Gear Review: Dana Dolly
Once you’ve gone Dana Dolly it is hard to go back to any other type of slider or dolly. Doorway dollies begin to seem too bulky, and are only good on level ground unless you want to spend precious time setting up blocks and track. The Dana Dolly, on the other hand, sits on rails which are locked into grips on lowboy stands. It then rolls on these rails using skate wheels.
The shots you get from using this type of dolly are so smooth we’ve actually nicknamed our Dana “Smoothie Queen” or “Smoothie” for short. Once set up, it typically takes two people to move the dolly into a new position – but this is done quite easily. If you are filming in a studio setting, you can pop tennis balls on the feet of the lowboy stands – allowing one person to easily slide the rig into a new position.
Once you’re all set up, it’s easy to gently glide the camera for steady trucking or dolly shots. There are a few things you will want to be careful of though:
- Never place the skate wheels on the ground. Always return the skate wheel platform to the rental kit case. Otherwise, you may scratch the wheels which will result in rough camera movements for everyone who uses the device after you.
- Use regular spring clamps on the pipes in order to keep the dolly from rolling off when not in use.
- When transporting the rig after it is already set up, make sure someone is holding the camera in place so it doesn’t fall off and break.