Are you looking to get into motion control timelapsing, but you have a tight budget? Do you want to add a simple and precise dolly move to your next short film?

I have found the perfect solution! The Kessler Pocket Dolly Traveler, Basic Controller 2.0, 500 series ElektraDRIVE motor, motor mount kit, Manfrotto 701HDV fluid head, flat mount adapter for 701HDV, power cable and battery.

In the video blog above, I shot a tutorial in my living room explaining the simplicity of the Basic Controller. I call it “the not-so-basic-controller” because the device is much more powerful than it seems. In fact, if you cannot afford the full feature packed Oracle Controller, the Basic Controller is a great inexpensive alternative.

I tested out the Basic Controller in New Hampshire. When combined with the Pocket Dolly Traveler, the system is a small and portable motorized dolly solution.

I was very impressed by how smooth the ElektraDRIVE 500 series motor responded to the Basic Controller. I used it both as a real-time dolly and as a pulsing motion control timelapse single axis slider.

The Basic Controller does not have an LCD readout for time and distance traveled. It also does not have the Oracle’s SmartLapse software so getting exactly what you want using the Basic device does take some experimentation.

Shot with Kessler Gear

I highly recommend this kit. You get a lot for your money and the build quality is what you would expect from Kessler.

Here is a list of all the pieces you need:


POCKET DOLLY TRAVELER $629.95


BASIC CONTROLLER 2.0 $249.95


ELEKTRADRIVE 500 MOTOR $199.95


MOTOR MOUNT $99.95


MANFROTTO 701HDV FLUID HEAD $159.99


FLAT MOUNT FOR 701HDV HEAD $24.95


POWER CABLE $19.95


BATTERY $129.95

Add the tripod and camera of your choice and you are ready to capture some amazing stuff. Of course, I recommend the Vinten Vision Blue and Manfrotto 535 sticks when shooting with light weight cameras. The best DSLR on the market today is the Canon 5dmk2. I use a Red Rock Micro matte box and Tiffen 4×5.65 glass filters. Good luck out there!

For those of you who have asked me how I hike all the gear into the wild alone, well here is my secret. I use the Kata HB-207 GDC Hiker Backpack. If you look at the photo above, you can see how I strap the tripods and slider to the sides of the bag. I have the inside compartments stuffed with gear so I had to just tie the matte box to the back and let it flap in the breeze!

For more info on the Kessler Turntable click here. For more info on the Kessler Revolution Head click here. And finally, if you are looking for the “crossover” cable so that the Basic Controller works with the turntable or tilting portion of the Revolution head, click here.