly. I built mine for less than $100 and for its intended use, it's just great. You are not restricted to straight moves, and the pneumatic wheels absorb minor bumps. They key is to run the tires at moderate pressure. High pressure makes it roll easier, but amplifies every liitle bump. Lower pressure requires more pushing effort, but that's a small price to pay for a smooth move. For repeated curved moves, we just make a chalk line on the ground--the front wheels are fixed, while the rear ones are casters, so the maneuverability is excellent. It's intended to have the operator ride on it, which also helps with smoothness.
Since you often have to start with a plywood base to lay track, you can do the same here for rougher surfaces, but skip the track part. The soft wheels will ride over the plywood joints smoothly.
Other advantages: Length of the dolly shot not limited by amount of track available; very fast setup; on smooth surfaces, you never have to frame to avoid getting track or plywood in the shot; doubles as a handy equipment cart!
Here's a photo of mine;

and you can watch a clip that has a shot done with this dolly at:

Email me if you need sketches to make your own.
Dan Vance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2004, 02:11 PM   #19
Major Player
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Oceanside Harbor, CA
Posts: 446
Wouldn't this be tough to get a smooth shot on say, grass or carpet?
Michael Best is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2004, 02:10 AM   #20
RED Code Chef
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Why on carpet? Or are you thinking about the long carpet stuff
(don't know what it is called in English). I guess for grass it would
be better to have a track indeed. Would be nice to fabricate the
system that Hollywood uses. Track wheels and pneumatic wheels
in one. Can roll the dolly on a straight surface or on track.

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search for quick answers | Buy from the best: sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2004, 07:16 AM   #21
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,810
That would be easy enough to do, considering that the typical Hollywood track wheel setup consist of two aluminum troughs that the dolly is lifted onto, with skate wheels on the bottom. The pneumatic wheels just sit tightly in the troughs. Couldn't be more low-tech, but it gets the job done just fine.
Charles Papert
Charles Papert is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY USA

Scan Computers Int. Ltd.
+44 0871-472-4747
Bolton, Lancashire UK

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Dolly / Track / Cable

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:25 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2024 The Digital Video Information Network