According to the sales blurb, the Sk8plate camera dolly is the most versatile camera slider & skater you will ever need. It’s pretty heavy-duty too and will take any camera from DSLR to Arri Alexa. We used it with a Black Magic Ursa Mini-Pro loaded with some pretty substantial lenses and monitors (total weight 20Kg) with no problem at all.
Sk8plate is more than just a dolly, it will also undersling the camera for overhead shots, work as a table top Skater with revolving wheel arms for curved shots, convert in seconds to a standard HiHat and take an attachable belt free motor for remote controlled moves and timelapse ability.
We purchased it back in November last year and used it on our short feature Soul Mates. Normally, we would have laid down about 10 metres of track and used the Hague D7 ride-on dolly, but the woodland setting make it impossible with the uneven ground. Loading the Sk8plate onto 2 robust, e-image tripods (purchased separately) gave us all the super-smooth parallax pans and tracks that we needed. It was possibly our most versatile bit of kit.
What’s in the box?
In the box, you get both 100mm and 75mm bowl adapters for various fluid heads. There is also an optional 150mm bowl for larger fluid heads
The black top plate has a selection of 1/4″ & 3/8″ threaded inserts so that you can fix equipment to the dolly. We used a Black Magic 7” 4K Video Assist monitor on a Magic Arm. The design team clearly involved filmmakers and their needs are considered at every stage.
The kit also comes with Safety Friction brackets to secure the Sk8plate to the tracks. It also has an additional role of increasing friction drag for more precise smooth tracking.
If required, the Sk8plate 100mm bowl can be moved to the underside of the dolly so the camera can be inverted to give underslung or overhead tracking shots. The rails obviously can be raised to the maximum height of the tripods. If you use a 90-degree adjustable plate (supplied as optional extra), you can achieve any angle of tilt from horizontal to vertical lens positioning – looking straight down.
If you want to put the Sk8plate on the floor, it also comes with leg studs that you can attach to lift the camera, and these are included with the kit. If Hi-Hat mode is needed, simply unscrew the wheel arm knobs and the top plate will sit on 4 rubber non-slip, adjustable corner feet, for easy levelling on uneven ground
By the way, the kit is really easy and quick to adjust by hand. All you need is an allen key which is supplied. It’s magnetic and attaches to the Plate so that it you don’t waste time looking for it. This is particularly useful to know when you have to dismantle everything if the weather takes a turn for the worse!
The track is longer than normal. You get 2 pieces of black anodised track that will give you up to 1.8 metres length.
You get 2 mounts that will allow you to attach the Sk8plate tracks to tripod or lighting stands. You can use any lighting stand that has the standard 29mm spigot receiver socket, however we felt that the tripod method gave much more stability especially with a heavier load.
Finally, the Sk8plate comes in two bags – a long thin one containing the tracks, and a strong, padded square cabin-baggage sized case with shoulder strap.
We love this item and it’s one of our most frequently used pieces. Shout if you have any questions about it. I’m going to film a tutorial over the next few weeks if anyone is interested, as we couldn’t find much out there when we first had it.
Take a look at some of the footage we shot at an investment property in Essex (above).