I get a lot of people asking me what is it like to run a jib? Is it hard to do and how do you do it? I usually joke that playing video games helps with the eye hand co-ordination but I never really played joysitck based games so much. Beyond the video game comparison is the physical act of moving a big pole through space. It is always bad to smack something. I also compare it to learning to play guitar. I can teach you a few simple chords and just like that you can entertain around a campfire, Jimmy Hendrix, however, you are not.
My first advice to new operators is always to keep glancing up to see where the end of the jib is. It is easy to get get mezmorized by the monitor and forget about the business end of the arm moving around out there. The following video gives some good examples on this. We where shooting some promotional video for a band that they would use later. We put the jib on the stage which is kind of unusual. A big challenge to this was the band members moving all over and having to keep an eye on them as not to smack them. The other fun part was the producer thought it would be neat to feed the jib to the screen above the stage. It was literally “you are live the whole time”. I have done this a few time before and actually enjoy it.
The last section of the video shows me operating. We have bird feeders around our house. I have noticed that when the birds feed, they constantly check around them for danger. Watching the video, I realize I do the same thing. I am also not usually that tense when I operate. All the moving targets kept me wound up pretty good. Thanks to Sean Brown for the gopro work and behind the scenes footage.
[Insert JIb Operating Video]