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#1 Renny McCauley

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:03 PM

I've already started one thread about this but I actually more questions than I realized. This is for a student short being shot on an Arri SR2 Super 16. The shot I want to do involves having the camera pointing straight down at the ground. Then it jibs straight down to an actor who is lying on the ground. I didn't realize that it would be so hard to find a jib capable of this shot. Does anybody know what equipment might work for this shot?

I've looked at the triangle jib but it doesn't appear that it will point straight down. I've looked at the straight shoot'r, but it's out of our budget and possibly out of our know-how. Our ideal budget would be under $200/day.

The triangle jib was going to run us $185 and I'm wondering if there might be a creative solution to the problem. The reason it can't point straight down is because it will only point as far down as our fluid head which at best can do 45 degrees. What if I worked with a ramped surface? For example what if the actor laid on a ramped loading dock while the camera stayed on a flat surface? We would be faking the ramp as a horizontal surface. Does this seem like it might work or do people have other ideas? Another idea I had which is probably not advisable is to extend one leg of the sticks until the camera could be aimed straight down. Of course there would be plenty of sandbags and hands to keep it safe. Any help would be great. This shot is supposed to happen this weekend. Thanks,
Renny
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:24 PM

....This shot is supposed to happen this weekend. Thanks,
Renny


It might work to rig a safety harness under the actor's clothing...hang them on a strong wall...put the camera on a dolly...then dolly in. Similar gags have be used to crucify and hang actors. The important points obviously are a strong tie point on the wall and a good, OSHA rated harness.
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:16 PM

Get any 90-degree plate. These are quite common, and cheap. They also come standard with most Fisher and Chapman packages.

Don't suspend anyone when shooting a student film. (Unless you have the properly trained and appropriate technicians on set).



Using just a jib move may have a very slight arc, which may or may not be visible, depending on the size of the move and the lens used, and how accurate you want the center of frame to stay. To make the move perfectly perpendicular to the floor, put the jib on dolly, and dolly as you jib.


Examples of 90-degree plates/mounts:

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#4 Gus Sacks

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:58 AM

I've done this a few times with a Fisher 11, Off-set (3 ft normally), RO, and a 2-axis head like a Weaver Steadman. If you need to go higher, the Risers work. Just needs a little finagling, but it works.
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#5 Gus Sacks

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:00 AM

or Fisher 10. More times than not with the 10.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:54 AM

A triangle jib will point straight down, but with the stanton 2 or 3 axis head, not with your fluid head. Also, I've never heard of a Triangle going for $185. The cheapest would probably be about $400...more with an operator, which you will need.
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#7 Renny McCauley

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:17 PM

Daniel, the 90 degree plate seems like a very affordable solution. Are the 90 degree plates safe to use on the triangle jib?

I wasn't planning on hiring an operator. I was told that the triangle jib is pretty easy to teach yourself. I've used a smaller studio jib and found it fairly intuitive. Am I being insane to think that I will be able to operate the triangle jib safely without an operator?

The rental place is renting me the triangle jib for $185/day. It only has a 6' reach.

Renny
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#8 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:51 PM

Yes, 90-degree plates and mounts are fine to use on pretty much anything, provided they can fit together properly (contact the rental house to make sure you get a kind that's compatible with your jib, such as ball to mitchell adapter, etc.). The L-cheese plates can pretty much be put on anything, and usually have holes that take 3/8" bolts. These are by far easier, more common, faster setup, and cheaper than multi-axis heads.

You do not necessarily need an operator for a jib that small. I'm not sure which "triangle jib" you have (triangle can refer to any jib using a 3-point truss design), but small jibs are generally easy to put together. For larger jibs, that require more assembly, more weight, remote operated, etc., etc., yes, it is best to hire a trained operator. But on a student film, just make sure you read up on how to assemble it, balance it (important), secure and safety it, and then operate it. Feel free to go to your rental house and ask for a demonstration -- most places are happy to show you how their gear works.


Two examples of jibs that don't always require an operator, but does require attention and care paid to how it's assembled and used:
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An example of a jib that requires an operator, or experienced grip/dolly grip:
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Depending on which one yours looks more like, you may or may not want to hire an operator.

-DW

Edited by Daniel Wallens, 16 January 2009 - 12:52 PM.

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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:49 PM

I wasn't planning on hiring an operator. I was told that the triangle jib is pretty easy to teach yourself. I've used a smaller studio jib and found it fairly intuitive. Am I being insane to think that I will be able to operate the triangle jib safely without an operator?

Since it's only a 6' reach and you're not using a remote head (if you're using a 90 degree plate), I would say that you probably don't need an operator. If you end up using a remote head, and/or extending the length quite a bit, I would say you should get an operator.

The rental place is renting me the triangle jib for $185/day. It only has a 6' reach.

Renny

Hmm, I guess the short length and lack of a remote head is the reason it's so cheap.
Good luck.
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#10 Renny McCauley

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:57 PM

Thanks for all the helpful tips and information. I'm working with the jib rental guy right now to see if we can find a working solutions.
Renny
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc