Hello, dolly.

For the making-of featurette* included with our student-film project, I shot a little video with my Flip:

Hello, dolly.

I call your attention to our awesome camera dolly, a DIY project made from PVC pipe and skateboard wheels. Our director is friends with the folks at InZer0, a local sci-fi series/maybe-a-movie production, and borrowed it from them. It knocks together with a rubber mallet (or your shoes), and the stand slides noiselessly. With it, we were able to do a cool little tracking shot of our talent, Teresa, walking down a hallway, checking doors on either side, with nary a bobble.

As a compromise with the Hollywood version, it’s pretty adequate to our uses.

I have a memory of one of my showbiz-nerd friends telling me the first Steadicam rigs cost $100,000, so I went online in search of other cheap compromises for low-budget filmmakers. Not surprisingly, there are zillions. I think I know what the universe is trying to tell me: It’s time to indulge my long-held dream of producing pornography with real scripts, and a real story. Something to keep ’em in the seats after, you know.

See the dolly shots and the dolly track — in Genesis’ “Invisible Touch” video. Not made from PVC, because it’s Genesis.

(*Note: There is no making-of featurette.)

Bloggage: Just the other day I asked Kate if she’d like to play hockey. Now, I’m thinking she might be better off playing, oh, chess. Oh, and in re: our earlier discussion about the relativity of luck? Check this out — a guy gets hit in the neck with a skate in a freakish accident, severs his carotid artery, leaves a red smear across the ice to remind everyone in the arena of their own mortality, and guess what his doctors say? This:

Vascular surgeon Richard Curl, who assisted Noor, said the cut was about an inch-and-a-half deep and also as wide. Doctors were astonished the skate blade did not hit any other arteries or veins or cause any further damage.

“Luck,” was a factor, according to Noor.

Thought for the day: Everything is relative.

Eric Zorn interviews his old college buddy Gerry Prokopowicz about the latter’s new book, “Did Lincoln Own Slaves?” A sample:

Q: Given that the Q&A format is often recognized by discerning readers as evidence of a lazy writer who doesn’t want to struggle with transitions, why did you choose that format for your book?

A: I got it from your columns.

You know how Michael Moore is, like, fat and evil and a propagandist and not interested in the truth at all? You know? I’m sure his ideological opponents will show the proper way to do things when “Expelled,” their documentary on intelligent design, debuts later this year. They sure got off to a good start with PZ Myers. What’s the ninth commandment again? I always forget.

Finally, Wireblogging continues over at The New Package. Come join the discussion.

More coffee, shower and work, in that order. Be still, heart.

Posted at 9:08 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol', Video |

31 responses to “Hello, dolly.”

  1. john c said on February 12, 2008 at 9:52 am

    When I was in college we used to write parody songs and record them – just singing over the originals. It worked and our friends loved them. But I often wonder what we might have been able to do with digital video and you tube.
    Then again, one should never blame lack of technology for lack of creativity. Look at the early Beatles and their four-track recordings.
    As for the hockey injury, Nancy left out a key detail. The reason there was a red smear across the ice was because the guy skated off holding his neck! Which was not just bleeding but – according to the report I read – spurting. Me? I’m in the ground doing wailing and screaming. But that’s just me. I recall when we first moved to Detroit and I was joyfully rediscovering hockey. (Honestly, it’s more about speed and timing and grace and anticipation than it is about violence. But there is the violence thing. Can’t deny it.) Anyway, the Wings were in the Stanley Cup Finals, clinching game, and a guy who’s name I can’t remember, let alone spell if I could, took a slap shot to the mouth. He lost seven (7!) teeth and scurried off the ice to the bench, whereupon he put a big white towel in his mouth, chomped it for a few minutes, and hit the ice again for his next shift.
    As for Kate, Nancy, I think women’s hockey is decidedly less violent – slower and less checking. And our local gals have been state champs for years.

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  2. Peter said on February 12, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I’m going to have to do some serious research on Expelled – Ben Stein’s involved, and I know he worked in the Nixon White House, but I smell something facetious….

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  3. nancy said on February 12, 2008 at 10:08 am

    You can find TV coverage of the incident on YouTube, John. The guy skates to the bench and then sort of falls into his coach’s arms. They say the quick thinker was a trainer who reached into the wound and pinched the artery shut until they could get to the ambulance. (Shudder.) Metafilter also had a YT link to a similar incident in 1989, with much gorier coverage — the player was the goalie, and you can see the blood puddling under him with terrifying speed.

    Both players survived, however. The goalie took something like 130 stitches, but lived to play again.

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  4. brian stouder said on February 12, 2008 at 10:12 am

    This whole steel-blade/slit neck thing has just gotta raise OSHA issues!

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  5. john c said on February 12, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I seem to recall an incident where a player had a finger or fingers cut off when his glove came off – probably in a fight – and someone skated over them.
    And come on, Nancy. Who among us hasn’t reached into a spurting wound and pinched an artery shut?

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  6. virgotex said on February 12, 2008 at 10:32 am

    On hockey, a sport I know less about than the many other sports I know nothing about:

    If you’ve never heard Jane Siberry’s song, “Hockey,” go find it-it’s lovely writing and beautiful music. “This stick was signed by Jean Belliveau so don’t f**king tell me where to f**king go…”

    I deal with research compliance, where a lot of attention (or not) is paid to the risks of research to human subjects. There have been reams written about risks to children involved in research, especially, to the extent that therapies and meds that might benefit children are not developed because no one wants to place child subjects at risk in testing trials. My point, and I do have one, is that I once heard an wonderful conference session delivered by a medical researcher pointing out that very little real research has ever been done on the real life risks kids in America are exposed to every single day, riding in buses and other vehicles, playing with bikes, rollerblades and skateboards, and in particular, participating in sports. It’s a bit of an oversimplification, but people who would agonize about subjecting their child to a clinical trial of a medication due to the risks, may not spend the same amount of time debating the probability of risks in their day to day existence. The data this researcher had gathered, much of it from insurance companies and pediatricians, was pretty startling.

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  7. Jen said on February 12, 2008 at 10:40 am

    I agree with you, john c … there’s a lot more to hockey than just the violence. It’s amazing to watch how precise a good hockey team can be, and how quick they have to be to anticipate the way the puck might move.

    However, I’ll admit that I also like the violence. To me, a sport just doesn’t seem like a real sport unless it involves people pulverizing each other. (Hence, why I enjoy football but don’t like basketball or baseball as well.) Then again, keep in mind that I’m a girl that spent her childhood watching rugby. I went to my first rugby game when I was about 3 weeks old, and watched my dad and the Fort Wayne Rugby team play for years.

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  8. ashley said on February 12, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Nance, if you don’t ask me to do the music for your porno, I’ll be shattered.

    Sha doo bee. Shattered. Shattered.

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  9. MichaelG said on February 12, 2008 at 11:50 am

    And I’ll be your dolly grip. I know how to do that.

    I was channel surfing one time and happened upon a field hockey game. I was just in time to see a young woman wind up and with a beautiful home run swing cut the legs out from under another young woman who was running full out. The resulting front flip and half twist were spectacular. The victim was still lying there in a heap when I moved on. These were well bred youngsters from Ivy League colleges.

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  10. Kirk said on February 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    The goalie whose neck was sliced in 1989 is now the goalie coach here in Columbus. He’s been through quite a lot since then, but is a pretty entertaining guy. Walks around swinging a goalie stick all the time at practice. My boss and I attended a morning skate one day before Christmas and were privileged to go down to the locker room and meet some players and other folks. He came in, and I warned my boss. Sure enough, he swatted both of us on the calf (not hard, but enough so we could feel it), smiled and said, “Thanks for coming, fellas.”

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  11. MichaelG said on February 12, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Speaking of girls (or not) the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue features Danica Patrick. She has a gorgeous body but I can’t get over those killer eyes. No, I don’t mean killer as in beautiful, I mean killer as in assassin


    Thanks to Bossy for the link. And please don’t let Kate get one of those stupid small-of-the-back tattoos.

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  12. john c said on February 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I can’t think of anything I could be on the porno shoot except the pudgy guy chewing on the pen carrying the clipboard in Boogie Nights, so I’ll just move on.
    I’m a baseball guy at the end of the day. But hockey is the most underrated sport I know. Go to an NHL game and pick out one of the stars. Then watch him and no one else for an entire shift (usually less than a minute.) The speed is breathtaking, both how fast they skate and how fast they stop – and how fast defensemen can skate backwards. But it’s the teamwork that is so magnificent – each player anticipating the moves of his teammates, seeing two passes ahead in time and getting to that spot.
    Some fights are silly. But the good ones are very satisfying. The guy who throws a cheap shot in the corner on one of the stars is, before the final horn blows, probably going to have to drop the gloves with a rather brutish non-star.

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  13. Sue said on February 12, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I stopped going to Milwaukee Admirals games because of the fans. How many times can you hear someone yelling “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref” before it loses its charm? So now I check out the West Bend Bombers when I can. An amateur hockey league, but fun and people behave themselves around the many children that come to the games. I also like the minor league Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball team for pretty much the same reasons: cheap, easy to navigate the “stadium” and not overly profane. Plus it’s hard to beat the “eyeball races” (their answer to the Brewer’s sausage races) sponsored by a local eye doctor.

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  14. brian stouder said on February 12, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    But hockey is the most underrated sport I know.

    Open-wheel auto racing…

    Although a lot of the shine came off of it for me, when Greg Moore got killed on Halloween, some years ago.

    Still, Formula One is oddly compelling to me, even as I understand why it doesn’t appeal to fans of tin-top (nascar) racing….even despite Michael Schumacher’s abrupt retirement from the sport (thank heavens for Lewis Hamilton – although drunken racist fans in Spain recently rained derision upon him)

    edit – “not overly profane” – race fans are some of the worst, most profane folks around….but you can’t hear a thing, except during yellow flags – and besides, people-watching on a long hot summer’s afternoon can be half the show (or more!)

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  15. john c said on February 12, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I haven’t been to an open wheel race (Indy warm-ups, once). But I have been to Daytona (the Pepsi 400 in July, not the big one.) I remember watching them go around behind the pace car, feeling the roar, and the adreneline surge from the noise. Then the first time they came by at 200-plus I literally said out loud, to no one in particular, “Holy shit.” One can only appreciate that speed in person, though it does lose its shine long before the 200th lap is run. Plus it is hard to follow in person. Hockey, on the other hand, is almost harder to follow on TV.

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  16. Kirk said on February 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    john c, you’re on the money. Hockey is a blast. TV sports reports always show the fights, which hugely distorts what the game is all about. For continuous action that appeals on multiple levels, it’s hard to beat. I count myself extremely fortunate to live 15 minutes from an NHL arena. Sure, the tickets, beer and parking all cost a lot, but it’s one of my few indulgences and worth every penny — and my wife likes going with me.

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  17. brian stouder said on February 12, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    to really ‘do’ a race, you have to have a scanner. Then, you know what’s going on.

    Really, on a race weekend, going on the Friday and/or Saturday is quite enjoyable, and lots less expensive. You can collect all sorts of freebies from sponsors, meet the drivers and crew guys, and watch practice/qualifying, and see who is on it and who is crossed up, etc etc

    lots of atmosphere

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  18. Jeff said on February 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Risk-mgmt — the school admins have to cancel school if there’s the slightest chance an unskilled driver might skid into the side of a school bus, making LiveWitlessNews at 5, 6, and 11, but no children injured, and everyone nods approvingly, “Yep, take no chances wit our liddle darlings.”

    Meaning hundreds of them are left at home alone by parents who have no work options (like i do, thanks be to God), and then create a spike in ER traffic that evening, and later filings with juvenile courts, but that don’t lead no evening news, so it didn’t happen.

    Rational risk-mgmt would get the admins fired, so we gets us lots o’ snow days. My Little Guy doesn’t even have to wear his pjs backwards to shake them loose from the heavens, they just fall like the rain.

    (Ditto risk-mgmt in parks and kids programming genl’ly, but i’m nearing rant mode. Back to alternating between daddy-work saving GameCube games and trips outside to play “Unclog the Storm Drains With a Longhandled Rake,” one of my son’s favorite RealWorld games in this weather.)

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  19. alex said on February 12, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Porn with plot twists — why, I once worked for some people who hatched such an idea, way back when I was a young writer starting out. Libido magazine was one of the best gigs ever.

    The rag eventually folded, but the Libido brand lived on as Libido Films. And my friends ended up with a warehouse full of VHS tapes when everything went DVD. And last I heard, they had a warehouse full of DVDs now that everything’s gone MP3.

    Rather anticlimactic, I know. And such a waste. Really, somebody ought to do a charitable airlift and drop the product out of a plane over some place like China or Iran where it’s needed.

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  20. brian stouder said on February 12, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Rather anticlimactic


    Best joke of the day!!

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  21. Dexter said on February 12, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I’d love to join the commentary but I’m double-bummed as Dan Cleary had surgery early Sunday morning (broken jaw Saturday)and will be out a long while…and the Red Wings are getting their collective ass handed to them 3-0 with lots of time left in the first period. Bah


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  22. mouse said on February 12, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    MichaelG ,thanx for the Danica link.The pic of her standing on her tiptoes in the sand is now my Desktop.Dexter,the Wings will get back with it.The’ve been so hot for so long—just too hard to maintain that pace.

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  23. basset said on February 12, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Sprint cars and ARCA stocks are the only racing I bother watching any more – the independent guy racing out of a shop in his back yard has a chance there, not like Cup or open-wheel where you need insane amounts of money and a marketing plan just to get on the track.

    And where else but ARCA are you gonna see a former F1 driver and a former Indianapolis 500 winner in the same field with a part-timer whose sponsor is “Anti Monkey Butt Powder”?

    Racing, like country music, was a lot more fun when you had to be a redneck to really get the point of it.

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  24. Dexter said on February 12, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I am a baseball, hockey, and football fan, but I did root for this guy in the 1993 Indy 500…he finished 3rd…I bought a Nigel tee shirt …only car-guy tee I ever owned….unlike most yanks, I prefer Formula One racing….


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  25. brian stouder said on February 12, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I’ve got a buddy who always liked Nige (“il leone”); you had to admire Mansell, but I could always irritate my buddy by saying the name “Dennis Vitolo” (who crashed ontop of Mansell on the pitlane at Indy in 1994!)- or by reminding him that Lynn St James out-qualified him at Indy!

    I only paid glancing attention to Formula One until Senna died at Imola…and then I admired Damon Hill – who climbed into the Williams car and finished out the season (1994) with great courage and flair – even as I became a huge fan of the gawky German in the pretty Benetton….Schumacher won the World Championship with a Ford engine (and despite what looked like the FIA’s concerted efforts to stop him) that year, and then in 1995 Benetton got the all-powerful Renault engine, and Schuey spoiled me with his winning ways.

    When he switched to Ferrari in 1996, you could see the team transforming into something more, before your eyes. That team was truly nowhere at the time, with reliability problems and a crossed-up crew; Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger had raced for them for years, and the red cars were simply off the pace.

    But Schuey pulled the team together; his testing prowess paid huge dividends, and as the reliability improved, he and the team soon became second to none.

    Leaving all that aside – the dirt guys (and gals) at Eldora put on a hell of a show, and I love going there – so long as I don’t get dirt clumps in my Diet Coke. My oldest brother LOVES the sprinters and outlaws – but he won’t go to Winchester anymore. He’s seen too much carnage there

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  26. Dexter said on February 13, 2008 at 12:44 am

    thanks for the memories, brian st.
    I can only talk baseball in detail like that…but I’ll spare ya that, cuz it’s hockey season, and our Red Wings went up in flames last night…three goals against before the fans were seated and Ozzie was pulled for Howard, who played very well, giving up just one goal…but Wings lost, 4-2 at Nashville and have only one measly point in four games now…as Ken Daniels said “…unacceptable.”

    I live in Ohio and see the Wings in C-bus once in a while, but , by God, I did see the glorious Stanley Cup being paraded on Woodward 11 years ago…that parade when Federov was dating 16 year old Anna Kournikova, and she had her hair down shining in the bright sunlight, as she and Federov sat in those red Ford Mustangs…it was a beautiful day and a memorable one.
    I missed a chance getting a picture with Kris Draper and the Cup when I went to a diner/restaurant…can’t think of the name of that chain now…not Big Boy but something like that kind of place…anyway Draper had had the Cup in there about a half hour before I got to the place.

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  27. Dexter said on February 13, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Were (are?) Red Robin Restaurants kind of like Big Boys? Or is that a cheapo fried chicken stand? I can’t remember for some reason, and I just don’t get to Detroit much at all anymore. I know there was one of the places I am trying to recall in Roseville, and one just off the Fisher Freeway south of downtown a couple miles.

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  28. basset said on February 13, 2008 at 7:29 am

    we just got a Red Robin near us in Nashville, gonna have to try it. I’ve heard, may not be true but it sounds possible, that Nashville is the only city with both Krystals and White Castles.

    meanwhile, here’s the link to the Monkey Butt car…


    Never could get interested in F1 racing… nobody to root for. No American cars, no American drivers this year, and how long has it been since anyone not named Nigel or Harald or Rodolfo or something had a chance? And Indianapolis has been going that direction for years too, like the Cup races it’s a lot more about marketing than racing.

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  29. alex said on February 13, 2008 at 7:31 am

    There’s a Red Robin in the Fort. Probably more like a Big Boy than a cheapo fried chicken stand, judging by its prominent place in the mall. Looks like sit-down more than fast food. But I’ve never been there.

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  30. MichaelG said on February 13, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I’ve attended a lot of different kinds of races. F-1 at Long Beach years ago, CART at Long Beach and Laguna, NASCAR at Sears and Ontario (OMS was a few years ago as well), drags, Can-Am (another oldie), SCCA, dirt, you name it. The very best big time stuff was CART before an obscenity named Tony George ruined open wheel racing in the US. It’s only now beginning to come back. Another obscenity named Bernie Ecclestone ruined F-1. The mostest funnest racing for me is SCCA club racing and low key vintage racing. Lower speeds and no names but good, honest racing by real people and total accessibility for a happy fan. This place


    is about an hour from my house. Check out the schedule. This is grass roots racing.

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  31. brian stouder said on February 13, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Michael G – Amen, brother! I used to have nothing but contempt for Tony George; Pam and I attended the US-500 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan – when it ran directly opposite the Indy-500 in May 1996. (I remember that some practice sessions at MIS that year were interrupted by snow). On race day, the house was absolutely packed, and they had a moment of silence for Scotty Brayton (of Coldwater, Michigan) who had lost his life during practice at Indianapolis that spring.

    Despite the whole IRL/CART split, you could have heard a pin drop all across that fan-packed facility – and yet, the imbeciles at ABC/ESPN, who were playing up the “500 miles apart” drama completly left out that affecting bit unity amongst the (apparently forgotten) fans in the stands.

    Seems like that was 50 years ago

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