Project image
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$50,287
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
39
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 8 2015 5:59 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated May 9, 2015

CamDolly. The ultimate 5-in-1 camera dolly. Epic film looks!

Ultra-configurable, portable, and upgradeable camera dolly. An entire studio's worth of options for beautiful film & video dolly shots.

CamDolly. The ultimate 5-in-1 camera dolly. Epic film looks!

Ultra-configurable, portable, and upgradeable camera dolly. An entire studio's worth of options for beautiful film & video dolly shots.

$50,287
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
39
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, May 8 2015 5:59 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated May 9, 2015

About

What Is The CamDolly Cinema System?

The CamDolly Cinema System is 5-in-1 dolly system for film and videomakers. You can convert CamDolly between five different dolly modes: ride-on track dolly, ride-on doorway dolly, heavy-duty slider, tabletop dolly, and a 360° orbit dolly. This flexibility comes from the dolly being entirely modular, making it easy to transport and store, and even offer upgrades to the system down the road.

We've had a few prototypes in the hands of both independent filmmakers and studio professionals, and they all agree that it's time to share CamDolly with filmmakers everywhere.

With your help, we are ready to do just that.

Bohuš & CamDolly on location
Bohuš & CamDolly on location

The Birth Of CamDolly

My name is Bohuš. I'm a filmmaker from Chicago. I'm also a creative consultant and taught film and video production for ten years. I started out shooting on film, but things really got exciting when the digital filmmaking revolution really started to happen. Cameras are smaller and more capable than ever, and there's a new breed of smartly designed camera motion tools (like sliders and cranes) that have brought those high-end looks to filmmakers everywhere.

Yet I missed having a smart new camera dolly to shoot movie with. The dollies I saw were either too lightweight to be very stable (and didn't work with larger cameras), or they were big pro models that just weren't practical for most of us. You need a big vehicle, four people to simply move the thing, and setting up the shot took a lot of time. I couldn't afford one of these beasts, and even if I could, storing and transporting it would be a real challenge...

Two years ago I met Mat Jaz - a filmmaker and designer from Slovenia. He agreed that a new dolly concept had the potential to give more filmmakers this powerful visual tool. A new dolly would need to be as capable as any other ride-on dolly, be more flexible, easier to transport and use, easy to store, and should be sturdy enough to handle any camera I might have now or in the future.

Mat with CamDolly in Ride-On Track Dolly mode
Mat with CamDolly in Ride-On Track Dolly mode

We're proud to present the CamDolly Cinema System:  a camera dolly system that's uniquely flexible, portable, and modular. It builds into any of five different dolly "modes" in just a few minutes, and because it disassembles into pieces, it's way easier to transport and store. Plus we can also create upgrades for the core system in the future. We want CamDolly to be the dolly that is still serving you after you've changed cameras a dozen times.

The five dolly modes are:

  • Ride-on Track Dolly
  • Ride-on Doorway Dolly
  • Heavy-Duty Slider
  • Tabletop Dolly
  • 360° Orbit Dolly

You can see why we call it a "Cinema System”. With the modular CamDolly, you’ve got the right dolly for whatever the shot calls for. You can change between modes in just a few minutes. The modular design also makes CamDolly more portable than a typical dolly. A single person can carry CamDolly to your location in 3 luggage sized cases, the heaviest of which is 50 pounds. Even with the Rubber Rail, a whole CamDolly setup can fit in a compact car.

To make sure the idea was solid, Mat spent a year hand-building prototypes. These went to independent film producers as well as friends at major studios like Disney, Pixar, Warner Brothers. The crew who make Hawaii Five-O use CamDolly too. They all agreed that CamDolly would do a lot of good for a lot of people. We took their feedback and created the final version of CamDolly, and now we're asking for your help so that we can begin mass producing CamDolly.

CamDolly keeping the peace on the set of Hawaii Five-O.
CamDolly keeping the peace on the set of Hawaii Five-O.

Bringing It To You

We need to raise $100,000 to cover our production costs, and to make our first order of the parts and raw materials we need to make CamDolly a reality. We've partnered with a manufacturer experienced in high precision metal work for film and video gear. We don't want you to have to wait a long time after the campaign ends before you can start shooting with CamDolly, so we've already gone through the entire production process. We wanted to avoid all of those post-campaign pitfalls that accompany many Kickstarter projects by getting all the bugs out of the system first. 

Shooting the slider segment of our Kickstarter video
Shooting the slider segment of our Kickstarter video

I've worked with this manufacturer a number of times before, and they've always been aces at getting around production hiccups and solving problems. We also realize that this is a big investment for a lot of people, and we want to reduce your waiting time to an absolute minimum. To that end, if we make our funding goal, we expect to start shipping CamDolly Cinema Systems by June 15th of this year. If we miss that shipping goal for some reason, we'll notify you and give you the opportunity to request a full refund if you choose not to wait for a revised shipping date.

Shipping outside the USA

We are happy to ship your CamDolly anywhere in the world. Simply pledge, and send us a note telling us where you are. When the campaign is finished, we'll get in touch with any additional shipping charges - and we won't add on any "handling" fees. Whatever the shipping costs are, that's what we'll ask you for.

Come Meet CamDolly!

If you’d like to see CamDolly in person, we’ll be showing it at NAB in Las Vegas from April 13-17. Come join us in booth C9939. We are also planning a premiere event in Chicago for those of you who are in the Chicago area. We’ll keep you updated right here [see update for details of our demo event Friday May 1st].

We hope that you’ll support CamDolly, and our mission to bring more powerful tools to filmmakers everywhere. Mat and I have been working together for the last two years to make CamDolly what filmmakers everywhere have been waiting for. We see it as a great fit for independent filmmakers, production studios, TV shows, rental houses, schools… anyone who is looking to add a new level of professionalism to their films and videos. All without breaking your budget - or your back!

Why We Need Your Help

We want to make this new concept in cinema dollies available to film and videomakers at an affordable price. To make this happen, we need to to start building our fully functional manufacturing prototype using mass-production methods. We have already taken this process as far as we can to reduce your wait time. Now with your help, we're ready to pull the switch to start manufacturing CamDolly Cinema Systems.

We know that the flexibility and utility of CamDolly will unleash your creative power, and remind you of the fun of making movies again. We know that once CamDolly is in the hands of filmmakers, you'll create amazing work, and we're eager to use that inspiration and momentum to keep CamDolly growing in the future.

The Chicago CamDolly Crew - at your service!
The Chicago CamDolly Crew - at your service!

Get To Know CamDolly

You can learn about CamDolly by watching the video accompanying this Kickstarter page, and you can explore camdolly.com, but here are some highlights:

You can build CamDolly into any one of five different dolly modes in just a few minutes, and the whole system packs down into three luggage sized cases - the heaviest of which is 50 pounds. Yes, you can now bring a comprehensive dolly system with rail to a shoot in a hatchback.

CamDolly is no lightweight! Once built, the CamDolly can support more than 500 pounds. More than enough capacity for a ride-on operator, your tripod, and any camera - DSLR or large cinema camera, whether you're shooting digital or film.

The system includes a 50 ft. length of Rubber Rail and a carrying bag (Kickstarter backers get a BONUS second Rubber Rail). CamDolly rides on two side-by-side rails, so simply double up the included Rubber Rail and you have a dual track that will give you a shot that's more than 20 feet long (as a Kickstarter backer, you get a second bonus Rubber Rail meaning that you can create shots that run nearly 50 feet long!). The CamDolly can ride on metal track, but we designed it with our Rubber Rail in mind as a super-portable way to get complicated curves that would be impossible with metal track.

The system does not include a camera, tripod or tripod head. Since there are so many different kinds of tripod feet, we've created universal "leg cups". Place the feet of your tripod into the cups, then lash them in with the included zip ties. We also recommend securing the tripod with some bungees or a cargo strap.

Instead of shooting with a tripod, you can also use a bazooka. We provide a bazooka mount with every CamDolly Cinema System kit. 

When you're shooting in tabletop or slider mode, you can directly attach your bowl tripod head to the main core piece of the CamDolly. The kit includes bowl adapters for 75mm, 100mm, and 150mm bowl mounts.

Building each of the different modes takes only a few minutes, and you can even fold down the dolly to make it easy to carry the partially built dolly to and from your location with the built-in handle. This was especially great this last winter in Chicago. We could build the dolly indoors, remove four screws and fold down the CamDolly, then walk out to our location, unfold CamDolly and re-install the four screws. Ready to go in under 60 seconds.

So Many Modes

Here are some details about the five main CamDolly modes:

Ride-On Track Dolly - You can position your tripod and the CamDolly's included seat in any of several configurations, depending on the action that you're covering. The included push/pull T-bar gives your dolly grip control over the speed of your dolly move. The track wheels can ride on metal track, or the included Rubber Rail. The CamDolly's Compensator Legs make it easy to negotiate the curves of the Rubber Rail, as well as smooth out the motion when your Rubber Rails aren't perfectly parallel.

Ride-On Track Dolly mode
Ride-On Track Dolly mode

Ride-On Doorway Dolly - Your tripod and the included CamDolly seat mount in any of several ways, depending on your direction of travel. You can mount a set of four skate wheels (for shooting on smooth floors), or a set of four pneumatic tires for rougher terrain or carpet. The CamDolly's Compensator Legs make it easy for the dolly grip to use the push/pull T-bar to steer the dolly.

Ride-On Doorway Dolly mode
Ride-On Doorway Dolly mode

Heavy Duty Slider - There are tons of great sliders out there. The problem is that most of them are for short runs, and only work with smaller sized cameras. With CamDolly, your slider run can be 8 feet, 12 feet, or even longer. Instead of high-cost specialized rigid rails, simply pick up some 30-35mm pipe at a home improvement store (no slider rails are included with the CamDolly kit). The CamDolly Cinema System includes a pair of adjustable rail ends. You can either operate the Slider at ground level, or raise the slider up on C-stands or light stands (not included). The CamDolly kit includes a pair of rail supports that you can use with your own stands (not included) to eliminate sagging.

Heavy-Duty Slider mode
Heavy-Duty Slider mode

Tabletop Dolly - Using only the Core of the CamDolly, you can use this compact mode to do dolly shots on a tabletop, or very low angle shots on the floor. You can mount your tripod head directly onto the Core using one of the included bowl mount adapters. Attach the push-pull bar to create dramatic floor level dolly shots. You can also attach the push/pull bar directly to one of the wheels in order to steer the dolly.

Tabletop Dolly mode
Tabletop Dolly mode

360° Orbit Dolly - attach three or four wheels (either the included skate wheels or the included pneumatic tires) to the CamDolly Core, or use extender legs with your full-sized tripod. You can lock the wheels to specific degrees to get a smooth, graceful, repeatable arc.

360° Orbit Dolly mode (tripod, camera, and big honkin' lens not included)
360° Orbit Dolly mode (tripod, camera, and big honkin' lens not included)

How You Can Help

We've created this Kickstarter campaign to make it easy to get a CamDolly of your very own to use on your next project. We've also created some fun rewards for those of you who feel that the film world is a better place with CamDolly in it. Mat and I are committed to better filmmaking through better and smarter filmmaking tools. We hope that you are too, and we're grateful for your support at any level. Tell your friends!

Don't forget to leave me a comment on what you'd like to learn next about CamDolly. You can also feel free to email me at bohus@camdolly.com.

Thank you for supporting CamDolly.

With your help, CamDolly will be ready to roll.
With your help, CamDolly will be ready to roll.

Risks and challenges

Because we've already worked through the details of production, the only potential risk for this project is in the possibility of supply chain disruption. Because any manufacturing process depends on the availability of source materials, this is always a risk. Since we are working with a reliable manufacturing partner that I've worked with before, I believe this risk has been minimized. When we have had such issues in the past, we have been able to quickly overcome them with a timely and effective outcome. We currently foresee no disruptions in materials availability.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    VINYL STICKER + MP3 - For supporting us at the $10 level, we’ll send you a nice vinyl CamDolly "Megaphone Man" sticker & an MP3 of the CamDolly song by Ed Haynes.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    T-SHIRT + STICKER + MP3 - We'll send you a CamDolly Film Crew T-shirt, a nice vinyl CamDolly "Megaphone Man" sticker & an MP3 of the CamDolly song by Ed Haynes.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    RUBBER RAIL - We’ll send you a 50 foot section of our Rubber Rail and a carry bag, shipped free within the continental US. [Value: $650]

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    Limited 0 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,850 or more About $3,850

    CAMDOLLY + 2x 50-FT RUBBER RAILS - Get a complete CamDolly Cinema System plus our 50 ft. Rubber Rail, shipped free within the continental US. Plus a BONUS second 50 ft. Rubber Rail for even longer runs. [Value: $4,500]

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    Limited 4 backers
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $3,350 or more About $3,350

    EARLY BIRD: CAMDOLLY + 2x 50-FT RUBBER RAILS - The first 10 “early bird” backers will get a complete CamDolly Cinema System plus our 50 ft. Rubber Rail, shipped free within the continental US. Plus a BONUS second 50 ft. Rubber Rail for even longer runs. [Value: $4,500]

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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Funding period

- (28 days)