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Camera Cart Advice

Erik Goodman

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I'm wanting to buy my first camera cart and I'm looking for advice on which one to buy. I don't really have a budget but I just want to get the best bang for my buck. The one I have my eye on right now is the filmtools/magliner senior cart. Is there a better one to go with? Any recommendations on junior vs. senior size carts? Besides the cart itself...what about accessories?...Which ones are needed?


Thanks in advance!


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i think a lot of it depends on how/where you work


if you are going to be consistently busy in the narrative world (features or tv series) - i think it's best to invest in a solid metal cart like the one in the attached image. i think filmtools and backstage sells them



people always add 3 things to the basic cart: hi-/lo-hat holder (below the front handle of the cart), mitchell mount (hanging over the front), metal bar to hold regular/baby sticks on the back


it is an expensive option...probably most expensive, but it is a solid cart


why it's useful for features/tv series world

- these projects tend to shoot longer and you have large support in terms of transport department/camera truck, so you don't need to take the cart apart

- it is a solid cart and easily holds all the heavy bits (these carts come with 10" wheels)

- but the carts don't easily come apart, and you need some time to build them up

- also, they don't really fit into a minivan...but you can strap them into a pick-up truck


if you are just starting out, or going to work mainly in commercials/music vids, modified rubbermaids are perfect.

they are relatively cheap

- $170 for basic version http://www.uline.com/BL_81/Rubbermaid-Flat-Handle-Carts?keywords=rubbermaid%20cart

- plus the cost of 4 10" wheels (you're gonna want 10" wheels)

- plus the cost of getting a wooden plank for the bottom of the cart


the one i attached in the image is missing the key piece - a wooden lip that sticks out on the back, it's useful for carrying regular/baby sticks


i think these carts are good for either narrative world or commercials/music vids - if you own a minivan you can fit 2 rubbermaids inside by flipping them on their side, and they are still used in the features/series world because they are cheap and sturdy


the magliner seems like a good option, because it's collapsible - so if you do a lot of dailies, or many projects within a week, you can put it away inside your car... but that's in theory. i have not seen camera crews use the magliners on set in toronto



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I think your options are:


Filmtools/Magliner Converted Cart - Pros: medium price, folds up quick and small, relatively light, lots of accessories available, battle-tested. Cons: relatively flimsy top shelf, wheels are a pain to change on older models, tends to pick up burrs that can cut your hands if you're not careful.


Backstage Cart (have not used it myself) - Pros: more stable than Magliner style, simpler design, same accessories avail. Cons: more expensive.


Innovativ Cart - Pros: newer design, more stable, folds up quick in a suitcase design. Cons: much more expensive, less room to work on top shelf, fewer accessories available.


Yeager Cart - Pros: The Rolls Royce of camera carts, very stable, wide wheel base makes for best steering and braking, best accessory designs, suitcase design perfect for shipping. Con: heavy, takes the most time and tools required to break down, most expensive. Best when you don't have to break it down often.


Senior vs junior depends more on the types of jobs you work on. If you do mostly features and large commercials with a camera truck, then get the senior. If you most work on corporate, industrial, or smaller commercials where you are working out of a personal vehicle, or have to shoot a lot in high-rise office buildings with small elevators, get a junior.

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Accessories: tripod holders, Mitchell plate w/ various ball adapters, baby pin double header for monitors, cup holders. If you get a Yeager, I'd get the hi-hat bracket under the bottom shelf and the Euro plate adapter which goes on same side as the handles. That way you can keep the Mitchell head separate from the camera.

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