The poor man’s dolly

A dolly is a piece of equipment that allows you mount a camera on a set of tracks and push it along, creating super-smooth movement. Naturally, Midnight Pictures doesn’t have one, so we improvise. On the evening that we were filming the closing shot of Don’t Look in the Attic, Andrew brought a big blue trolley to the set. We tried putting the camera and tripod on it and pushing it along, but it was a disaster. The camera was sitting too high for the shot; the trolley’s wheels kept mis-steering; the resulting picture was none too steady.

But sometimes, if you just open your eyes and look for a simple solution, you find one. Smooth floor, not exactly slippy enough for movement, but with the camera set atop an upside-down bathroom mat – bingo! Of course, you’ll hear the mat dragging, so you have to forget about recording the sound, but that can sorted out later during editing. Check out the close of the movie to see this camera shot in motion. I think it worked pretty well.

3 thoughts on “The poor man’s dolly

  1. PRAEst76

    I read the Bruce Campbell memoirs “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-movie Actor” a few months back. He had a lot of interesting anecdotes and tips like that from the time they made Evil Dead.

    It’s a good book if you haven’t read it.

    …and probably still a good book if you have.

  2. Darryl Sloan

    Thanks for the recommendation. I remember the cover of that book from some time ago. Would definitely like to read it sometime.

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