TV Technology

Magazine Article Review

by Russ Turner
Turner and Associates

A short time ago I needed to travel to Budapest, Hungary, to shoot a sequence for a documentary about an inactive CIA field agent. The location was inside a Holocaust suvivors' museum at an old synagogue.

After negotiation at length with the curator of the museum, we were in. I insisted on having dolly shots and started to set up the MICRODOLLY HOLLYWOOD equipment. The curator, instead of saying something like, "Hey, is that thing going to scratch my floors?," said, "Wow, now that's ingenious."

The MICRODOLLY Camera Jib (above) and Camera Dolly
(lower right) did the job in Budapest, Hungary.

And that's been the standard reaction everywhere I go with the MICRODOLLY Camera Dolly and Jib Systems.

Turner and Associates has been in existence in one form or another for the better part of 30 years. As president, I produce, direct and edit projects in addition to running the day-to-day operations.

Operating a boutique production facility that specializes in developing long-form documentaries and feature film development, I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for the latest (and most affordable) gadgets, especially if the are efficient and effective.

I had seen the MICRODOLLY System a number of times at trade shows like NAB and I was fascinated with it. The first time I saw it, it made sense immediately. Then one day I got the call to go to Budapest so I picked up the phone and ordered the Camera Dolly from MICRODOLLY. Within hours, my crew was on its way.

I had never used it before in my life, and all I did was pull it out of the bag, set it up, and start shooting. It was that easy, and it's been my primary Dolly ever since. It is lightweight (10 lbs.), portable, easy to use and it has given me a return on my investment in the form of higher-quality product.

The MICRODOLLY products (I also have the company's Camera Jib that works in tandem with the Dolly) have enabled me to add visual variety to my projects. And visual variety is what keeps a viewer glued to the program. I'm able to take something fairly low budget and increase its production value - in this business, that's priceless.

There have been countless times I've been in concept meetings and someone invariably sighs, "I don't want it to be a big Hollywood production." But what they're really saying is, "I want it to look like a big Hollywood production, but I don't want it to have a Hollywood price tag.

MICRODOLLY allows me to get the impressive eye candy on the set without the high cost.

For one project, we took the Dolly to a lumber mill and we were able to leapfrog the track and roll with the subject as he was walking and talking. It's not something that's a pain for the crew to handle. They can pick up the track and move it anywhere with hardly a second thought. I've used it on sand, on snow, on dirt and on the finest Italian marble.

If you want to impress people with lightweight, portable equipment that does the job, yet isn't cumbersome or taxing on the crew, the MICRODOLLY System is the way to go. Heck, you might even make a Hungarian museum curator relax a little about his flooring.

Russ Turner is the president of Turner and Associates. He can be reached at .


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