SHUTTLE DOLLY UNLEASHED
The Shuttle Dolly is the newest addition to our lineup for modular dollies, and pushes our product line into a larger capacity dolly category, one that utilizes standard speed rail and introduces various mounting options for larger cameras and rigs, such as our new Mitchell mount based accessories.
After finding a hole in this particular market for a high-quality and durable speed rail platform dolly that can be operated manually AND be motorized we decided to forge ahead, and with the help of our roster of Kessler Shooters, developed a complete package that addresses the shortcomings of what was previously available.
One of those production teams that had both shown interest in a dolly of this size and we knew would take a beta version through the paces is Evolve. After a couple meet ups we decided to put Shuttle Dolly on set with Evolve and capture them in action creating a spec ad (see Unleash the Animal below) they will use to showcase to potential clients.
KU: Hey guys! Well, we’ve been working together for a long time now, since you guys were based closer to us in Michigan and then Chicago. Before we dive into this project specifically, can you briefly describe your journey from back then to now in Nashville?
Evolve: It’s been a wild ride; we went to Chicago in 2005 for our first production company venture.. so actually stop and think for a second; now in Nashville, 2016.. Wow! It’s been a blast - because it’s FLOWN by! I think that everything has changed; the industry as a whole, the tools, the approaches and certainly the number of people working in this field. In 2004 when this all first started; the industry was completely different. Filmmaking, TV, media & production work was a rare vocation. Now everyone’s doing it! I literally saw a news story about it.
KU: Can you remember the first experience you had with Kessler gear?
Evolve: Oh yeah. The original Kessler Crane. At the time, it was the only affordable option to own a small / travel-able boom arm.. and we used it all the time! It opened up an all new bag of tricks & shots for us. The next one, and the best piece of gear we’ve ever owned is the CineSlider. It was a 100% game changer. I know that term has been beat to death - but the CineSlider should be grandfathered in to the game-changer H.O.F.
KU: As the jobs have gotten larger and the clients more prestigious, what has changed the most and what has stayed true since the beginning?
Evolve: I think our constant is our quest to make unique & memorable things. That’s been the absolute core value for us from the get-go. It’s why we named the company “Evolve”. To take whatever we are charged with, the idea or need that’s been commissioned and breathe additional new (and complimentary) ideas and vision over it. This is our definitive trait, that will always be first and forward.
What’s changed is how we execute this. THAT has definitely come a loooong way. With higher profile projects, comes more pressure, more stakes and more details that need to be paid attention to. Literally sometimes just the scope and size of the crew (and the managing and logistics of that) can become a hindrance to ideas, creative process and that raw unexpected magic play-around-time. The infrastructure is necessary and essential to the success; so re-learning how to execute at those levels and being able to re-learn new processes to fit in & mesh well in completely different workflows / environment is key.
KU: To fill people in a little, we had the idea of showcasing Shuttle Dolly on an Evolve project primarily after having watched your sports reel a thousand times and knowing that Shuttle Dolly would be a good fit for that style of shooting. Having worked with it now on a real production, describe its performance for people.
Evolve: Well first off.. we love love love dolly shots. All the new movement toys are great but there is something unique about a dolly shot. You can really control the composition in a special way. Those style shots are engrained in our vision for any thing we shoot. Executing them got really interesting w/ the Cineslider - and now with the Shuttle Dolly being speed rail based - it’s a whole new level! It’s heavier and beefier (which is a good thing!) bringing more stability, but most importantly extendable length using speed rail. This opens up so many possibilities for new dynamic shots! With the “Unleash the Animal” we were loving the idea of a tracking shot that could cover action seamlessly in one take on the field.. and just built an entire concept around that! :)
KU: How big of a deal is it do you think that Shuttle Dolly works manually and can be motorized with CineDrive, Second Shooter Plus and Second Shooter?
Evolve: It’s huge.. you want things that can be versatile and work in different scenarios. It’s also important from an investment standpoint - the more that all your stuff can play together; the better. (and cheaper!) It's also the only cost efficient way to get long running dolly, repeatable programmed shots. This sort of technology a few years ago would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
KU: Do you have any ideas on how you’ll use the Shuttle Dolly moving forward, after now using it for a while?
Evolve: Totally. We’re currently working on some elaborate wall pass through shots. We’re also just obsessed with that 20ft dolly throw. So fun!
KU: Aside from this project, what’s upcoming for Evolve?
Evolve: There are several projects in the can right now that we’re just finishing in post and will be rolling out soon. We are thrilled for the upcoming season - it’s certainly been our most exciting one yet!
KU: Ok, so a little personal now because so many people in your line of work have these same challenges - you’re both dads and have young beautiful families in which comes quite a bit of responsibility, how are you guys tackling the work/life thing right now?
Jesse: Yes balance is so important in life, marriage / relationships / business... There is a healthy amount of balance that I think we are all trying to move towards. It's important to realize though that balance, and what that might look like for any given season, is constantly changing and transforming. Both Joel and I try to keep each other accountable with our investment levels with family, work, and personal time.
Joel: Exactly right.. you have to prioritize making priorities.. otherwise it’s just going to be in a never ending hot mess trying to passionately pursue a humanly impossible number of passions. Also, we would not survive without our team at Evolve. They’ve been the key to allowing us to continue to produce at a high level; all while balancing real life / family & then multiple projects at the same time.
KU: Finally - imagine this scenario - you have a night without the kids to hit the town in the Nashville metro, where are you eating and hanging out?
Evolve: Tough question! Nashville has exploded into a permanent world class food festival… there’s WAY to many desirable options. The current jams would be; breakfast; Biscuit Love, lunch; Edley’s BBQ, dinner; Malala Ale House.