What is a Jib?
In cinematography, a jib is a boom device with a camera on one end and a counterweight and camera controls at the other. It operates like a see-saw with a fulcrum in the center. A jib is useful for getting high shots, or shots that need to move a great distance; horizontally or vertically, without the expense and safety issues of putting a camera operator on a crane. The camera is controlled by a cabled remote control at one end, and at the other a super-responsive electro mechanic pan/tilt head (hot head) - allowing for smooth pans and tilts.
What is a Jimmy Jib?
The Jimmy Jib is a lightweight, modular camera crane system constructed out of triangular aluminum tubing. It has a relatively small pack-down size which allows for easy transportation and setup almost any location. Depending on the terrain of the location, the Jimmy Jib can be easily repositioned between shots, wheeled easily and quickly on smooth terrain or with provided time and care moved happily to another set-up point for rougher surfaces.
How high can the camera go?
Our Jib configurations can allow us to raise a camera to a lens height anywhere from 1.8 meters (6 feet) to 15 meters (46 feet), and depending on configuration requirements can support a camera up to the weight of 22.5 kilograms. This means any sort of camera, whether it be 16mm, 35mm or broadcast/video. See the diagram below for specifics.
||Max Lens Height
||Max Camera Weight
The strength of the Jimmy Jib it is the "reach" of the crane arm that becomes the important factor in creating interesting and dynamic compositions plus allowing the operator to raise the camera above obscuring power-lines or animated concert goers - thus allowing for a clear, high wide shot if need be.
How low can it go?
With the "Triangle" Jimmy Jib set up in an "under-slung" configuration, the camera can be made to rest almost directly off the floor - making the minimum lens height about 20 centimeters (8 inches). Of course, if you're willing to dig a hole, cut away a section of the set or shoot on a platform this minimal lens height can be reduced.
What is the required operating area for a Jimmy Jib?
Depending on the size of the jib and the amount of counter-weight required, the necessary space required to make the jib "do its thing" can vary. Please refer to the below diagrams for measurements depending to specific Jimmy Jib setups.
The jib is usually built into its own base which in turn can be mounted on large rubber (off road) wheels or studio crab dolly wheels. The section of the fulcrum point extends out at varying lengths depending on the reach of the arm you're using, up to a maximum of 13.2 meters (40 feet). The rear section extends away from the fulcrum in ninety centimeter (3 feet) intervals up to a maximum of three meters (9 feet) - but room also is required for the operator to stand at the back and control the boom arm.
How does the remote head work?
The remote head (or hot head) is operated with a joystick control panel. The controls are connected with a cable to the head, which contains fine pitch controlled electrical servo motors and gears. These are configured to allow the operator to pan, tilt and with an additional "slip ring", roll. This hothead is silent, allowing for effective operation in sound sensitive production environments.
How many people does it take to operate the Jimmy Jib?
Usually, two operators are required for the operation of the jib. One person "swings" (moves) the actual counter-balanced boom arm, whilst another operates the hot head. We supply all the operators / technicians required for operation of the Jimmy Jib.
How long does it take to set up a Jimmy Jib?
We will always ask you to allow one hour for a jib to be set up on a flat surfaced area, yet the jib is usually ready for operation in forty-five minutes. If the location is more hazardous, more time is required. It also takes around ten minutes to fit and balance the camera on the hothead.
If a Focus Puller is required to operate the lens control for focus/zoom/iris, you will need to check with them if they prefer a wireless or hard-wired control unit. For the hard-wired option, a 10 meter (30 feet) cable is the minimum requirement - as well as a video tap for the camera.
The Jimmy Jib is frequently used in studio scenarios and can be supplied on studio crab dolly wheels built on to a converted HP pedestal, built onto a solid track, or mounted on a conventional dolly.
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