There's nothing like filming on a budget to get the creative juices flowing. My cheap tripod was just not cutting it. It didn't raise up high enough and in my shop it's just another thing in the way. So I dug out some left over wood, roller blade wheels, and an old lamp and put together a track across the ceiling.
The video explains it all better than I can here, and the last shot is of the camera gliding down the rail. It's a little jiggly but that's what happens when you don't look where you're going while doing the glide shot.
As tempted as I might be, I doubt that I'll use that shot much as I intend on just positioning the camera in one spot at a time while I work. But the ball bearing urethane wheels are just so darn smooth. And cheap! Just go down to the local second hand store and find any old pair and you get 8 wheels and 16 ball bearing sets.
Updated: The hanging boom created a pendulum effect so that even the light touch of starting the camera would cause it to sway. After several attempts the thing that finally worked was to put outrigger wheels on. It looks kind of funny but it works. So I guess it doesn't look funny after all.
And the lamp. I've been using them for various projects over the years. In fact I'm putting together a tripod extension using a second lamp I have. That will be up on this page later this week. For something really gadgety though, check out this old video of a performance piece I did for a good number of years in Japan called The Robot One Man Band.
This is the third iteration of the Camera Track. The lamp arm didn't stay where I wanted it very well so I scavenged a camera tripod to fix that. One of the benifits is that I was able to use the tripod head which affords much more moveability for the camera.