Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996
class="style8" Camera Carts
>Published : 26th February 2005
>Anyone out there had any luck building their own camera cart? I'd much prefer to design/build one myself than pay $650 for a new magliner. Does anyone know if there's a company out there that sells carts that can be modified (via welding, perhaps?) to make a decent camera cart?
>Thanks in advance!
2nd AC, Austin/LA
>I have found that by the time any mods are done, the prices stay comparable. Buy some plywood and some 1.5" Speedrail pipe (the grips use the 2" for mounts n stuff)and build your own. the Allen key clamps (kee-klamps)make it handy to take it apart again.
>Check out www.filmtools.com or Backstage Equipment (L.A.) for premade...OR check out this page http://www.commander.ca and on the left click on trucks and carts and click on shelved carts. then search for a warehouse supply company in your area to see if they carry those blue carts.
>I know a lot of assistants who use those or the Rubbermaid carts.
>Mark W Lunn
1st AC, Vancouver
>Try www.filmtools.com they have some great camera carts, in addition to mag-liners.
Cameraman, Los Angeles
>Check out the Rock and Roller cart. I use one to haul around milk crates. I've seen several home made top shelves for this chart.
DP Los Angeles
>Remin Kart a bag, has a large assortment.
New York Based D.P.
East Coast CML List administrator
class="style9">>Anyone out there had any luck building their own camera cart?
>Yes I made my own camera trolley (cart) about 7 years ago. I basically built it without a finite design, it was pretty much all in my head! Not exactly an ideal scenario! After a while, as I was building it, I got stuck without a solution for some mechanical design aspect - I can't quite remember what exactly. It got to the stage where I was so frustrated with my mental block, I almost abandoned the whole project & considered buying a MagLiner.
>Looking back I'm really glad I managed to solve my design problem & finish the trolley. I have been punishing the thing for the last 7 years & I must say, it has performed admirably. Apart from the ball bearings in the pneumatic wheels getting caked with mud & sand and becoming very noisy I have been really happy with it.
>I started with a standard - high quality, Australian made Refrigerator trolley with pneumatic wheels. It stood 4 feet in height. The company made another model which was - I think - 5 feet, but I decided on the 4 footer for manoeuvrability. My two design parameters I set myself was to make the cart so it could fit through a standard doorway & it had to be modular so I could dismantle it so as to not impact on the floor space in my camera truck, the previous to my current camera truck which had a smaller box. It dismantled into 6 components, trolley, 2 shelves, steering wheels assembly, front & back upright sections, which required about 2½ minutes & no tools to assemble.
>I used Kipp levers & retained pins for the assembly & fastening of the components. The camera sits in a Sachtler top which I salvaged from a wrecked fluid 7+7 head at the handle/steering end. Under the clipped in camera I put my front box, a vertical metal plate with 2 screws the same pitch distance as a Panahead or O’Connor and under the front box is the hi-hat. The cart has 2 trays for the equipment. Enough space for lens cases, mag cases etc.
>At the opposite end is the tripod kit. Hi & lo legs are positioned inverted on 6" long spigots on a flip down tray - flip down so it can be hung on the door of the truck when disassembled, & the head, either Sachtler , O’Connor or gearbox can clip into an inverted, again, flip down, Sachtler wedge plate. I must say that fully loaded the cart is a beast to wheel around on rough terrain, but it has NEVER let me down.
>On a studio floor, it's as easy as pie to move around. In case you wanted to know ...it's made of welded steel. Nowadays I can't be bothered to dismantle it for transport. Plus my current truck is quite a bit larger than my previous, so I can get past the cart in the truck if I had to. I lucked out with the size as I can flip it on its end & easily load the trolley into my truck, solo, without the need of the tail-gate lifter, which I don't have anyway! I have had other assistants ask how much to build them a similar unit .... my answer is "you won't have enough cash to pay for it!".
>ADOPT, ADAPT, INVENT, DESTROY !
>We designed our own trolley (cart) with all the features we wanted, leg holders, a clip plate to lock the camera and head onto and a couple of drawers for bits and pieces. We took the design to an engineer and with a bit of guidance they knocked one up pretty quickly. It wasn't cheap, approx. $US1,500 but would have been cheaper if we didn't keep going back for modifications.
>Everyone says it's the best on set trolley they've seen and I hate going on set without it. I even got ramps made so I can push it into the van.
class="style9">>We designed our own trolley (cart) with all the features we wanted, leg >holders, a clip plate to lock the camera and head onto and a couple of >drawers for bits and pieces.
Are you going to show us the design or perhaps sell it?
>More details would be awesome.
1st Assistant Cameraman, Local 600,
Los Angeles CA.
>Yes please do fwd images. Video Assist techs also design carts/trolleys and it is always interesting to see development advancements based on regional/ national/ international needs...
VAIdigital LLC Detroit
>I'll take some stills of it and post them along with some specs. Not for sale, sorry. Belongs to the company.
>Wish I could take it with me.