CineSkates turn GorillaPod into camera dolly


August 25, 2011

CineSkates are soft urethane wheels for the GorillaPod Focus tripod, that allow users to do smooth tracking shots

CineSkates are soft urethane wheels for the GorillaPod Focus tripod, that allow users to do smooth tracking shots

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If you're a videographer, and want to elevate your work from just looking competent to looking slick, one of the best things you can do is put your camera on a dolly. No, I'm not talking about a Ken or Barbie, but a wheeled camera mount that allows you to do smooth, fluid tracking shots. While the Spielbergs of the world use actual purpose-built camera dollies, lower-budget film-makers often make do with wheelchairs, skateboards, or wheeled spreaders that mount on the bottom of industrial-sized tripods. Given the popularity of JOBY's compact and flexible GorillaPod tripods, however, it perhaps shouldn't be surprising that someone has developed a wheel system for them - it's called CineSkates.

The system was invented by Justin Jensen, a mechanical engineer, photographer and film-maker from Austin, Texas. The complete kit consists of a GorillaPod Focus tripod, a BallHead X tripod head (also made and supplied by JOBY), and the three soft urethane CineSkates wheels. Those wheels easily pop on and off of the tripod's feet, so they can be removed when not needed.

For people who already own a Focus tripod and/or a ballhead, the wheels can also be purchased on their own. Once Jensen and his partners design some different wheel-to-feet connectors, the wheels should also be compatible with other makes and models of tripods.

CineSkates will be heading into production soon, and the complete kit can be preordered online from Jensen's company, Cinetics. The complete kit will cost you US$275, while the wheels alone go for $150. The estimated retail price for the complete kit is approximately $350.

The video below shows what can be done with the product.

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Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
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