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Old September 17th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #16
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Paschke : Cliff,
The best shots are leaving the camera locked and let the crane pan for you at least in the Digital world, film may be different. -->>>

This is good to hear--the jib I'm (still) working on has no ability to actively pan during use. I'd wondered about it, but adding that feature seemed a much harder thing to do than just building a stable platform out there for the camera.

I did add an arm for independant tilting, but I'm guessing I'll use that more for framing the shot than for any dynamic use.

I'm curious about the tripod--does it not behave well? Does it have a wiggle in it? Those things seem so solid, but I guess they're not built to have stuff with such weight swinging around on them...

Footage looks great! I hope mine comes out half as well.

Chris
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Old September 17th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #17
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Chris,
the tripod is fine for weight support and does not wiggle but it is a surveyers tripod and the legs flop around because theres no middle bracing ( I attached chain to the inside to keep them from spreading completely apart but it does nothing forthe inward movement of the legs.

My wife helps me setup and we are pretty efficient so far, we did about 20 differant shots covering about a 3 acre square on some serious hillsides with little trouble
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Old September 17th, 2004, 12:38 PM   #18
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<<Pan & Tilt is overated no matter how smooth it is and trust me its great but only for "setting up" from monitor position, the less movement you get at the camera on a swivel the better because even the pros with $50K cameras avoid panning at all costs because it is an unatural thing at the base of the camera off a crane and I have about 1 hour of footage to prove it. The best shots are leaving the camera locked and let the crane pan for you at least in the Digital world, film may be differant.>>

Mark:

Set-and-forget jib shots are great and are the only solution when the system is not designed to be actively operated. But I can't say that I agree with your statement. If the head is meant to be operated during the move, which is the case with products starting with the Losmandy Freestyler, up through the Jimmy Jib and on to the higher end remote heads such as Power Pod, Hot Head etc., there's nothing "overrated" or "unnatural" about it!

It has nothing to do with the cost of the camera, only around the nature of the shoot. I have done a number of crane shots with DV cameras, only a few of which have I signed off on avoiding panning simply because the hardware didn't allow it (which I knew going in). Here's a deceptively simple shot made with an XL1 (not even an XL1s, mind you!) that required continuous backpanning all the way through. Here's a description of how we did that shot (from this thread:)

"The final crane shot (using a 23' Fischer arm and Hot Gears) was technically tricky, because it required the track to be laid perpendicular to the arm, and as the base was dollied left to right the arm was swung in a countering fashion so that the camera appeared to be pulling straight back. Any variation in speed between the various folks operating the base and the arm meant that the camera would wander from side to side during the pullback. Not to mention that it is a challenge to operate such a shot, in that one is constantly backpanning (dialing the pan just to keep the camera pointed straight ahead). Once the dolly had finished moving, we then swung the arm fully from left to right along a 180 degree arc while booming up, which gave us that massive travel as dad walks away."
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Old September 17th, 2004, 03:08 PM   #19
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Charles,

Great -spectacular-stupendous shot! did you get that on your first try? I know , I know, the actor kept screwing up right?

First thing employed here that defeats my statement is a Dollie in which makes my statement about stationary crane a little unfair because to make that dollie shot effective pan had to be incorporated or a differant track run setup ( I am actually starting my dollie system next week)

Regardless I will try and back up my claim using your shot, I see 4 (Im not sure what they are called but pick one"Glitch" or "unatural movement" or "something the brain knows happened where the scene jerked ever so slightly and some just watching may not even catch it or care" but me doing alot of crane shots in the last couple days spotted them pronto.

#1- right after he puts backpack on , glitch right

#2 - right as the tree leaves view of the screen , also the biggest ( most noticable) one

#3 which consists of maybe 3 slight ones in a row upon him entering the cab

had they been smooth as butter I would have stuck with the " lets compare apples to apples " thing but the dollie being included throws oranges in.

I will expand on what I meant pertaining to a stationary crane , If I crane up but tilt down this kind of defeats the purpose unless some tree branches or something sweeps into view.

I can crane up and add pan (which I have done smoothly) but you are taking one cool thing and distracting from that by adding a not so cool thing unless your camera is capable of seriously smooth pans ( mine is not unless ultra slow and at this point I only have 13' to work with ) again why ruin a good thing by trying to add another dimension to what made the first thing neat to begin with.

The guy/s/gal/s who shot the "Kill Bill" Dance Club Scene , now that scene alone makes my statement total BS as does yours but when I get my dollie done then I will take the word "overated" out and add "extremely hard"

I went to the movie "Hero" the other night and was blown away at the filming except whenever they decided to ruin it with a pan or two but you knew they were pans right away because they were blurry, seemed out of focus or something unatural, unless of course Jack Daniels is involved.

Maybe Im just picky and not making sense
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Old September 20th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #20
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Wish I could remember the ops name... The Drum Corps International Championships DVDs have a jib/crane cam for field shots. If you want to see great work of action footage with a crane, check it out (rental? DVDs are $100). I might be able to post a clip where the head of his rig is in my shot. But no promises. He works all day and when it gets boring, has been known to move the rig to inches from someone who has to stay in place. This year, he knocked a hat off during finals ;)

Update - this is not a homebuilt, but is the above mentioned rig used for action shots similar to Charles' example. Sorry about the quality, as this was a quick pan, so it is interlaced and blurry.

http://www.versatilemediasolutions.c.../blurryjib.jpg
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Old September 20th, 2004, 08:11 PM   #21
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Mark:

Fair enough, I'll take my operating knocks for the backpanning issues you noticed in that clip! It sure ain't perfect. But it was a really tough shot, even at the feature level I would have been sweating a bit due to the extent of the backpanning.

I certainly agree that if the hardware does not allow for smooth pans and tilts, they should be avoided as they will muck up the good stuff. But please, take it from me (and I don't like to flaunt this stuff around here, but you can see where I'm coming from when I say "take it from me" by clicking on the www link), with the appropriate gear, pros do not avoid panning or tilting. I've done many shots that sweep in from a high angle into a closeup, which is not possible without at least tilt and probably pan as well.

<<If I crane up but tilt down this kind of defeats the purpose unless some tree branches or something sweeps into view.>>

It honestly doesn't. It's a classic, standard move that can be used to illustrate a character in anguish (picture them grabbing their head and screaming "ARRGHHH!" as the camera pulls up and away); or think about the shot in "Shawshank Redemption", craning down on Tim Robbins in the rainstorm after escaping from jail ( no noticeable tilt in the shot, but I'll bet you an apple AND an orange it required it). I've done plenty of shots that start way above the actor and cranes down to or below their eye level; can't be done without a tilt.

Having foreground goodies like trees in the foreground is a great thing and always worth putting into the shot. But it's not the only reason to make a jib/crane move.

Mark, I think we are saying basically the same thing here...aren't we??!
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 04:44 PM   #22
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Mark, you are clearly getting tired of the crane, I suggest selling it to me right away.
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