Dollies & Sliders

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All Terrain Dolly

My All Terrain Dolly is an invention born of necessity!

Full-sized dollies – the kind that a camera operator actually rides on – are way too big and bulky for a little one-man-band like me. And camera sliders are way too limited in the distance that they can travel. What to do…

All Terrain Dolly and Track ClampsYears ago, a clever cinematographer and garage inventor by the name of Ron Dexter taught me how to make a simple skateboard pipe dolly. I think Ron shared his concept with more than a few, as several commercial examples have been offered over the years. My version is based upon the same basic premise Ron shared, but offers some unique and helpful variations on his classic theme. Yeah, you could certainly cobble together something along these lines in your well-equipped home shop but not with anywhere near the detail and quality of this beautiful, “Made-in-America” example of Industrial Art. This baby is CNC-machined from several huge hunks of billet aluminum and hard anodized to military specifications. It’s a thing of beauty to behold…

But enough about aesthetics, let’s talk about functionality. I travel almost constantly and ever-escalating baggage fees have killed the idea of traveling with bulky dedicated dolly track – or even Hollywood’s favorite construction material, Speed Rail. Everywhere I go, I can easily find a basic hardware store and every basic hardware store stocks and sells lightweight and inexpensive 1″ electrical conduit…

And that’s what the All Terrain Dolly is based upon. This material is ridiculously inexpensive to purchase, so when I roll into a distant location my first stop is at the local hardware store where I immediately buy three 10′ sticks of conduit – generally for under ten bucks a stick.  I can usually con a clerk into cutting one of my three sticks in half, instantly giving me two full sets of track – one pair of ten-footers and one pair of five footers. At the end of the shoot, I toss them in a dumpster or give them to a friendly local.

Easy-Peasy!

On the support side, I designed this easily portable dolly system to be supported by four inexpensive (user-provided) monopods rather than a pair of heavy light stands or tripods.  The multiple monopods are cheaper, easier to transport, and much, much quicker to level on hilly or uneven terrain. Check out the pix!

The smooth movin’ camera platform (fitted with your choice of a 75mm ball mount or a flat camera plate) can be motivated directly by hand or with my clever shock-cord drive system. Either way you choose to roll, my IDC All Terrain Dolly helps to keep the “move” in all your movies…

The All Terrain Dolly is a Limited Edition. There are only a few of these functional works of art available, so grab your’s before they are gone forever!

2 comments

  1. Hey there superb blog! Does running a blog similar
    to this take a massive amount work? I’ve virtually no expertise in computer programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic but I simply wanted to ask. Appreciate it!

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