Flex Track FAQ
Is the track solid?
No. The track is thick walled, heavy duty, reinforced hollow rubber. The hollow core provides great flexibility to shape track and is much easier to handle and transport then solid track.
I was told the track needs to be solid. True?
Not at all. Keep in mind the weight is spread out over 3 points and 12 wheels. We tested many various tracking options and the ONLY advantage to a solid track was a higher weight load. But that extra load is not needed and came at a big price: It added 30 pounds to the systems weight making transport a hassle and it quadrupled the costs. Our system handles 70 pounds, and that's tons. For example the HVX200 HD camera weighs about 6 pounds. A quality tripod and head weighs around 10 or 12 pounds. Even with a few extra pounds here and there you still have at least 40 pounds extra to play with...
How much weight can it hold?
Track has been tested to work well at 70 pounds load on dolly smoothly and silent.
For setups over 70 pounds we recommend the PVC track system. It can handle 100 pounds well.
Is it hard to setup and use?
No, very easy. At first it will take some Patience and practice to become accustomed to the dolly system. Its not "Run N Gun"... But no dolly system is. The first few times you use the system it may try to fight you at times. That's normal. Once you get the hang of it and allow the dolly to do the work it will be smooth sailing. After awhile you can have the system setup and rolling in 10 minutes
Can it work on uneven or rough ground?
Not well, no. The floor does not need to be perfect by no means. But big bumps will show. The track can be flexed and shaped, so it would also set into any dips or holes in the ground. The flex track is primarily designed to be used indoors. It can however be used on concrete or any other flat surface. For shooting on grass PVC or aluminum track is best. If using the flex track is important you could always set up plywood on the grass to lay track on. It would take some setup, but would work well.
How is the track spaced?
With the track laid out roughly where you want it roll the dolly without any equipment on it slowly down the track. Manually space the track as close as you can and dolly will also pull track into the correct spacing. Take some time to repeat this and make sure all is well. If dolly insists on jumping off track there is a spacing problem. At first this process will take some time. Don't get frustrated. Patience is very key to getting the most out of the dolly. After a few setups the spacing will be much faster and come naturally to you. Best to make several dry runs along track to make sure system rolls freely. Take your time here. This is an important step to insure smooth sailing.
Does the track hold its shape?
Yes. The rubber is great for holding in place. The track may get bumped or kicked out of place on set, but putting it right is fast and simple.
Is the track one piece?
The track is split into 2 lengths. IE: The 50 foot system is TWO 25 foot lengths giving you a 25 foot dolly run.
What are the advantages to the flexible track over hard track?
Shape is the main advantage naturally. Having the ability to have a wide curve, tight curve a straight run or a mixed bag all in one setup is extremely flexible [Pun intended]. No joints is nice as well. If someone on the crew bangs into the track there is no joint or seam to have to be reattached. Track can be pushed back in place and shooting moves forward. All things considered, setup is fast. To dismantle a 20 foot aluminum track system and move it to another room or location setup takes time. Time is money. The flex track can simply be rolled up, moved to next location and in a few minutes you're back on schedule. And lastly, transportation and setup/breakdown is easy and fast. You don't need a big truck to move a 50 foot system. You could take it on the bus if you wanted to...
As noted, Its not very forgiving on uneven terrain. A big dip or hole in the ground will be problematic. But the dolly itself can run on any metal or PVC track so if ground is too bumpy its very easy and economical to throw down some PVC tracks.
What if I just need a short run of track
Another advantage to a roll-up track is if you just need a short 4 or 5 foot tracking shot, just setup the track you need. The left over track can stay rolled up out of the way. You can use as little or as much of the track as needed.
Can the same dolly be used on hard tracks?
You bet. Any tube from 3/4" to 2" will work great. 1"-1 1/4" is ideal.
How do you set track perfectly straight?
Its a little tricky to get them bullet straight. But its important to understand that it doesn't really need to be "perfect" - For example, if you had a 10 foot tracking shot that curved slightly over the 10 feet it would not show on camera at all. You could shoot a small arc over 10 feet with as much as 12" difference in the middle then the ends and shot will still look straight. You need a fair arc to actually show as such on film.
I still have questions...
Don't forget we are always here to help! If you have any problems or questions drop us a note and we will help as best we can