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Old August 28th, 2013, 12:02 PM   #1
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Using a crane/jib on a wedding

Hi all, I have just got a simple jib system off fleabay. Its a carbon fibre rig made in china. Very light and portable works well with the GH3's and smaller handy cam's.

So my questions is: Do any of you use a jib? If so, when in the day?

Am finding it hard to fit assembling the rig and getting to use it in the busy wedding day shoot.

Any thoughts?
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Old August 28th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

I've used mine only a few times. For me the best opportunity is when everything (prep, ceremony, reception) is in the same location and I can set it up in the morning, park it somewhere and then pull in out when I need it.

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Old August 28th, 2013, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

There has been a time I was thinking of getting a portable small and light jib but I came to my senses and got a steadicam instead. :) Eventhough you can get some awesome looking crane shots it's just to cumbersome to move from position to position and you need to look out for not damaging anything, if you are shooting as a team I"d say yes to use it but as a solo shooter I"m much more mobile with a steadicam and I can do some crane looking motion, probably not the same but close enough. Even my steadicam only gets used starting at the venue as I don't want to drag that one along when I am moving between locations.

If I would be doing corporate videos I probably would get myself one.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

I've got an Aviator Jib that I don't like taking around. Reasons: setup time, as you said, is frustrating; application seems limited; a lot of the moves are replicable with a steadicam; plus the inconvenience of the fact you have to carry weights just seals the deal.

When we've used them: dress shot; cake shot. That's about it. One advantage over a steadicam, apart from sheer smoothness, is the ability to do something else while you're craning up or down -- like pull focus.

Some places I've seen people use them:

* First dance. Back of church. Even front of aisle. One slight issue: after you've craned up once or twice, how many times can you keep using that shot in the edit before it's overdone? It's more the perspective then that becomes handy, rather than the actual craning movement. That's what I've found anyway. Eg: you have an outdoors ceremony where you want to put camera at back of crowd, but need to get the height to see anything.

* Outside church, as the couple walks out. Depending on the layout of the church (eg whether the couple needs to walk down steps after they exit the church door) you can get an interesting angle here.

* Rob Adams once used rented a very tall crane to reach up to the chandeliers of a building, so he could use them as a foreground element for his shot.

* Bob Nicolas does random crazy things with remote heads and jibs. Eg:
-- Once saw a Bob Nicolas video where the ceremony was outdoors near a fountain. He attached a GoPro camera to the jib, attached a dolly to the tripod, and pushed the camera through the water to get a beautiful eye-candy shot.
-- A dress shot he used to use all the time: posing the dress on a mannequin next to a reflective surface; starting the camera inverted on the reflection, then craning up and pushing in and rotating at the same time to reveal the dress.
-- Gimicky photoshoot-type shots (eg getting the couple to walk underneath the jib while tilting the camera from inverted to upright).
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Old August 28th, 2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

We use the One Minute Crane and remote head. It def takes longer than a minute to put together. The trick is... to hire someone to only man the crane. We charge $1,000 to hire a operator and then our assistant helps with it when needed to move or setup. If the Ceremony and Reception is at two different places then we generally use it for the Before, During the ceremony. You only need 2-3 shots. If you use more than that in a video then it's over doing it and then it loses it's wow factor.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #6
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
* Bob Nicolas does random crazy things with remote heads and jibs.
Never heared of that guy so just checked his videos on vimeo, he indeed has some very creative moves up his sleeve, might steel some of his techniques :)
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Old August 29th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

Any videographer turning up at a wedding with a crane / jib should be shot on sight. And I mean with a bullet. Saying that with my photographer hat on :- ) I have occasionally threatened (jokingly) to fetch my hunting rifle from my car and they get the message that its a wedding not a film set or reality TV. The couple tend not to notice whats going on around them but for the guests its terrible just terrible. And wrecks countless stills compositions.

Pete
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Old August 30th, 2013, 03:13 AM   #8
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Any videographer turning up at a wedding with a crane / jib should be shot on sight. And I mean with a bullet. Saying that with my photographer hat on :- ) I have occasionally threatened (jokingly) to fetch my hunting rifle from my car and they get the message that its a wedding not a film set or reality TV. The couple tend not to notice whats going on around them but for the guests its terrible just terrible. And wrecks countless stills compositions.

Pete
Excellent! Payback time for all those obnoxious photographers:-) Last weekend I was shooting solo while there were two photographers who spent most of their time side by side getting in my way. One tog I can shoot around but two is more difficult. I was jostled by the pair of them as the couple came down the aisle as we all three stood shoulder to shoulder. In the evening they set up their tripods side by side to shot the couple walking through the guests holding sparklers so there was little room for me. For most traditional British weddings I don't see much reason for a photographer to have a second shooter unless purely for logistic reasons e.g. Need shots of bride & groom getting ready in separate locations. However if there is a second shooter surely they should be taking shots from another angle not merely duplicating what the lead photographer is doing?
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Old August 30th, 2013, 04:25 AM   #9
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
And wrecks countless stills compositions.
What about all my video compositions that have been wrecked by a photog that is visibible in each and every shot I take :) All joking aside, I do agree a wedding is not a place to put a crane, it is just too obvious, takes too much space and has very limited use throughout the day.

3 Years ago, before I had my steadicam I hired a steadicam operator with a pilot for a higher end wedding, I told him to just do his thing and during the first dance he was circling the couple at running speed, the shot he produced looked amazing but when I saw him running around the couple like a idiot he became the centre of attention and I was embarressed in his place. With a crane you would get the same effect to some extent. I prefer to blend in.

But I have to say that in some cases, especially for trailers that you use online a few controlled crane shots can give your video a lot of production value as it looks very professional. And if you have the time it would look great when used at a photoshoot but then again, the photog won't like that because it will wreck his compositions. ;)
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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:25 AM   #10
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

Right on Noa

Mine are usually ruined not by the photog in his t-shirt and dirty jeans (yep that's how most dress!) but his 2nd shooter who always seems to be in my shot in her bright orange top that screams "look at me" otherwise she ducks in front of my main cam (even though she has the whole aisle) and forgets that her flash is still sticking up above her head.

Hmmm maybe I should take my full vest rig into the Church and run in front of the photogs too??

Chris
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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #11
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

Its important to appreciate that - in the UK at any rate - virtually every wedding photographer is "a guy with a camera" and NOT a professional experienced fulltimer. You're not going to get that impression from their Wordpress template websites and greatest hits (only, never full weddings) images with which they populate their sites

Thats not to say that they cannot produce work acceptable to the clients, or that their work is always poor to average, or that it is inherently much riskier for the clients to hire them. What it does mean is that they have very little understanding of how they fit in to the scheme of things and how their actions can drastically change the ambience especially for the guests.

You see this time and again on forums like Fred Miranda where they proudly post their latest selections, many images of which are very elaborate and may require a high degree of technical knowledge with their multiple off camera radio synced flashguns etc, not to mention taking the couple away from their guests for ridiculous amounts of time.

And I agree with Nigel that having 2 photographers is almost always a waste of time. Its a marketing thing though because clients readily accept that they will - apparently - get wider coverage. But as all videographers know, the work rate of 2 photographer teams is nothing like as high as that of sole shooters and yes they do duplicate each others shots all the time :- ( Add to that the fact that virtually all 2 photographer teams are husband and wife or similar and with one of them very inexperienced rather than a coalition of 2 experienced pros (which the clients think they are getting) and it all starts to fall apart. But some of my colleagues in the States say that to NOT offer 2 photographers would be commercial suicide. There are very few however who charge or can charge what they should for two.

Much the same can be said for the video operators as well except for the difference that few pretend to be fulltime pros.

Got to say though that videographers trump photographers every time when it comes to lack of empathy with the wedding day and with the needs of the stills guy.

Why many videographers think its OK to circle the couple at close quarters during their first dance is beyond me. What a mess. "My clients booked me for my style" yahdi yahdi yah. Stop it.

I sometimes think of videographers as comparable to the stereotype German tourist getting his towel on the sunbed at the crack of dawn to claim his pitch and woe betide anyone who might want to encroach on his territory :- )

Pete
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:47 AM   #12
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Why many videographers think its OK to circle the couple at close quarters during their first dance is beyond me. What a mess. "My clients booked me for my style" yahdi yahdi yah. Stop it.
I must upload the footage from a wedding couple of weeks ago where for half the first dance the photographer was circling the couple at close quarters with his girlfriend/assistant/2nd shooter opposite him holding a speedlite. When they finished that they stood in front of our locked off cameras admiring the images on the back of the camera.

Unless a wedding is large then I think normally a single videographer is sufficient. The problem is that there are definitely portions of the day e.g. ceremony & speeches where a second videographer while not essential would be really handy & would add to the finished video.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 08:14 AM   #13
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

Hi Nigel

Absolutely!! I ONLY use a 2nd shooter if the bride wants the groom prep as well and they are getting dressed in a different location..if that's the case then my assistant picks up a cam from the bride's house, goes and does the guys and drops it off with me and then she goes home. The rest is all solo work and I have never had an issue. I also do the stills for smaller weddings along with video like Pete and also solo.

My niece's wedding had 3 photogs and two were duplicating each other's shots and the third seem to spend the entire reception holding a couple of spare lenses and generally doing nothing except get in the way!

I love doing video and stills in the package! The photog is never in my shot and the video guy doesn't give me any issues either. I know it's quite hard work but a perfect situation.

Chris
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Old August 30th, 2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

with his girlfriend/assistant/2nd shooter opposite him holding a speedlite

My point absolutely! They've learned on a seminar in some god-forsaken hotel somewhere run by a self-appointed wedding photography guru (who wouldn't be flogging seminars if they were actually shooting ANY weddings) that they should use off camera flash to set themselves above the rest. Not realising for a moment what annoying fu*$wits they appear to the guests - who are of course potential new clients.

When it comes to the 1st dance though I tend to think that any usable footage is a bonus as there is so much to go astray. So often guests walk past or stand in front of locked off cams or even the cam I'm obviously operating. They eithe don't see the cams or don't think they are recording; OK I disable the red flashing recording lights as i don't want the cams drawing attention.

At this wedding I had the main video cam right next to me from where I shot this still. Even so I had to strong arm several guests including the father of the bride to prevent them walking straight across the field of view to fill their faces at the cakes table. why they do that when they are supposed to be watching the dance I cannot imagine. I got lucky with the background as most of the guests were clapping and cheering rather than the usual backs of heads:

Ref 450-0691-04_mcrc Ashton Lamont Photo Video, Copyright

p.s. they are doing The Twist as in Pulp Fiction and it was brilliant :- )

Pete
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Old August 31st, 2013, 04:16 AM   #15
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Re: Using a crane/jib on a wedding

I know longer worry about the photog, I just put them into the film... I have tried to reason with them all and to no avail im afraid, its like talking to a brick wall. When the photog did a similar thing to me on the dance floor (B&G) surrounded by two photogs I put them into the B & G first dance on the DVD and sure thing the bride was livid. She rang the photog and told him, Steve (i) the videographer had said do not get in the way of the dance and be reasonable, so he was well prepped... She asked for a refund from the photog as she felt this was really important. I now put it into my contract about unforseen instances, ie, photogs, vicars, preists and anyone else who gets in the way or makes it impossible to erase from the edit. Sorry Matt, your question? Do you think you have the time to set up a jib crane, again like the steadipod if not used correctly it will make your footage cheesy/stupid... But with other men and time maybe...
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