Fearless Panoram Dolly

1The Fearless Panoram Dolly, made by the Fearless Camera Company is a very robust and heavy (approximately 850lbs) cinema camera dolly. It features a 48" boom with a mitchell style self-leveling head mount. The boom rises and drops with a large brass gear system and is counter weighted by very large phosphorus bronze springs. It appears to be optimally balanced with 150-200lbs head weight. The boom is mounted on a turret style rotating deck that is moved by a geared wheel, or the gear can be disengaged and the turret can move freely. One end of the dolly is fully steerable with a swiveling "T" bar. The dolly can also move at a 90degree angle by engaging a lever which drops a smaller fifth wheel into position that lifts the steering wheels off of the ground and turns the normally fixed wheels to 90degree angles. This allows for the tightest parallel parking possible. There are three seat mounts, two on the turret deck and one midway on the boom. The pictures here show the dolly with only one seat. There are two small stainless steel wheels on the dolly's fender that are turned to lower leveling stands. These can be used as breaks or to level the turret for balanced rotation.

6The dolly requires one person to steer and one person to push/pull. The person steering could also push and pull but the movement would not be as smooth. If shots using the boom are to be employed then a dedicated boom operator is needed. If the boom is properly balanced it is very easy to raise and lower and will do so very smoothly but it requires and operator using both hands to do this smoothly. The turret deck would also likely require a separate operator. The particular dolly pictured(type FPD Ser. No. 153) has a few rough spots in the turret movement so until those spots are repaired and smoothed out the turret rotation will not be used for any tracking shots. 5

Here is a short video using the dolly for the very first time. Four people are operating the dolly and worrall gear head controls. The movement is a bit like riding in a hot air balloon, with the floating and bobbing. However, with a couple more operators and practice the movement should smooth out to be top-notch precision camera motion. Dolly test video The video also happens to be an example of anamorphic lens application (wide screen shooting). That is why the video is so wide. The video was also shot using a JVC GR-D90 set to automatic mode. There was no one to operate the focus or exposure control, so the image is a bit wonky.