Dolly Track: How to Assemble
Assembling dolly track is all about keeping it secure and level. It takes some practice to do it right, but it is fairly easy to learn. To lay dolly track, you will need the track, a wrench, a torpedo level, wedges and shims, and possibly an assortment of apple boxes or other large pieces of wood if you're laying track on a very unlevel terrain.
Step 1: Decide Where to Lay the Track
The first step in laying dolly track is to decide where the shot will be. You want to be as precise as possible in determining the track for the dolly because laying and leveling track is time consuming. You don't want to do it more than once for the shot. Don't worry if the ground is uneven; you will level the track to make it work for you.
Step 2: Find the Highest Point
Find the highest point of the track. You are going to raise the rest of the track up to this level.
Step 3: Level the Track
Use your wood, wedges and shims to raise the track. Use your torpedo level to determine how much each side needs to be raised. Go throughout the entire length of track until it is completely level.
Step 4: Fill in the Gaps
It's not enough to just level the track. You also need to fill in the gaps under it, otherwise the slight drop from the weight of the dolly will be picked up on camera and that take won't be usable.