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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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Dolly

The original motion picture cameras had a hand-cranked film transport mechanism, which meant that one hand (often the right) of the camera operator was constantly engaged in turning the crank during the actual recording of the shot. The camera was mounted on a tripod and the entire apparatus did not move during the shooting. The desire for camera movement quickly led to experiments where the camera and tripod were attached to a four-wheeled cart. The operator would stand on a platform, cranking the camera, and other crew members (now called grips) would push or pull the entire apparatus around the film set or location. This, in essence, evolved into the modern-day film dolly.

At their roots, all dollies are wheeled platforms. Some have ...

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