Photos courtesy of Brandon Keller
West Seattle teens Brandon Keller (left) and Tyler Simpson (right) are young entrepreneurs who took their SteadyOrbit camera accessory idea to Kickstarter, an online public funding platform.

Reminder: Two West Seattle teens take their entrepreneurial dreams to Kickstarter

They have 5 days left to fund their film making accessory: $1529 to go

Update for May 3
Five days remain for West Seattle teenage entrepreneurs Brandon Keller and Tyler Simpson to raise $3000 to turn their SteadyOrbit camera accessory into a business by raising funds on Kickstarter.

If anyone wants to "give big" one more time and help these guys out, here is the link to their Kickstarter page, with information on their goals and how to donate.

Original story on April 16
West Seattle teenagers Brandon Keller (attending Chief Sealth High School) and Tyler Simpson (at Madison Middle School) have developed a dolly-like accessory called SteadyOrbit that helps filmmakers take panning and orbit shots with smaller video cameras, iPhones, Go-Pros and digital cameras.

They took their idea to Kickstarter.com, an online funding platform for creative projects of all kinds, and wanted to share their idea with West Seattleites. The catch with Kickstarter is an “all or nothing funding” model, where a project has to reach the funding goal before time runs out in order for them to get the money and start turning prototypes into a reality.

They have currently raised $550 towards their goal of $3000. Their deadline is May 8. To learn more and find out how to donate to their project, visit their Kickstarter page.

The West Seattle Herald asked Keller about the project. Here is our conversation:

Q: How would you describe the product and how you guys came up with the idea?
A: The product is a camera accessory called a "dolly". A camera dolly takes "pans" which are essentially shots that move past the object of focus and in our case, also "orbit" shots that revolve around an object. These products have existed in other forms, however we believe ours has the advantage over other dollies because it has its wheels, which can be used on many surfaces, but also the option to remove the wheels and use the dolly on a "track". This allows elevated shots and increases stability. It also has the unique and original features of a "Steadicam". When we went to DEMO fall 2011 (a tech conference in California) we used a homemade "Steadicam" that Tyler's father (who has worked with cinematography for 25 years) made of bicycle parts. We incorporated this stabilizing feature into our dolly with the handles on the sides.

We initially had the idea because we are into technology, so we had seen products like the "Pico Dolly" before. We wanted to take creative, cinematic shots too, so we decided to make our own camera dolly. After realizing how useful a creation like ours would be to people out there like us, and seeing similar products on Kickstarter, like "Cineskates", and the "Modogrip" that had more than fully achieved their goals, we built a second prototype using higher quality components. That dolly is the one featured on our website and in our video. Our original used wood and lots of super glue!

Q: Has the prototype been useful in your own films?
A: We immediately, even from the first prototype noticed the Steadyorbit took very cinematic shots that looked very cool. Although, we haven't done anything but demo shots, compiled into a video, we can't wait to make a short film!

Q: What will you do with the $3,000 if you hit the mark?
A: The $3000 would be used in production of any dollies, t-shirts, and other rewards we offer through Kickstarter, and any leftover money would go towards growing and bettering the company. We need to buy a DSLR camera!

We would finally like to add that we greatly appreciate any support or donations, and if in the end we fail, we'll just pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again! We always strive to be our best! And, a word of advice to other entrepreneurs:

Work with people you get along with! Tyler and I have been friends since preschool, and our chemistry is unbreakable. We work hard, and have fun too!

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