Revolve portable camera dolly smooths out bumpy shoots
April 3, 2012
Any film student will tell you that pulling together the right equipment for a video shoot with little to no budget is a daunting task. Most students don't have access to common professional tools and end up jury-rigging their own to film a shot just right - which is how Jeremy Canterbury first came up with the Revolve camera dolly. While working in video production at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Canterbury developed a concept for a portable dolly that could hold almost any camera or iPhone along with attachments while taking up about as much space as a shoe box. With its wide range of functions and low price, the Revolve camera dolly could be an invaluable device for filmmakers to capture smooth, dynamic video from any location.
We've seen a similar portable dolly system in the past with the Pico Flex Dolly, but the Revolve stands apart for its polish and versatility. Though it looks like a stripped-down roller skate, the device is solidly built to handle even the heaviest camera setups. The wheel axles can be adjusted to give a curved or straight line of travel, with guide markers on the bottom to make alignment much easier. The wheels themselves are made of a soft material and fitted with high-quality ball bearings to ensure the dolly glides as easily as possible.
Two holes on each axle can also be fitted with different attachments, such as friction arms to hold lights, monitors, a Glif iPhone mount, or other accessories. A ball head camera mount can be attached to the main chassis for better control, while a customized monopod fixes the height of the setup between 20 and 65 inches (50-165 cm). The Revolve-monopod combo also functions as a handheld camera stabilizer with the dolly itself acting as the counterweight
The most useful attachment by far though is the rail kit, which allows stable shots even on rough surfaces. The kit provides two blocks with clamps and four guide rods that fit onto the bottom of the dolly to keep it steady. Just add pipes of whatever size you want and you've got a set of tracks to capture a smooth shot even on unstable terrain.
The Kickstarter for the Revolve has already met its goal of US$7,500 in funding, but there's still a month left for anyone to reserve one early and get free shipping within the US. Backers can choose from a handful of different packages, but one Revolve will cost US$70 with additional accessories costing $20 to $40 each.
Speaking with Gizmag, Canterbury stressed that his goal with the Revolve is to provide an inexpensive tool for budding film-makers: "I want to make professional quality film gear affordable and accessible. Creating stunning cinematic footage should be possible for those on a budget too, and the Revolve makes that possible."
Check out the video below to watch creator, Jeremy Canterbury, demonstrate the types of shots you can get with the Resolve.
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