DIY Jib/Crane with pan and tilt head...

Grand total ~US$150, although most of the stuff for the crane I just had laying around. The head was $60.

OK, so the crane is this one on a bigger tripod:

The construction is with little metal brackets that I made the main "tilt" frame with L-brackets and the rest to make the cage with a block of wood for the main bottom support.

This frame was placed inside the "pan" frame which hangs off the original camera platform on the crane.

For controls, I've attached springs to the top of the tilt so the camera points skyward naturally, then ran a cable down to the control end of the crane for the operator and attached that to the bottom of the platform so the Op can counter the springs by pulling back on the cable to tilt down.

I made a PVC/wood handle on top of the crane which rotates, then attached a cable on either end each of which run down a side of the crane and pull on the top left and top right respectively to make the pan work... so currently the left hand drives the crane and operates the pan, while the left hand operates the tilt. It pans ~120 degrees and tilts ~100 degrees. The cables are run through silicone tubing and that through eye hooks for mounting to the camera.


Video of the beast in action.
The director wanted to cut from a high shot of the main character at the door, to a low shot from under the table, to a high shot looking down at the table... As the Director of Photography on this project, I thought it would present the director's intention more if we did it in one continuous take with a smooth (hey, it was the first time with this thing ;) ) camera move between the three shots to show the main character's apprehension. The director intimated that that was the shot he initially saw in his head, but didn't think he could get.

My normal DP, Jake Goose was camera op for me on this one. He also helped me build the pant/tilt and the dolly we've got it riding on.

That was a DVX... some of the settings were wrong as I wasn't familiar with the camera. I have some problems with the colors and unnatural sharpness of the footage. We also shot on 24pa (apparently) which I've never had to worry about on my canon, so the interframe motion is wrong and we lost alot of post production time trying to sort that out... I still hate the DVXs - over-sharp, over-saturated and they just feel like toys... plasticy! They don't fit my aesthetic, but it's what the director wanted, so what we used - I did the best I could... I apologize for its pristinity.
If my parents saw I had dug a hole like THAT in the yard, I'd be in it right now.

Have you ever built a regular non control head jib?

The shots aren’t as versatile, but having one for quick shots might not be bad.







Yep, infact, the jib it's on uses the old camera platform as the hangar for the p/t head... it'll still fly without the cage on too, just more options as attachments.

That's a nice lookin' boom :) The size is nice as you can have a single person set it up... mine likes 2... it's big and heavy - but REALLY sturdy and gets shots form 10-12' down to 6"... I was going for impressive rather than portable ;) (and 8 foot boom meant less cutting as the 2x2s I had were 8' /me=lazy)
Pink styrofoam, cut to shape, shaved round, gray latex exterior paint to protect from the spray paint in salmon, mossy green and some odd blue. Those were dusted on in randomish patterns, then a dusting of black to dim the colors. Chopsticks shoved in the bottom and into the ground.

To cut the styrofoam, my dad rigged a soldering gun (the replaceable tip kind) with uncoated coat hangar rather than the regular tip. It was long enough to make it through 2" styrofoam like a blade. Worked like a champ!

My name and the ADs are on a couple of them as we were the ones who made the graveyard. The Actor dug the grave - real trooper.
I just watched it again, and it still looks like old headstones ever knowing they were made.

Let me ask you: What kind of cable did you use for the head, I know you fed it through tubing (Hose), but is it like for garage doors or hanging pictures or...?

It's steel twisted cable from a big reel at the hardware store. Not sure the size or much else, just picked it visually and verified it could hold the load up.

The tubing is silicone tubing to be as friction free as possible.