Post 1 of 31
This past week I built a dolly for some upcoming shoots and yesterday I got out to do my very first test footage. I only had 10' of track but I still got some interesting stuff. The XH-A1 really shines outside. I was amazed how well it captured the sky. This is an all stock A1 shooting in HDV 24f at a shutter speed of 48 and varying apertures. Depending on your tastes in music you may have to mute your speakers to watch this...
Things I've learned:
1.) Level the track or pick the flattest spot around, especially on grass. Large dips allow the track to bend and create bumps in footage.
2.) Don't operate the tripod (pan/tilt) while dollying unless you have somebody to push you. Too much to think about while moving and trying to frame a shot and you just end up with jerky pans/tilts or bad dolly moves.
3.) Dolly shots are awesome!
The total cost was about $90 including 10' of track. More than I wanted to spend by about $40 but I think its worth it.
I based my dolly off of the one discussed here:
$18 for the 16 roller skate wheels (.50 cents each plus $10 shipping)
$12 for 3/4" plywood
$12 for angle steel
$15 for hardware (bolts, washers and locknuts)
$5 for paint
$4 for extra wood to raise the angle steel away from the plywood deck
$8 for aluminum trim
$8 for closet rod holders (for tripod legs)
$8 for 2x 10' of 1.5" ABS pipe for track
The amazing thing about this dolly is the wheels. I got them here: http://www.skates.com/Pacer-Childrens-Roller-Skate-Wheels-8-pack-p/pcltwhl-nl.htm but unfortunately they have gone up in price. I got them for $3.99 per 8 pack. They come with ABEC 1 bearings which you would think is terrible. Every place I look everyone recommends ABEC 5 or even 7 for their dollies. But with the insane prices for raw building materials (at least in my area) I tried to cut costs where I could. And it turns out that with 16 wheels ABEC 1's work fine.