This Dolly and Track are HOT!!!
Last year at NAB I had a chance to play with this dolly and track and I was thoroughly impressed, so I thought I'd give it a belated shout out. What's so special about it you ask? Two things:
#1 Flex Track ($400.00 / 40' section)
Instead of normal metal dolly track or PVC piping, this dolly uses what's called "flex track" which is essentially a 40' piece of solid rubber tubing that you can double over to make a 20' run or get another piece to make a 40' dolly run. ($400 ea.)
#2 Losmandy Spider Dolly ($1000-$3500)
This dolly goes together like an erector set with several different configurations and has special arms for the 2 sets of wheels that swing in or out by several inches to smoothly adjust to various track widths. (*$3500 as pictured here)
Flex Track? Swinging wheel? So what you say? So What?! So What?! I'll tell you so what...This thing is revolutionary, especially for us urban guerrillas. Few things add more production value or eat up more time on set than prepping and executing dolly shots. The standard method/equipment requires infinite fussing with tracks and bumps and substantial storage/transportation space. That's the old school dollies. This dolly/track system does away with some of the most prohibitive dolly shot hassles. Let me break it down:
#1 Both dolly and track are highly portable.
The surprisingly sturdy dolly is modular and breaks down into a small suitcase. The track rolls into a neat (if heavy) coil. This means you can fit it into an ordinary car or even the subway rather than the back of a van or truck.
#2 The track can be laid and ready to go in minutes.
The special swinging arms on the dolly wheels allow you a wide margin of error (up to several inches apart) when laying the track, you can literally throw track down and eyeball whether it's evenly spaced and the dolly will still roll smoothly. Plus, no seams means no bumps.
#3 You can pull off a variety of curves, circles, or straight moves all with the same track.
Traditionally, you'd need to rent curved track as well as straight track to do this and even then, the curved metal track still wouldn't allow you as many creative configurations as the flex track.
#4 The dolly can easily be configured into a walk-along, sit-down, or jib set-up.
You can start with a basic set-up and add on as you go, depending on your needs and budget. I think this makes it ideal and flexible for budget-conscious student programs or bigger-budget professionals.
For more info peep out the Losmandy Flex Trak and Spider Dolly pages.
I'm out 'til next time.