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An intuitive, affordable, heavy duty camera platform for creating arced or linear camera moves when shooting time lapse and video.
I'm proud to have successfully funded my first Kickstarter campaign and join the rare 16% of creators who shipped on time! Thanks Kickstarter!
I'm proud to have successfully funded my first Kickstarter campaign and join the rare 16% of creators who shipped on time! Thanks Kickstarter!
131 backers pledged $69,325 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Lil-Mule: Professional Time Lapse and Video Camera Dolly project video thumbnail
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Lil-Mule: Professional Time Lapse and Video Camera Dolly

$69,325

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           PLANET 5D                    FSTOPPERS                  PHOTO BLOG

Most time lapse dolly systems are based on the "slider" concept which is a rail with a moving platform attached that slides the camera back and forth on the rail. The main limitations of sliders are having a finite length (usually 3-4 feet) and only making linear camera movements. 

The Lil-Mule addresses both of these challenges by giving you a self contained motorized cart that makes straight or curved moves and can motor as far as the surface you set the shot up on will allow. Take a walk through a city center or park and you can rattle off many different shots in a small amount of time by rolling on sidewalks, tables, ledges, benches, anything that is relatively flat.

Here's a shot of Lil-Mule rolling on side walk at a park near my shop...
Here's a shot of Lil-Mule rolling on side walk at a park near my shop...

As an amateur time lapse enthusiast myself I find that it's challenging enough to set up your camera, compose the shot, set the intervalometer, etc. when doing time lapse. I wanted the motion control piece to be as simple as possible. The controller for the Lil-Mule is a single knob which allows you to variably control the speed you are moving in the forward and backward direction. No math equations, no menu settings, just set up your shot and twist a knob to start moving... Even the professional time lapse guys that I put Lil-Mule in the hands of for testing said the first thing they did on a shoot was drop the dolly and set it in motion and then went about setting up their other rigs...

Motion control systems are expensive! You'll be hard pressed to find one that is under $1000 and they can range to up near $20K. If you decide to make a pledge and help the little Lil-Mule project reach it's funding goal, you'll be able to add a quality american made motion control system to your creative arsenal for just over $500! 

What are the rewards for Lil-Mule?

Will Lil-Mule work with my camera gear?

Very Special thanks to Thom and Vin from The Seventh Movement for all of their help in bringing Lil-Mule into being! I couldn't have done it without your help!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my Kickstarter project! If you have any questions after watching the video and reading the information above, please feel free to send me a message or post a question.

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Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

The design of the Lil-Mule camera dolly is based on CNC manufactured parts for almost all of its components. What you see in the above video is pretty much what will ship to backers should we meet our funding goal. Aside from having my own CNC capable of doing light production work, I have been working in the San Francisco Bay area as a designer since 2001 and have several outlets that can help with production should the demand far exceed my expectations.

The money I hope to raise will be used to meet the manufacturing minimum requirements on the computer controller board and motors for Lil-Mule. By buying in bulk, economies of scale allow for the overall price to be as affordable as possible. Raw materials have already been sourced locally. The other hardware and even the elastomer wheels have also been sourced here in California.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A digital "High Five" and thanks for helping launch Lil-Mule. Your name will be listed on the company website as a key contributor to making this project a reality.

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    11 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Get a "Kick Ass" Lil-Mule t-shirt and your name will be listed on the company website as a key contributor to making this project a reality. Free Shipping to the US. ( Add $10 for International)

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    7 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $215 or more About $215

    Time lapse isn't your thing, but video is? Receive a manual version of this amazing heavy duty camera dolly at an unbelievably low price. (Retail price $289 + shipping) Free shipping in the US! International shipping add $65 (USPS Express International 3-5 days)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $240 or more About $240

    Jump to the front of the line and be first to receive your Lil-Mule! Receive a manual version of this amazing heavy duty camera dolly at an unbelievably low price. (Retail price $289 + shipping) Free shipping in the US! International shipping add $65 (USPS Express International 3-5 days)

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    Limited 0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $525 or more About $525

    Receive a motorized version of this amazing heavy duty camera dolly at an unbelievably low price (6RPM motor and controller included). (Retail price $689 + shipping) Free shipping in the US! International shipping add $65 (USPS Express International 3-5 days)

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    28 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $575 or more About $575

    Jump to the front of the line and be first to receive your Lil-Mule! Receive a motorized version of this amazing heavy duty camera dolly at an unbelievably low price (6RPM motor and controller included). (Retail price $689 + shipping) Free shipping in the US! International shipping add $65 (USPS Express International 3-5 days)

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    Limited 15 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $675 or more About $675

    Are you a time lapse uber geek? Receive a motorized version of this amazing heavy duty camera dolly complete with 3 different motors (.5, rpm, 6 rpm, and 20 rpm) giving you unparalleled creative control over your moving image. (Retail price $819 + shipping) Free shipping in the US! International shipping add $65 (USPS Express International 3-5 days)

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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $725 or more About $725

    Jump to the front of the line and be first to receive your Lil-Mule! Are you a time lapse uber geek? Receive a motorized version of this amazing heavy duty camera dolly complete with 3 different motors (.5, rpm, 6 rpm, and 20 rpm) giving you unparalleled creative control over your moving image. (Retail price $819 + shipping) Free shipping in the US! International shipping add $65 (USPS Express International 3-5 days)

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)