Sometimes you have to get a little creative when filming on a budget

We’ve rounded up some of the best tutorials out there for making a DIY dolly to help you film your tracking shots.

This side-to-side shot is one of the most common in Hollywood films and it can really help your movie look much higher budget than it is if you get it right.

While you often see cameramen perched on tracks to film these kind of shots, there are a lot of ways to capture your moment with just the materials around you.

Here are some of the most creative methods out there.

DIY Dolly: Car

As part of the Vimeo Video School this tutorial gives amateur filmmakers some great ideas of how to use your car when making your low-budget film.

The cameraman uses the boot of the car and the windows to balance the camera and create a tracking shot. The only issue with this is the background noise from the car so the team suggests muting the footage and dubbing over.


DIY Dolly: Skateboard

This unique YouTube tutorial by Tyler of TPV Productions shows you how to create a dolly out of a skateboard.

He cut down base of the skateboard to keep the wheels closer together and attached a bolt through it to attach his fluid head. To create a smooth track, he used a piece PVC to capture the shots seen in the short video.


DIY Dolly: Wheelchair

The team over at Film Riot teach you how to make a dolly out of a wheelchair in the latter half of this short tutorial. This indie filmmaking hack was inspired by Robert Rodriguez, who we’ve seen is a great source in our piece on directors sharing their best no budget filmmaking tips.

The advantage of this dolly is that it doesn’t take a great deal of making as you can just use the camera handheld rather than attaching it to the frame. Also, you can just about move in any direction you want, which means you’re not limited by a track for the length of your shots.


DIY Dolly: Pram

Joey Shanks is a great source of DIY filmmaking tips, both on his YouTube channel and on Twitter.

Using sandbags to get the weight a bit more stable, a clamp to attach the camera and bungee cables to steady it, this is a simple hack to create a dolly out of a pram. The main benefit of this hack is that you can move the pram in any direction you like.

It’s probably best to let your other half know before making this one, however.


For more budget filmmaking tips, check out our tutorial on how to make a DIY green screen.

If you have any more innovative ways for us to make a DIY dolly, be sure to share them in the comments below!