DIY Skate Wheel Camera Dolly Instructions

Skate Wheel Camera Platform DollyIndie filmmakers spend an enormous amount of time and energy attempting to make their low-budget films feel like big budget productions. An essential difference in how big budget films differ from low-budget indies is the way the camera moves.

In a typical Hollywood film the camera floats, flies, and follows the actors with smooth precision. Your typical low-budget movie is either an ‘all-over-the-place’ hand-held affair or the camera feels like it has been bolted to the ground.

Moving the camera smoothly is one of the best things you can do to add that elusive thing called ‘Production Value’ to your independent films. On big budget productions a camera dolly is standard gear. They use them like you and I use a tripod. But those complex pieces of engineering are expensive, heavy, and require a trained operator to use.

Fortunately, there is a very low cost camera dolly alternative for the independent filmmaker that anyone with modest skills with tools and a few dollars (or excellent scavenging abilities) can create. It is:

The Skate Wheel Dolly

Free Skate Wheel Dolly Tutorials:

Video Tutorials

Text and Photo Tutorials

Do you know of a top quality tutorial for creating your own Skate Wheel Dolly? Leave a comment below and share the link with us. We’ll continue to update this list as available tutorials change.

Andrew Seltz

Andrew was born in Michigan, raised there and in Tennessee, and has since lived outside Orlando, in Chicago, New York City, and now Birmingham, Alabama. He produces videos and websites for a living and is married to a beautiful, generous, loving woman who also happens to be a talented actress and writer - www.ellenseltz.com. They have two daughters.

5 thoughts on “DIY Skate Wheel Camera Dolly Instructions

  • December 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm
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    We built one of these and began testing it and it worked great. But during shooting we were using an anamorphic lens that vibrated with movement and so we had to scrap it for that picture. Damned anamorphic lens.

  • February 15, 2010 at 7:38 am
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    Awesome post and links, nice work! Just read Rob Rodriguez’s ‘Rebel Without A Crew’ and he used an old wheelchair borrowed from the local hospital in order to get his dolly effect

  • April 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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    I absolutely loved ‘Rebel Without a Crew’. His main thing was to focus on creative solutions to production challenges and not expensive ones.

    Wheelchairs work. They aren’t perfect, but if you have one, they work. I know people who have used nearly anything with wheels.

    On one quarter million dollar music video shoot I was on, the producer used the rental minivan as a shooting platform. They opened the side door and belted the camera guy into one of the back seats – delivered perfect results for what they needed.

    Focus on results and what you have and creative options will appear.

    Andrew

  • January 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm
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    Josh,

    I added the link to your blog page to the tutorial list in the article. I really liked the video you put together too.

    Andrew

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