UCSB alumnus Jeremy Canterbury has designed an easy-to-use camera dolly that allows any DSLR, camcorder or iPhone to film with clarity and professional quality without breaking the bank on equipment.
Canterbury first produced concept designs for the dolly — a wheeled apparatus that allows filmmakers to capture moving shots smoothly — during an advanced digital media class last spring. After developing his idea, Canterbury launched a Kickstarter campaign alongside fellow UCSB alumnus Greg Frank to help fund the project.
Canterbury said high costs of camera equipment inspired him to improvise his own designs to overcome the financial barriers to entry for other aspiring filmmakers.
“A year and a half ago, I made one of my own with stuff from the hardware store,” Canterbury said. “Camera equipment is so expensive and most students can’t come up with the money. I decided that I would try to make a dolly that students could actually afford to buy available commercially, and that is all how it started.”
After his conceptual success, Canterbury turned to Kickstarter, a website that allows users to donate money to help fund different artist and entrepreneur projects, in order to secure funding to produce the dollies commercially. According to Canterbury, those who pledged to support his campaign will receive the first batch of pre-ordered revolving camera dollies with all accessories — such as the iPhone mount — included.
Frank, now an executive producer at Ancible Media, said he has used Canterbury’s “Revolve” dolly numerous times and believes it will be a great asset for any student filmmaker or hobbyist.
“I have used the Revolve dolly on a half-dozen productions and I can safely say that the dollies added a production value unmatched by today’s low-cost accessories,” Frank wrote in an email. “In other words, we were able to produce student videos that looked like professional production house quality for a fraction of the price.
Today’s professional dollies range from $500-$10,000 and can weigh up to 200 lbs. The Revolve, which costs roughly $80, only weighs a couple of pounds — perfect for the filmmaker on the go.”
Frank said he believes the Revolve is an indispensable tool that will greatly enhance the college filmmaking experience.
“Looking back on my time at UCSB, I wish I had had the Revolve with me for all four years,” Frank said. “[It] adds incredibly high production value without denting the average student’s wallet. I would recommend the Revolve dolly to every filmmaker and artist at UCSB, as their on-set experience will never be the same again once they get their hands on a Revolve.”
The tool can produce numerous types of tracking and rotational shots in addition to time-lapse and stop-motion footage.
Revolve dollies are currently available for purchase online. As of press time, the Kickstarter campaign had raised $17,172 — far above the pledged $7,500 goal. The campaign ends on Sunday, May 6.