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Jerry Johnson – CEO of Microdolly

While film stars and directors often get the most attention in Hollywood, there are entrepreneurs working behind the scenes to make sure the technology is there to support their work. One such entrepreneur is Jerry Johnson, CEO and Founder of Microdolly Hollywood, a company that manufactures chips, dollies and more to be used in shooting situations of all kinds.

Johnson’s career in “the business” stretches back to the 1940s, when he began working as a child actor in radio. In the 50s, he worked in live television, with films becoming part of his CV in the 60s. The 70s saw him moving into a career in what he terms, “Serious television,” while the 80s he worked in feature films until his retirement in 1988. After a few years of retirement, he set up Hollywood Microdolly as a company, hoping to create products specifically for crews who have to travel.

“You like creating things, number one, you have a fair hand in business, you know how to make money, you know how to satisfy a customer… you have a sense of what the market needs, and how you could beat that market without it… being a large company.”

As location shooting becomes more and more widespread, technology like Microdolly Hollywood’s makes travelling productions more possible. They” build nothing that’s over 11 pounds in weight,” and their products are able to attach to frames and mounts from cars to aircrafts. Despite the smaller size of their creations, today’s new camera technologies are small and light enough that they can be easily mounted to Johnson’s products, enabling his company to maintain a position as a leader in their industry.

Johnson cites two factors that he believes attract entrepreneurs to businesses like Microdolly Hollywood. “We are an independent sort,” he says. “There’s only one director on a film.”

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