Panther Dolly. In my previous post I talked about the camera the Arri Alexa, in this post and in part 2 I’m going to be looking at the Panther Dolly, the Vario Jib and Track.
The Panther Dolly (Twister Dolly)
This panther dolly has two sets of pneumatic tyres, wheels on each axle and these axles can act independently of each other or can be locked so that they both are steerable, meaning small turning circles and great manoeuvrability when used on the studio floor. To disengage the axle linking you just pull a small pin at each end of the platform to lock or release the axles. This is particularly necessary when using the dolly on a track, notice the smaller double wheels between the tyres, these are for running on the rails of the track. So the 3 options for the wheels are:- front steer, rear steer and round and round.
The panther dolly has a steering bar and a separate fixed pushing bar for pulling or pushing the dolly. This pushing bar can be adjusted for height/angle using the locking/release levers.
For this workshop we first fitted the side platforms, which sit between the wheels, extending the sides to allow for operators to stand/sit on the dolly.
The next jobs are to install the small raised platform at the back of the dolly and then the seat supports and then the seats themselves. There are two seats one on each side one for the camera operator the other for the focus puller in this configuration.
Bazooka, Rotary Adapter and Bowls
For this workshop the Bazooka the Rotary Adapter and the Bowl was already fitted. The Bazooka (That’s the central post that the camera is mounted onto) is height adjustable by turning the lever at the top anti clockwise being very careful not standing immediately over it as it is gas powered and rises under considerable pressure when the lever is released particularly if unloaded, that is without the tripod head and camera installed. There’s a bowl integrated into one side of the dolly platform for mounting a camera via a tripos head directly to the platform for low level shots.
The last job before factually itting the camera is to fit the tripod head onto the Bazookas bowl, being careful not to damage the bowl with the heads fixing screw. I noticed that the head had to be supported slightly above the bowl to allow for the locking nut to be threaded onto the fixing screw before fully lowering into the bowl. Finally it was just a case of levelling the camera head before mounting the camera and balancing as I described in the Arri Alexa posts.
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