Friday, 6 November 2015


A suitable creative arts title to the blog this week.

For well over a year now I have been enjoying teaching young people, from the age of six to eighteen, how to make movies. The true title of my class is "Film & TV", but I have to admit we primarily concentrate on film.

It has been a fairly progressive process for the students, as it should, but they were getting quite relaxed about the whole thing. Well, that has all recently changed, as I've challenged all six classes to make a short film that I will enter into a film festival next April.

This is in part to see just how much they have learned. Some have already shown great promise. When I look back to a year ago and those students that are still with us, they have regularly amazed me by just how much they have taken in. To think 15 months ago none of them knew one end of a camera from another, and now they organise Foley and ADR sessions, and run a crew during a film shoot. It is very satisfying.

To give them the best chance with their film entry, I wanted to give them tools to improve the production values. One way would be for them to have tracking shots, which would mean track (similar to a miniature railway) and a dolly (a carriage that sits on the track that the camera attaches to). However, the "real McCoy" comes in at thousands of pounds and generally takes hours to set up.

What I needed was equipment that is low cost and quick to set up.

So I decided to build it myself.

After numerous drawings and trips to B&Q to purchase various plumbing pipe materials, and eight skateboard wheels, here's what I came up with:

At a little over £100 in materials, and about 10 hours to construct, I feel I have a very usable working dolly and track. And the added bonus is it takes about five minutes to set up. and makes use of the existing tripod.


I surprise myself sometimes!


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