Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Man and his Dolly

Usually, a Dolly Grip relies on his big dolly. It's the one he always goes to as his main platform. Not so much on this one. Because of space considerations, I've been using the Peewee more. The arm on it is sweet. This disappoints me. I always try to get the biggest dolly into the space if I can. It's more stable, I can get the operator more easily situated to operate, and usually, the arm is better because this is the one I pay attention to. Not so on this one. While the arm on the Hustler is ok, I'm still suspicious of it. I'm a little superstitious, but I just don't trust it. The relationship between a Dolly Grip and his machine is almost like that between a cowboy and his horse. You depend on it. It'll carry you through. The fact is that I don"t like this dolly. I don't trust it. If you find a dolly you like, when you go to do a move...especially a compound move, you don't even think about it. That's what makes it a good dolly.
I think about this one before every move.
That's why I don't trust it.
The tech assured me it was a good dolly, had just been moved from LA to Orlando and had had a good history. I think....bullshit.
I don't know much, but I know a good dolly when I turn the boom handle, and this one has no finesse. It'll work, I can do the shot on it and no one else will know. But I do.
Or maybe my medication has worn off.


Azurgrip said...

I'm a tall guy - 6' 2". The standard steering and boom controls are made for those shorter than me. This hurts my back to be hunched over all day. A few years ago I discovered that Chapman makes "tall" steering controls and luckily my local rental house had a "set" (one for Pee Wee and one for the Hybrid), however, they didn't have taller boom controls. This makes for a high / low situation, which is almost as annoying. I've just received my own "tall" boom control which I had made (anodized in a sexy black). What a world of difference!

One thing to watch for, with the taller controls, you now have more leverage with which to push, but if you're not careful you'll find the steering loosening off (and getting that annoying play when applying pressure) on a regular basis. Sometimes it's a quick fix by just retightening the screws around the back plate, other times it means a whole tightening of the steering linkage... I guess it's a give and take situation: where I gain in comfort I loose in the life of the steering...

D said...

Thanks, Azurgrip. I actually wasn't aware that Chapman had tall steering columns. I knew the Peewee 4 and Hustler were lengthened but didn't know thay had them for older dollies. I'm 6' and Peewees drive me nuts bending over all day like that.Very cool that you have a custom boom handle. I've got to get me one of those. Hope your show is going well. I'm out.