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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:00 AM   #1
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Just completed my Jib/ any classic manuevers

Hello All, Just finished building my own Jib. Seems to work just how it should. Now I'm wondering about types of shots to practice with this thing instead of just waving it all around like someone that doen't know what he is doing (because I don't.)

1) Is there any classic maneuvers that I should try to master with this thing?

2) Are most shots done with wide angle or zoomed in?

3) any other tips, tricks, or techniques anyone wants to share? (I have no experience with these things at all)

4) Any publications or videos for learning about shooting with Jibs that someone can recommend??


Thanks very much.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
1) Is there any classic maneuvers that I should try to master with this thing?
Keep camera near of large objects and keep that object in the picture during whole movement.
For instance trees, walls, trucks...

Quote:
2) Are most shots done with wide angle or zoomed in?
angle should be as wide as possible in two reasons:
a) to reduce any shaky movement.
b) to impress overall movement.
If You zoom in You may get footage where You can't detect jib movement at all. It is confusing because all shakes will be boosted. So if You have forgotten shooting circumstances then You just don't understand why camera shakes from time to time ... no other movement.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:27 AM   #3
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Hi Frank,

I'm in much the same boat as Steve.

Any advice regarding the jib's camera tilt mechanise ? When to use it and when not to ? How useful is an auto tilt option ?

Cheers
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve Witt
3) any other tips, tricks, or techniques anyone wants to share? (I have no experience with these things at all) .
Hi Steve,
I haven't done a huge number of jib shots (well, not as many as I would like...) but these are some things that have worked for me in the past and help me when planning shots.
I find vertical Jib shots are often more effective when there are lots of horizontals in the shot, so a jib up and down would look good when (for example) filming the horizontal shelves of a bookcase,
(likewise horizontal tracking shots are better when theres lots of verticals, like trees in a forest, for example).
Also, get the camera as close as possible to the items being filmed, especially if you're using a wide angle, then the perspectives will change more radically, creating an illusion of greater movement
Hope this helps
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Witt
Hello All, Just finished building my own Jib. Seems to work just how it should. Now I'm wondering about types of shots to practice with this thing instead of just waving it all around like someone that doen't know what he is doing (because I don't.)

1) Is there any classic maneuvers that I should try to master with this thing?

2) Are most shots done with wide angle or zoomed in?

3) any other tips, tricks, or techniques anyone wants to share? (I have no experience with these things at all)

4) Any publications or videos for learning about shooting with Jibs that someone can recommend??


Thanks very much.

Steve, can you post a snapshot or two of the jib. I have some ideas for building one, and I am always interested in seeing what others have come up with.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Paul Jefferies
Also, get the camera as close as possible to the items being filmed, especially if you're using a wide angle, then the perspectives will change more radically, creating an illusion of greater movement
This is perfect suggestion! It's all about perspectives. Just keep always near objects.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #7
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the things to practice are starting and stopping - starting isn't too bad as the weight of the arm tends to damp out the movement, but doing a top to bottom tilt involves stopping before the arm hits the end stop - with a jerk, and this looks cack. Depending on your jib, you may have pan possibilities, while others fix the camera forwards. doing a rise, a swing, a pan and a tilt at the same time takes a lot of practice. Start with a fixed object centre frame and practice moves keeping the object in the centre - quite tricky. Practice from both ends of the arm. I often fit the pan arm forwards and down tilted. Then you can stand at the front and with your right hand on the bottom of the head, use your left to carry out pans and tilts even with the arm above your head - with a bit of tripod lift, I can get the camera around 8-9' above the ground, and just about manage pan and tilt. One thing you need to do is to make sure the balance is spot on. often you'll be left front or rear heavy and although the weight of the whole thing kind of hides this (and the bearings hide it a bit too) it does mean that the extra pressure you apply to start a movement is different as you go up, or down.

It also takes a while to get used to looking at a fixed monitor - you ARE using one, aren't you? A small lcd on the camera will never be pointing the right direction and at a distance, you'll misframe, or fail to see something critical in the shot - maybe a stray mic, or other object?

One thing you need to develop is a safety system. The damn things are heavy - mine especially so, and a fast jib movement can crash into solid objects, or even people with the real possibility of damage. This often happens because you are watching a screen and moving the arm at the same time. You may not see the idiot who has walked into the empty space where the arm is about to swing to!

Be careful to make sure cables have enough slack - if one gets tight the inertia in the moving arm will simply snap it!

Very often there is no need to move the camera - set the angle and then th movement of the arm is sufficient. On a distant shot, say 20 or more feet away, the full height travel of the arm doesn't look much on screen unless you frame something closer in the shot - this then appears to move very quickly when the arm rises, but the background stays quite still - a great perspective trick.

Another trick I use in music videos quite a bit is a swoop over an instrument - my favourite is to rise and sweep over a grand piano. you can do a low angle shot then a rise and swoop over the closed lid to frame the pianist from fairly close in.

operation. Remote zoom is handy, but I don't tend to use the zoom much during a jib movement - to be honest, adding zoom to pan, tilt, jib up, jib left is something a little too tricky for me unless I can practice first - doing this live is a bit scary!

My best advice is once you have one, use it in place of your normal tripod whenever you can - The lighter weight jibs are not wobble free when locked off with a smaller camera on them. If yours is like this. A simple cheap microphone stand works really well. set it at the right height and lower the jib onto it, then the mic stand provides the stability, while the arm is just hoilding the camera. You can then always do a surprise lift off and pan away at the end of the shot.
paul
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Old November 5th, 2006, 12:17 PM   #8
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Very, very helpful Paul, Thanks so much.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 02:27 AM   #9
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I second that Paul, thanks !

Mike
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Old February 18th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #10
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Hi all,

I bought a jib last year and I thought it was going to be the answer to my video dreams. Another dimension to my pictures at last! I have been shooting News for 20 years but love shooting landscapes as a sideline. However it has not been the joyful experience I thought it would be...I find this thing extremely difficult to use! I think it is going to take a lot of time and practice to get the hang of it.

It is is a very well made Libec Jib - solid and very heavy...but the wobble - especially on those beautiful shots where you zoom in on something from a distance (to throw background out of focus) and do a move, is painful. In fact I find most of the shots hard to control, especially the stops. But the side-to-side wobble or vibration ruins the shots.

The main thing I have to do is set up an external monitor, too, because I have no control over what I am shooting.

This is a hard piece of gear to use and control. Looks like a lot of days filled with nothing but practice and I can see a lot of energy being spent on only a few shots.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 05:01 PM   #11
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Great post Paul! Thanks for all the great advice.
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