Project: how to make a reasonably price microphone boom pole, and at the same time a microphone handle or grip.
Booms are rather expensive, and it is difficult to justify that cost for just occational use. However, a paint roll extender is much cheaper and used paint rollers to fit the extender are easy to come by. If you don't have one - just ask your neighbours - they probably have at least one.
The whole thing takes about an hour to make, including time for the epoxy to set and the paint to dry - that is if you have everything ready!
Got really interested in using a glidetrack when I saw examples of use here on Vimeo. However, the price tag was not within the present video budget.
Given the idea, and given that I usually have a few odd materials tucked away for a rainy day, I set about finding out if I could make something similar for a very low price. The result is in the video, and nothing was bought for this project making it really low price. I might later change the camera head base plate for plywood and to varnish parts to make it more weatherworthy. It is also slightly noisy, something that either could be dampened or sound taken on-camera will be affected.
The photos show version II with an improved cart using a plexiglass base. The rail has 3 inset 3/8" nuts set in epoxy to allow easy and direct attatchment to standard tripod screws. It allows either a centered or one each end configuration giving increased stability. I've also shown direct attatchment to tripod stem with head used on the cart, or mounted on the tropod head with camera mounted directly on the cart.
Initial tests are promising, and I'd be surprised if you won't see scenes made with this track in later videos.
Wanted to share the use I've found for a super clamp and articulated arm combination. It will fasten on anything it can grip and makes a nice steady hand hold. It will not replace a tripod, but it's a nice addition.
Update September 2013: What started as a hobby has turned into something pretty serious. We are readying the launch of an open-source cinematic motion-control rig. If you wanna stay up on the futue of cinematography "like" us at http://www.facebook.com/openmoco
Click here to see my latest modification: Jib arm
-2 Sets of Roller Blades (16 wheels/32 ball bearings) from Goodwill
Motorized Pan Tilt:
-Meade motorized telescope arm
-90 degree angle bracket for connecting the camera to the telescope arm
-1/4 20 bolt/screw or regular tripod head
Something long, straight, and rigid. Obviously aluminum is the best choice, both for it's rigidity and portability. Because the trolley is built with all-thread the width can be adjusted to fit almost any track - so you can use aluminum extension ladder or a 2x6 from Home Depot. I am currently using to two rails from an aluminum server rack. I cut some strips of perforated steel plate to attach the two rails with exact spacing.
Motorized Trolley Movement:
-Parallax (Fubatu) Continuous Rotation Server
-Parallax SumoBot Wheel & Tire
-6v AA Battery Holder (Holds Four AA's)
I usually move the dolly by hand but for time lapse or slow movement I use a Parallax continuous rotation servo with a wheel that is attached to the trolley. The servo is control via a Traxxas radio and receiver. The Traxxas radio also has speed/direction potentiometers on it - so you dont have to hold the radio during movement if you dont want to.