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#1 jed read

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 10:10 PM

Hey im thirteen and i have been into cinematography for a couple of years and i love it. I am going to do a film for next tropfest jr and I was wondering what the cheapest way to make a crane is, or are there any other cheap options to get high up. I need it to just to dolly through branches and reveal a boy building tree house. :D
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#2 Evan Pierre

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 01:38 AM

Try using google, there are loads of guides on the internet.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:48 PM

If you're talking about tree height, it some like you'll need a cherry picker rather than the DIY small cranes which seem to max out at about 10 feet.

You can rent one from companies that specialize in construction equipment rental. They're usually mounted on a small truck, so if you're 13 a suitable adult will have make arrangements and operate. Good cherry pickers can be very effective, but the moves are slow and tend to sway slightly when coming to a halt unless the machine is in very good order and you've got a good operator.

Chances are it would be cheaper than building a crane.
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#4 Mark Williams

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:01 PM

Hey im thirteen and i have been into cinematography for a couple of years and i love it. I am going to do a film for next tropfest jr and I was wondering what the cheapest way to make a crane is, or are there any other cheap options to get high up. I need it to just to dolly through branches and reveal a boy building tree house. :D


If you can safely be in a higher position IE from a window you could use some broken branches in front of the camera and push through them or have some one hold them either side and part them as the camera aproaches. Its not just having a crane its also being able to control the camera so you can keep the subject framed and it has to be done well. Another way may be to build a fake tree house a few yards away underneath a window. or find a suitable tree near a window. You could also build a treehouse set on its side and have the boy stand against it looking over the top. The camera could dolly in and it would appear as if the boy was lying flat looking over the edge. Could be VERY effective if you used a green screen and a view from above as the background. You could fake it all and make it look very realistic if you want this shot badly enough and for little to no money.. Just remember whatever you do. Safety first! ;)

Edited by Mark Williams, 20 April 2008 - 03:03 PM.

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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:39 PM

No reason why it couldn't be faked at ground level, once a tree is established you can move through some branches using leaves to wipe the lens at ground level to reveal the tree house. However, you'd need to be careful about your background. Its surprising how audiences accept these things.
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#6 will dyre

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:34 PM

i would recommend a scissor type lift. these move at very reasonable speeds and with some practice a good operator can bring em to a very smooth stop with minimal bounce.

i admire people like you i was in the same place you were just a while back. i loved film and i got started very young. stick with it and if you really love it it can be very rewarding.

i would call up your local equipment rental store and say your a student about to work on a film and wondered if theyd help you out. a lot of companies will help you out.
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#7 Tom Jensen

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:42 PM

Hey im thirteen and i have been into cinematography for a couple of years and i love it. I am going to do a film for next tropfest jr and I was wondering what the cheapest way to make a crane is, or are there any other cheap options to get high up. I need it to just to dolly through branches and reveal a boy building tree house. :D


Look up a crane operator or owner in your area. Tell him what you are dong. Appeal to his senses. Beg and cry. Make him feel guilty. What grumpy old guy could resist a 13 year old DP? Believe me, there aren't many people in the film business who knew they wanted to be a cinematographer at 11. You might have a future. People can appreciate someone your age taking an interest in film like you do.
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#8 Bob Hayes

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 09:20 PM

Here is a cool site with lots of DIY jibs. Have fun!
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:34 AM

Rig the camera to two parallel ziplines run through the trees and send'er down!
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:58 AM

No reason why it couldn't be faked at ground level, once a tree is established ....


Exactly the right approach. Do it safely. Just keep the ground out of frame, keep the camera low looking up, and there's no reference to how high up you are. Cut from the establishing shot to your ground level work, and the audience accepts it as being up there:

1. Establishing shot, very wide, big tree
2. Medium at the base of the tree, he starts climbing
3. Bunch of close stuff looking up as he climbs thru leaves towards sky, but all done safely near ground level. Just go to smaller and smaller trees of the same species as he supposedly goes higher.
4. Whatever you want to shoot on the ground level treehouse set.

No movie is worth getting hurt.



-- J.S.
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#11 Evan Pierre

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 01:24 AM

Shooting from the ground and faking it is probably going to be your best bet.

If you really really really want to get the camera up in the air you could try building something like this: http://www.youtube.c...re=channel_page

All it is is a long stick resting on a single point, some weight to make it easier to lift, and a way to mount the camera. Get someone like your dad to help you out.

good luck and stay safe!
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