Camera Jib Operator

Let’s watch a video shot with a jib:

Darn. Pretty hard to not catch feels watching Springsteen sing that song. Give us a minute to dry our eyes.

Anyway. You may have noticed how the establishing shot of the song went from the back of the crowd to the stage. And you may have seen the shot like the one at the 0:44 mark that went from being up close in Springsteen’s face before zooming back dramatically. Or maybe you saw close-up shots of instruments that moved from band members and swept across the stage. There’s one at the 0:21 mark.

Let’s talk logistics. Consider this crew is shooting right smack dab in the middle of 30 Rock Plaza on a weekday morning. Those are some pretty tight quarters. You can’t get a big crane into a situation like that. And the folks in the crowd are big Bruce fans. They’re not about to make way for a big crane. So how did they do it?

Some jib-jabber

At the 4:41 mark you can see a jib towering above the crowd. It’s probably the same one used in the establishing shot. What is it? And how is it different than a crane?

Jibs — or Jimmy Jibs as they’re sometimes called — are a staple on contemporary film sets. A jib arm is a boom device with a camera on one end and camera controls on the other. It operates like a see-saw and the camera end of the arm moves with an arc. Jibs can be moved vertically and horizontally. Sometimes at the same time.

They’re good for getting high shots. And they can go pretty high. Jibs range from 6 feet to 30 feet high. Way higher than a crane. Jibs are also mounted on dolly for shots in which cameras move over obstacles. When a normal dolly can’t be used due to furniture — or Max Weinburg’s drums — a jib is a great way to get that pivotal shot.

Check out the establishing shot of our 2019 reel for some great jib shots.

See how the camera almost floats away from the parkour artist? That’s the work of a great jib operator.

Since the camera and operator are separate it’s essential that the jib operator understand how to use their equipment.

Jibs are different than a crane because only the camera goes into the sky. The cameraman stays on the ground. This means that jibs are less dangerous than cranes. And, as an added bonus, they’re also lighter and easier to transport.

A jib for every job

All productions are under a time crunch. Even when your producers have everything planned to the letter something inevitably goes awry. The set designer needs to repaint, or there’s too much rain, or not enough rain. Things get off track.

That’s why you need to make sure you don’t waste time or money on subpar jib work. We’ve been working with the best for 10 years plus and we can help you tell your story with the smoothest camera work around.

Whether you’re working with us on a full scale production or need help with your existing assets, we pride ourselves on our service. ECG is a script-to-screen powerhouse. That means we not only help tell your story, but we take it to the next professional level.

The long and short of it is, at ECG we’ve got a jib for every job. And a job for every jib. Contact us today.