Friday, September 10, 2010

More tid-bits regarding the Mini-Crab Dolly

I first thought about repainting the dolly, but then decided to leave it in it's original ColorTran Blue finish. Click on any image to see closer!
The manufacturer's tag on the back panel of my ColorTran Mini-Crab Dolly.

During my research on the ColorTran Mini-Crab Dolly, I was surprised that I couldn't find much on the Internet about the extremely well-made dolly. But then again, the ColorTran dolly is now more than 40 years old!

As I began looking for information, I would run across Internet forums of people finding rusty old ColorTrans’ in garden sheds or some equipment house selling a beat-up, hand "re-painted" Colortran for big bucks. Quite frankly, there’s not much out there.

A fine gentleman by the name of Rudy Goldberg, recently shared his recollections about seeing the ColorTran dolly for the very first time. Mr. Goldberg, who gave his permission to share this account was referred to me by a longtime Hollywood equipment insider.

Mr. Goldberg remembers attending one of the special "coming out" parties thrown by Berkey-ColorTran's sales team during the mid-60’s. This mixer took place at Berkey-ColorTran in Burbank, at the very place where the ColorTran’s were being assembled. According to Mr. Goldberg, many high-level studio equipment managers and other V.I.P's were invited to see ColorTran's much talked about “compact” invention.

During this cocktail party, Mr. Goldberg recalls being ushered into a room and seeing an older Moviola Crab dolly standing side-by-side to a newly minted ColorTran dolly. Both dollies had (he believes) big Mitchell's strapped on (the Mit's were presumably provided by one of the camera houses) and grip people on-hand ready to give interested guests a test drive.

This get-together was to convince the equipment managers that it was time to change-out their older fleet of dollies to the more advanced “near portable” dolly made by ColorTran. Guests included cinematographers, equipment managers and other studio production people. Mr. Goldberg recalls conversing with fluid head manufacturer, Chad O'Connor, who was also there admiring the new ColorTran dolly.

I'm hoping this Blog will at the very least, inform and update others, who like me became interested in acquiring and using the ColorTran Mini-Crab Dolly. A couple of months ago, when I began looking for a ColorTran Mini-Crab, I Googled and found practically nothing of substance on the Internet. Now, if someone Google's ColorTran Mini-Crab Dolly, they will at least uncover this Blog and the general information it contains.

If you're an owner (or a wannabe owner!) of a ColorTran dolly, you will enjoy many years of service. Be it in any cine/digital application. Yes, the ColorTran is technically sophisticated and modern-looking enough to enter the world of RED, too! In any event, you will obtain the most flawless dolly/tracking shots money can buy! Suffice it to say, the ColorTran dolly was ingeniously designed, handsomely crafted and is an American-made classic in the truest sense!

So, if you can find one of these rare birds, that's reasonably priced, with working/rebuilt hydraulics and not too beat-up, BUY IT!
Believe me, you'll be happy you made the ColorTran Mini-Crab investment and even more happier using it!

My sincere thanks to our good friend, Mr. Rudy Goldberg of Beverly Hills, California for sharing his recollections of the Berkey-ColorTran cocktail party. If you have any stories about the ColorTran Mini-Crab Dolly that I can share, especially operating it on a film set, please let me know!

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