Feedback needed! Help design new high speed dolly system

by planetMitch3 Comments

Have you ever wanted to provide feedback on the new design for very high-speed dolly system? Well now is your chance!

We just got this new request from Rory Anderson for some information and we thought you'd want to provide some feedback on this multi-purpose high speed dolly system before its design is complete and it goes up on kickstarter.

Just have a look at the included videos for more ideas!

high speed dolly system

I have been working on a dolly prototype that you readers may be interested in. It's called The Funnel Web Spider Dolly

Here are some videos I have made to showcase what the dolly is capable of.

The idea is to put the dolly on Kickstarter or equivalent but before I do I want to get some feedback from the film making community so it can be the best dolly it can be.

The democratisation of film making is here with affordable cinema grade cameras making their way into the hands of very talented people.

I want to give that same quality and production value in the dolly but at a fraction of the cost of other dolly's that are available today.

I have set up a facebook page where the discussion can start



More input

So I asked Rory a couple of questions and he sent some more input…

Yes the Time lapse motor is separate to the fast motor, the time lapse motor attaches to the track rather than the dolly.

The time lapse motor is a 2rpm rotisserie motor with a strong fishing line called braid attached to a spinning rod that winds up the line in a pulley system.

It is fairly limited as it is stuck at that speed, it takes 40mins to go 2 meters. If you want the time lapse to go for longer just extend the track or you have the option of getting a reduction gear box to get the ratio to slow down the winding time. It's not very high tech but easy to use just hook it up and turn it on and you know you've got 40mins to wait on 2m track. In the video all the time lapses were achieved with this method.

I am working on a more advanced system using an Arduino, motors and pulleys but at the moment the rotisserie method is cheap easy to use and fast.

The Funnel web dolly has 3 main functions.

The best example to explain the dolly is it functions like the one on the Olympics that follows the sprinters on the sideline in the fast motor radio controlled mode.

It also functions as a hand pushed slider that can handle all kinds of cameras from your light weight DSLR to your super heavy REDs, broadcast and 35mm film cameras.

Then it functions as a time lapse rig.

This is the base to build from as it can be rigged in many other ways too.

For example:
Under slung mode so you could have track on the roof with the camera on the bottom of dolly.
With the addition of a saftey wheels it can be used vertically.
Also the four wheel assembly's are removable so you have the option to move them to a larger body for a full sized rideable dolly with room for Dp and focus puller.

There are many options for add ons but will keep it simple to get the ball rolling.

What do you think?

Rory is looking for some feedback and will be monitoring the comments here – so don't be shy about sounding off and letting him know what you like and possilbly don't like – but be constructive!

(cover photo credit: snap from the facebook page)


chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.


  1. I love this, and I’m exactly the kind of person to buy it.

    How much I love it depends on the price. If it’s a shot that I could just strap a camera on to a car to get then I’m not going to want to spend a lot of money and time on track.

    Best suggestion: you’ve got to design this for places a car can’t go. Think compact. Think indoors.

    And if your track is expensive, you’ve got a serious problem.

    Good Luck,

  2. Thanks for the suggestions Murray

    I think our track option fits those points best as you only purchase the length you need so if you don’t need much you will save money.
    The levelling system is fast to set up and can go on any uneven terrain with ease. There are plenty of places cars can’t go that the FWD can. For example: On a set with actors, out in remote locations like the top of a mountain or rain Forrest etc. Or in a packed stadium for a rock concert/ event, sporting arena etc. This is not a small compact slider, the FWD is designed to carry a heavy pay load.

    Q. What can you use for track?
    A. We recommend you use 50mm aluminium tube because it is very strong and can mount directly into our custom made tube clamp bar system that will hold the tube 250mm apart for the dolly to slide up and down on. You need to buy the track from your local Aluminium supplier to save on postage.

    Circular Hollow Section 50mm x 3mm costs around $100 for 6.5 meters.
    Compare that with other dolly track and you will pay around $500 per 8 feet (2.4m)! So it would cost well over $1400 for 6.5m.

    So with the FWD system you can have a solid 6.5 meter track for $200.

    Or you could use PVC pipe which is about $12 for 4 meters of track.

    Hope this helps.



  3. Pingback: Halfsilk | Gear for Filmmakers » The Funnel Web Spider Dolly

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