Camera slider – Camera track review by Jamie Hobbis
Jamie Hobbis story about his Tango Dolly
Camera slider review by Jamie Hobbis – freelance Cinematographer about camera track the Tango Dolly by Prosup. “Buy the Best and buy once” – as such he chose the Prosup Tango Dolly camera slider. Read his story!
My name is Jamie Hobbis and I’m a freelance Cinematographer based in Torbay, Devon. I specialize in film drama and the drama side of feature documentary. I also work in special effects and high speed cinematography.
My camera of choice is my gorgeous Arri Amira; she’s called Harriot. You very definitely, absolutely get a better picture when you give your camera a name!
Half the fun of the job for me is collecting kit. I love to say that I have enough gear to be fully independent of rental houses when it comes to high end documentary and small drama. As such, I pride myself on investing in the very best, industry standard equipment.
“Buy the best and buy once”; I think it was my Grandmother that taught me that when she bought expensive handbags and shoes… As such and after a lot of research, I chose the Prosup Tango Dolly.
Firstly, it came in a ready fitted out Peli Case. I’m a sucker for matching cases. It makes me feel calm and in my happy place when all the boxes match in the back of the van!
Secondly, the case is just the right length to slide between the crew seats and the bulkhead in my VW Kombi. Thirdly (all in the wrong order, I know) it’s so wonderfully, beautifully engineered and very importantly, utterly silent when operated.
I first used the slider on the feature film Dangerous Game in 2016. I instantly bonded with it. It was up and ready to go in a matter of minutes, which is so jolly important when you want the luxury of a moving camera but haven’t really got the time to set it up.
You only need to have the camera move a few inches and it adds ‘oodles’ to the production value on screen.
I love moving a camera in this way. It’s the good old-fashioned way of doing it and I think it produces a wonderful old school cinematic look.
A few months later and I had it on the set of ‘The Village In The Woods’, my second feature film. Now we were familiar with what the Tango Dolly could do, we started getting a little more creative with it. There was one particular shot that Raine McCormack (Director) wanted – the camera drifting over the top of the leaves on the forest floor. Our grip had a little think and experimented with rigging the Tango upside down, resting the upturned track on a few Apple Boxes and hanging Harriot by her handle on the underslung head. He commented on how beautifully manufactured it was and how intuitive it was to rig or adapt. The resulting shot was utterly gorgeous and incredibly simple to set up. We used this method a number of times during the course of the shoot.
I now always carry the Tango Dolly in the van as a standard piece of equipment and as it’s so quick and easy to rig, I find myself moving the camera more often than I used to.
For my next project, I’m shooting a horror in the Victorian slate mines of Snowdonia and I know Harriot and the Tango Dolly will be a reliable double act drifting amongst the Ghosts and Ghouls of the Welsh mountainside.
You can find out more about Jamie Hobbis at www.jamiehobbis.com