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Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:30 PM   #1
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Ceiling Mounted Camera Jibs

Does anyone know of any manufacturers of jibs which can be mounted on the ceiling of an auditorium rather than on top of a tripod (etc) on the ground? I need a jib which is as unobtrusive as possible as it will be sweeping over people in an audience. Something like SkyCam but on a smaller, less expensive scale (maybe...?) Big ask i know, but i thought i might put it out there just in case. Cheers....
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 06:55 AM   #2
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Hmmm..
Definatly an interesting idea. Don't see why it woudln't work...

I haven't ever seen or heard of anythign like this - you may have an original idea here.

The one problem I see with the design is the mounting:
A normal crane/jib is balanced so that the wight of the system is on the pivot, and there for pushed right into the ground through the mount.
Having a suspended mount would put massive requirements on the mounting system to take the wieght (multiplied by the leverage) of the system. - Sounds rather risky to me for most any application - especially over people (like and audience).

Nomally those shots are done with a jib mounted normally, but on a platform so that when level it is still above the audience. - and on a bigger budget often a Technocrane is used.. and this can preaty much cover the entire space as wished.


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Old March 3rd, 2005, 09:59 AM   #3
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You can mount any crane upside down. You'll have to reverse the control arm and the boom, and make sure that you have enough room between the pivot point and the ceiling so that the counterweight end doesn't smash into the ceiling. Now having said that, this is a dangerous idea over an audience! Especially if you are using a really long boom. A friend of mine needed a dolly shot with a short jib move, but the location didn't allow for dolly track on the ground. The dolly in my book has the ability to hang upside down, so we ran the track near the ceiling and hung the "Killer's Kiss Crane" (a short jib) from the dolly. It worked out great.

But this is something I wouldn't do over live humans. Please give up on this idea. You could kill someone.

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Old March 3rd, 2005, 03:33 PM   #4
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Cables

What about something suspended on cables or wires which is maneuverable. Kind of like the NFL's SkyCam....??
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 04:02 PM   #5
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I seccond Dan's coment of Danger. - this of course applies ot anything over people.

Skycam (the fully 3D manuarable system invented by Garret Brown) is most likly the most exity and versitile option. However it costs big big bucks and requires specially trained 'pilots' to operate.
Flycam / Cablecam ... a camera runing on a single wire (so like an arial Dolly) is by far the simplest option, and most realistic.
These can be homebuilt resonably easily, but again, it's over an audience which isn't very safe.
- Even stage lights (which don't move and are clamped in place by large rock solid clamps) have a seconday saftey cable on them whever they are mounted in amy place where someone *could* be under them. So a camera is definatly somethign you want to be very carefull with.

The (only) answer is to get a professional. someone who does this for a living and knows what they are dooing. Don't kid around with safty.


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Old March 3rd, 2005, 10:37 PM   #6
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Safety

So is that to say that your regualr jib or crane used at most audience attended TV shows/ music awards etc... are unsafe? How about SkyCam then? Isn't that putting the players at risk of copping a camera on the head? Come on peeps, i know there are safety issues but for cranes to be in use already OVER people there MUST be some way of safely doing this! Help me out, sure i dont do this for a living but it's information i need to know
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #7
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The most unsafe element of running an arm out over an audience is the operator's attention. A one-man rig like a Jimmy Jib requires the operator to have his eyes glued on the monitor as well as being aware of where the end of the arm is resting, and there is no way to safety it to keep it from dropping below a certain height. If the operator loses concentration for whatever reason and allows the arm to dip, it could take out an unsuspecting soul below. It's a good argument for having a grip work the arm while the camera operator works on framing.

Along those lines, as Mikko mentioned the Skycam requires a pilot to fly the camera through space and an operator to pan/tilt/zoom/focus etc. In the case of GB's version of Skycam (this is based on my experience as a Skycam operator at the '96 Olympics--the system has changed since, but I assume becoming nothing but more sophisticated), you program in the flying parameters on all sides, including a "floor" i.e. minimum flying height. Thus it is impossible to pilot the camera into someone's noggin, outside of system failure.

As far as a ceiling-mounted jib, I can't imagine how you would operate the arm outside of building a fairly large platform at the rear which would also have to be suspended from the ceiling. There are some motorized arms out there for specialized applications like mounting on the roofs of cars, but I haven't seen any for this sort of thing. Honestly, after all is said and done, I can't see how this sort of setup would be considered "low profile"...!

Point-to-point systems like Cablecam, Flycam etc. are much less exotic than Skycam, obviously more limited. And then there's the ultimate amusement park ride, Skyman--check out the demo!
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Old March 4th, 2005, 04:55 AM   #8
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Tim,
I think you missunderstood one of my posts...
A regular jib, that is on the floor - or a rased platform, a good solid balcony.. (ON something) is realativly safe by all physical means. - What Charles said about the operator still holds true.
And those are the jibs that are used all the time, and take no more than a qualifide jib operator/grip to set up safely.

The danger issue comes when you are trying to mount that jib on the ceiling, which is very un safe. because; well basicaly the whole jib can fall if it's mount gives way.

And as for the cabled cameras I was jsut mentioning that they take experienced (trained) people to set them up.

so in short:
Jib on floor or platform: good with 2 operators, even better.
Jib on ceiling/hanging mount: Bad. however you do it.
Cable suspension: good, but only with trained riggers.


..Good luck!

- Mikko
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Old March 4th, 2005, 10:24 AM   #9
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OMG! Charles, that Skyman is amazing. I love the Disney shots.

On an irrelevant note, I just found out exactly how David Copperfield flies, it's so clever, but I won't tell, I'll just glote.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:04 PM   #10
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Copperfield did a guest shot on a show I was on once. Looking at him in the eyes is a little--strange. Can't put my finger on it.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #11
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Posted by: Dan Selakovich
"But this is something I wouldn't do over live humans. Please give up on this idea. You could kill someone."


Dan, would it be safer doing it over dead humans? Ha ha ha. I couldn't resist!
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #12
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He has annoyed me for years with his flying antics, and now I know.
It's very human how they make him fly, and really fascinating.

Just need to work out how he saws himself in half...



edit: James:- HAHAHA, I noticed that too.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for the help everyone. Cleared a lot of questions up.... I DO wanna know how Copperfield flies though!! Haha
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Old March 6th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #14
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"Dan, would it be safer doing it over dead humans? Ha ha ha. I couldn't resist!"

hehehehe. And where do the newly undead fall? Personally, I don't care for them, so go ahead and mount that crane on the ceiling. I hear David Copperfield is a Zombie. Maybe that's why Charles feels so uncomfortable looking into his eyes. Just a rumor, but you never know.

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