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£1,727
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10
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 14 2013 1:57 AM UTC +00:00
Tony HolkerBy Tony Holker
First created
Tony HolkerBy Tony Holker
First created
£1,727
pledged of £22,000pledged of £22,000 goal
10
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, December 14 2013 1:57 AM UTC +00:00

About

I quite literally fell upon this idea of having an electric vehicle, along with a Steadicam or stabilising system for use in filming.  One that would allow sound recording during filming, but is also much smoother than current options, such as quad bikes & much faster than rickshaws.

I spent many hours having special parts built to fix to an electric scooter, to see if the concept worked & did actually did an amazing job on the initial prototype. 

This is a classic Kickstarter project & one i would like to think was in the true spirit of Kickstarter, as i want to get this project out there & working globally, but do not really have anything to offer in return, apart from the use of the new dolly in the filming industry or a few goodies as my way of a thank you.

Passion is great in business, but belief is even better.  Add to that, our dolly being hired on many feature films & high end TV dramas, makes this a very exciting prospect for me & one i hope you can be a part of in its development & push to market.

#2 took months of planning & building, but was eventually shelved, as we could not get the electronics to work.  I was not working because of my leg, so this was very difficult & slow to fund each part.

#3 also took months of building, but on the day of its completion, I discovered that the chain mechanism made it far too noisy to be used at all for filming & went against what my very concept was actually all about, so it was dismantled within the same afternoon, parts of the chassis used for the next build, as well as the aluminium checker plate. 

#4 was basically the same chassis as #3, but with new steering column & new motor & axel from another scooter.  There were two days of work to sort the electrics, to cut & extend from one end to the other.

We then went back to the scooter that did not work & were able to get this working, which would be used as another prototype very soon.

We got to the stage with number #6 where we could hire an actual Steadicam operator to test the vehicle & see if we could successfully record sound during filming without the motor noise being a problem?  It worked incredibly well, but we still had much to do.

We tested them in the most extreme conditions as part of the trials.

Prototype #6
Prototype #6
Testing in extreme conditions to test battery power
Testing in extreme conditions to test battery power

Different parts were changed each time & then tested.  

We built another vehicle, which was slimmer & could fit through doorways & the motor was more robust.  We also added a removable front step for the steadicam operator, so filming could take place both front & rear, as well as inside & outside:

Ready for testing #7
Ready for testing #7
Tested at Media City
Tested at Media City
in workshop, sorting front step positioning & strength
in workshop, sorting front step positioning & strength

We tried other new ways of creating different types of shots, by building a circular track system to sit on the rear of the vehicle, along with my own design dolly, but this became way too complex.  It is still something i would consider in the future & got great response from it, but the immediate market is as a moving dolly with Steadicam:

Although it was clear the vehicles did not travel fast enough, (one at 8mph & one at 5mph), we were in a position to start seeing if we could hire them out.  We got asked by Tiger Aspect for a Sky production, (Mount Pleasant), if our dollies would travel on ice?  We tested it & they worked perfectly without sliding.  A trailer was built for Production to stand actors on & for filming to be executed from the Flyka dolly.

Everyone was amazed at how well the shots looked & nobody was able to find another product that could have fulfilled this type of shot.  The Steadicam Operator was from one of the Harry Potter movies.

Dan Inman, (Grip).  Alf Tramontin (Steadicam) on ice
Dan Inman, (Grip). Alf Tramontin (Steadicam) on ice
on ice rink
on ice rink
without rigging
without rigging

Then we worked for expenses on several productions with great feedback & have now built up our experience to model number #8, which is hired out at £500 per day on feature films, dramas, commercials, music videos etc & is considered a very versatile & useful tool for film-makers.

Sourced the strongest motors
Sourced the strongest motors

Everything we have done to this point has been the right move.  We have been unable to fully launch, simply because, we know we need to go faster, (the current model travels 11mph).  We do have other alterations to make, but these are very simple ones that do not make any difference to the practicality of the new model.

mid build - designing each section as we go
mid build - designing each section as we go

The fundamental design & all the modifications we have made along the way are almost perfect & we now need help to build this final model.

Adding side-steps for safety of other crew
Adding side-steps for safety of other crew

A motor controller was source to plug into the electronics to increase speed, as well as different wheels for a smoother & faster ride.

I can promise you that the filming industry that uses our dolly is overwhelmed by how well it works for them & what creative doors it opens, knowing it is there, especially that it can fit through doors & up pavements, as well as allowing sound to be recorded.  The fact that it is designed around the Steadicam operator also sets it apart from other filming vehicles.

I very much doubt that any other piece of kit could have filmed the promo video we made; not just with the gaps we fit through, the step on/off facility for the cameraman & the fact we could record sound whilst filming, then step back on & carry on filming...that is a big shot.

We want to build the next, full-speed model, which will travel at over 20mph & we can then launch this to the whole filming industry though our very influential contacts.

We need your help to do this.  We want to build a fleet of these as quickly as possible & then roll out globally very quickly.

When we arrive on a film set, we assess what shot they wish to create & we advise & construct the vehicle accordingly.  No rig is ever the same. The Production decides what they want the shot to look like & where the camera needs to be at any point on the vehicle & we accommodate this by building around that specification.  This versatility, our knowledge & expertise is what makes this concept unique.

We get new business from recommendations these days, but we still need more speed to properly launch.

Bespoke built items are expensive & this one is £13k, we then need another £7k for marketing to the UK industry & £2k for fundamentals, but the instant sales will speak for themselves.

Feel free to search 'Electric Filming Vehicles' 'Electric Dollies' or similar & you will find very few.

This is one of those very simple ideas that i seemed to have stumbled upon, but with me, i happened to break my leg at the time, which could possible be the best thing that ever happened to me.

On set of Feature film Trailer
On set of Feature film Trailer

We are a service industry, so my main asset is to offer the use of the new or existing dolly, so you can be a part of this new filming toy & i promise you will not be disappointed.

If you are not in the filming industry, then hopefully you can take this opportunity to help me see this through & you can be proud that you helped a project make it to being standard filming kit, known as The Flyka, that was born from an unfortunate accident & in return i will give you my heart felt thanks & some 'industry only' merchandise as a token of my appreciation.

Current Model
Current Model
Promo Item available for £120 or more
Promo Item available for £120 or more

The website only demonstrates a small amount of the productions we have actually been used on, mainly because it is nearly impossible to get hold of the actual footage taken on films that have not been released or permission for use with very large productions or channels, so please be aware that the website only shows small elements of the scale of work we have been used in.

Shoot with Eddie Izzard - Post Olympics
Shoot with Eddie Izzard - Post Olympics
Feature film, but dolly only half built
Feature film, but dolly only half built
works perfect in mud- again, only half built
works perfect in mud- again, only half built
Hand-held camera work
Hand-held camera work

 Many examples of the work we have been involved with can be seen on our website.  On the Homepage & in Production Examples:

www.flyka.tv

We have used six different engineering firms for various stages of development.  All have offered different skills that were required at the time.

We now have several at our disposal & all know the concept very well.

I do not want to give too much away, but the plan is to utilise a particular manufacturer that already builds bespoke vehicles using these motors & many others.  They are a medium sized firm, but have a high output rating when required.  We have all the designs ready to go, but we will also work together & assess each section, day by day.  I will be present for every decision, as my product knowledge is paramount to what the film industry needs & wants, is critical to this success.

Early CAD design of rear clamp points for camera rigging
Early CAD design of rear clamp points for camera rigging
New suspension system added for addition weight of Cameraman
New suspension system added for addition weight of Cameraman

New motors have been sourced & i am not at liberty to discuss their attributes, but we can make these new vehicles travel at around 40mph if we wish to, but we plan to limit them to around 23mph.

A meeting will be set up soon to discuss the license on the road.  We currently have permission on roads in closed sets or with special permissions.  We can also extend this to on-road use if we wish, but at a higher premium.  This is not an area i am worried about, as i have already researched this thoroughly.

2012 Flier
2012 Flier
Flier 2012 Front
Flier 2012 Front

 The Plan so far as stages for manufacture:

Once the funds are raised, i will be spending most of my time at the manufacturers, tweaking various design specifications with them.  Although the fundamental vehicle specifications are all in place, i will be there to make sure that every small element will be to my exact requirements, based on all the research, development & feedback that we have been working towards over the past few years.

...certain measurements & unique features need to be designed, discussed & approved by myself.  This is the best way to ensure the next model has everything in place that will not require major changes at a later date.

On completion on this model, we will create a new promotional film, using high end film production crew to show the full capabilities of this new & higher speed model.  We can make our new version to travel at 40mph, but we will be best placed to market this at around 23mph, which is still very fast for filming purposes.  One of out key elements will be the ability to record sound during filming, which will be a huge leap for the filming industry.

We know we can get immediate bookings with this model.  We will hire out at our full day rate on this one at £600 per day + expenses.

We then plan to launch at the most prestigious event for the UK film based at Elstree, Pinewood Studios, London.

There will obviously be a certain amount of lessons to be learned from a faster model, but are very confident that this model will be extremely accurate, due to the nature of our thorough testing to date, that has been in real, feature film & television environments.

Another one or two vehicles will be built in the same design, but with a possible few minor changes if required.

We then want to increase the UK market to approximately six Flyka dollies & employ freelance staff to undergo extensive training to fully understand the workings, rigging & safety of the dolly.

If the UK market requires more vehicles or we see an opportunity to lease them to film equipment hire companies, then we will facilitate this need, with the appropriate training, which will also be a revenue stream.

At this point, we look to push the concept into Europe, Nigeria, India & the USA as a lease agreement, where Flyka always controls the hire of the dollies, by agreeing lease terms & upgrading models every six months to each country & increasing capacity on an organic basis.

Our foothold should be based on us being the trade name for the Electric Dolly, but not imperative.

An exit strategy will be considered at three to five years, but hopefully with myself as an integral part of business to ensure the training, development & quality of the company is maintained.  I would be there to ensure the operational side of the concept runs smoothly & my product knowledge allows the business to stay focussed & not be overtaken by other products trying to copy our unique idea!

This is a very exciting prospect & one i look forward to & one i also hope the Kickstarter crowd can be also as proud to be a part of.

NB.  I should point out that the word 'Steadicam' is a registered trade name from the inventor of the concept, Garrett Brown & the company that owns Steadicam, which is Tiffen.  The generic term for all these systems is 'stabiliser', so our vehicles are mainly designed for all stabilisers & held-held camera use.  

Steadicam/Tiffen are the main & industry giant in this area & the use of the word Steadicam is often used to describe 'all' stabilisers, as that is the recognised trade name for as industry standard.

Risks and challenges

Our Tracking Dollies have been extensively tested in actual filming environments, so almost all of the lessons we could have learned have already been seen by us along the way.
The new model may flag up a few obstacles, but they will be easily resolved.
Our main issue is getting this to market as quickly as possible.
People in the filming industry already refer to 'Electric Dollies' as 'Flyka', so we just need to build on that by fully marketing the full speed version & then making sure we are one step ahead in UK & global growth.

Once the market is truly established, we plan to build around five within the first twelve months. This will either be through a bank loan, or we will look at selling equity shares in order to make this grow.

Once this name is established, we will also offer training days for Steadicam Operators & Grips, so they can learn how to use the dolly. This will also be a revenue stream & they can become accredited if they pass our course & be added to the website as Flyka Approved users.

Then we need to go global. The plan would be to hit the Indian, Nigerian & American markets first.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $32

    You will receive a thank you on a special page on the Flyka website to all the people that helped us really get this concept to market.

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    Pledge £60 or more About $77

    You will receive a thank you on a special page on the Flyka website to all the people that helped us really get this concept to market.

    Flyka branded Fruit of The Loom T-shirt in black.
    Available in:
    Male: S - M - L or
    Female: S - M - L

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £120 or more About $155

    You will receive a thank you on a special page on the Flyka website to all the people that helped us really get this concept to market.

    Flyka branded cap, with LED lights in the peak, with on/off switch.

    (These will usually be exclusively given to Steadicam Operators, Camera Assistants & DoP's).

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £395 or more About US$ 509

    For Owners of Tiffen or MK-V rigs, (Steadicam Operators):

    A chance to trial a Flyka dolly in Manchester at The Sharp Project.

    Experience Hard-mounting using our Klassen Mount, as well as various options with step on/off options.

    We will demonstrate the smoothness of our Tracking Dolly compared to other vehicles.

    We will rig with various options for you to try & compare to test the versatility of The Flyka.

    You will then be added to a page on our website, which states that you have worked on A Flyka Dolly.

    You will also receive one of our branded LED caps.

    Lunch will be served in our Campus.

    Travel will be paid for return journey up to £100 inside UK mainland.

    You will need proof of your job title & qualification for safety purposes.

    (Split in to groups of 10)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £395 or more About $509

    This offer is open to Affiliated Grip Members Only.
    We will show you how we rig & Grip for various tracking shots, for both Steadicam & Hand-held work.
    Tasks will be set & hands on trials of 'how to' & 'how not to' rig for different filming situations from a Flyka Tracking Dolly.

    You will rig & drive with a Steadicam Operator.

    Lunch will be served at our premises in Manchester & travel will be paid up to £100 return journey)

    You will need proof of your job title & qualification for safety purposes.

    (Split in to groups of 10)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £475 or more About $612

    We will offer you a full days Flyka Tracking Dolly hire & myself or other Flyka Crew member to rig & Grip vehicle, anywhere in the UK mainland, for one full day. Usual cost would be £700 + Travel time + travel expenses + vat, so this is a big saving, especially if you use Steadicam, Rickshaw, Segway or Quad Bikes.

    (If a hotel is required, then Production is responsible for this cost)

    Bookings are on a first come, first serve basis, but we will endeavour to meet all filming days.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,200 or more About $1,547

    We will offer three full days hire, anywhere in UK mainland.
    Cost includes travel + myself or other Flyka member to rig & Grip the dolly.
    one single day, plus two consecutive days.
    (if hotels are required, then Production are asked to pay this fee)

    This cost would normally be over £2000 + vat, so is a great way to pre-pay for a Production, especially if you use Steadicam, Rickshaw, Segway or Quad Bikes.

    Bookings are on a first come, first serve basis, but we will endeavour to meet all filming days.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £3,000 or more About $3,867

    This is a limited offer to have one of the new, full-speed, Flyka Dollies named after you or a loved one.
    A brass plaque will be fitted to each of the first four vehicles.
    The first to pledge £3,000 will have the first named & so on.

    In addition to this, you will also receive all of the merchandise.

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    Pledge £5,000 or more About $6,445

    You will receive a total of ten days Flyka Dolly hire, with myself or other experience Grip/Driver on each day.
    This will consist of, 3 x consecutive days + 3 x consecutive days + 2 x consecutive days + 2 x consecutive days, (usually day rate would be £700 per day + all travel expenses + £150 travel day if applicable) + vat.
    (N.B. Hotels are to paid for by Production, if applicable)

    - we can be flexible on days to suit your Production where possible -

    Bookings are on a first come, first serve basis, but we will endeavour to meet all filming days.

    You will also receive our branded promotional material & a mention on our website.

    UK mainland only

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Funding period

- (30 days)