Dolly and Tracks By Rubbermaid®

In Notes From the Set by Rod Santiano1 Comment

We were working in our lead character’s bedroom today shooting many journal-writing and praying scenes (among other scenes as well). Yesterday we also shot in her bedroom but all day interior scenes. Today was pretty much all night scenes, with the exception of one day scene we started off with. For the most part, we stuck to the same lighting setup but changed the lenses and dolly moves for each scene. Here are a couple of shots:

The lighting setup we used for most of the shots involved one KinoFlo behind our standard 4×4 216 diffusion frame, flagged off some of the walls and a 150W pepper on either side of the talent to edge light her out from the headboard and to simulate the effects of the two lamps beside her bed, each with 60W household bulbs.  That’s pretty much it.

Occasionally we used a bounce card for closer shots where she wasn’t facing the key light.  On scenes where she was to turn off the lamp lights we had a KinoFlo with daylight tubes in the corner (not pictured) turned on so that when we killed the tungsten lamps, the “moonlight” would remain.  We tried doing the old switcheroo trick where you turn one on while you turn the other off to transition between the two lighting setups, but it looked like an awful TV show gag.  No, thanks.  So for the scenes where there was a light switch gag, we kept the moonlight on even during the tungsten light setup.  It just had to be; and it worked out well.  The moonlit shot of her sleeping (above) is just a single KinoFlo unit with all four daylight tubes on and a bounce card off of camera right just to give the shadows a kiss.  Easy enough, right?

In the middle of all these scenes, we found out that a location we were going to shoot at after we were to wrap at this location could only be used between three and five o’clock so after lunch we had to hop over there and shoot a couple of scenes really quick.  I didn’t want to break anything down from the current setup so we only took the camera and two Kinos.

The Piano Dolly

The Rubbermaid® Dolly

When we got there, I really wished I had brought the dolly.  So I asked for someone to ask around for some kind of cart we could use as a dolly.  “Anything with wheels,” I said.  I even semi-joked about putting the camera on the piano that was in the room and using it as a dolly.  One of our P.A.s came back with a Rubbermaid® push cart that ended up working out just dandily! :P

So we finished that scene where the Rubbermaid dolly served its purpose well and moved upstairs to another room.  I hoped to used the same dolly for that scene but the room had a bumpy textured carpet that did NOT provide a smooth surface to roll on.  I had the P.A. return the cart.  I planned to do the shot on sticks but then I noticed a few banquet table stacked against the wall.  I instantly got the idea to use that as a smooth surface.  I had the P.A. run and reclaim the dolly and we put two banquet tables together on the floor, taped them together and we had instant dolly track (sort of)!  Aside from a little bit of noise, it worked out great!  I didn’t have to settle for static shots and we didn’t have to break down and lug over the dolly and track from the other location.  Ain’t life swell?

The Rubbermaid® Dolly Track

Banquet Tables… Who Knew?!



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