Doorway Dolly: How to Operate

A doorway dolly is the most basic kind of professional camera dolly system manufactured. At it's core, it's a wooden platform with wheels. But, it is more than that. Interchangeable push bars allow for an easy way to push it, and a handle allows it to be pulled. The handle also makes it possible to steer the dolly as well. Operating a Doorway dolly is easy. Here's how to do it.

Step 1: Assembling the Dolly

To save space, doorway dollies aren't usually assembled when they're transported. Putting them together is easy. First, gather all of the parts. It should be the platform--four wheels, two push bars and one handle. Begin by adding the wheels. They will easily slide into their mounts. By tightening the knuckle on the side, they will be held in place. Next, add the push bars. You can tell the front from the back by looking for which one has a metal hole extending out of it. That piece is for the front. Slide the push bars into their slots and tighten their knuckles.

For the handle, you need to ask the question of if you going to be pushing or pulling the dolly. If you're pulling it, then attach it to the outer slot. If your pushing it, then slide it through the hole on the handle bar to the inner slot and tighten it. The handle is used for steering.

Step 2: Using the Dolly

Doorway dollies have two uses on film sets: moving the camera and transporting equipment you don't want to carry. If you're transporting equipment, then load up the dolly securely. 

But, if you're using it for moving the camera, then you need to know how to mount it. It's easy. Put the camera on tripod and then place that on the dolly. Adjust the legs to the appropriate height for the shot. Before you move the dolly, you need to secure the camera so it doesn't fall over. On the platform, you will notice an eyelet. Tie a piece of rope to the eyelet and tie the other end to the tripod. Make sure there is no slack. If there's no slack, then there's no room for gravity to do its damage.