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14 Jun 2024


Term: Jib
Description: In cinematography, a jib is a boom device with a camera on one end and a counterweight and camera controls on the other. It operates similarly to a seesaw, allowing the camera to be moved vertically, horizontally, or in a combination of both. It is used to achieve smooth, sweeping shots and to capture high-angle and low-angle shots that would otherwise be difficult to achieve with handheld or static cameras.

What are the components of a jib?

Jibs typically  consists of the arm (or boom), counterweights, a fulcrum or pivot point, and a mount for the camera.

It’s no secret that our profession comes with a lot of toys. We all have our wish lists that grow by the minute as new and must-have gear comes out quite often, fueling our need to have the latest and greatest. Until we win the lotto and are able to complete our arsenal of photography goodies, we need to get creative and make do with what we’ve got.


And even if you do happen to have all the equipment you want and need (the 5 of you out there), in certain situations, we simply cannot bring it all. Sometimes you are in a run and gun situation where carrying and setting up multiple pieces of heavy equipment is just not possible. In the following video from PremiumBeat, cinematographer Brett Pierce gives a quick tutorial on how to get a nice and smooth jib shot using a slider. Your slider can pull double duty if you don’t have a jib or crane or simply do not have the time to set up a jib. All you need is a tripod, two heads, a slider, and a DSLR to achieve the nice vertical or horizontal moving shots similar to a jib.

Just make sure your fluid head – at least one of them – is a high-quality one, that can handle heavy weight. The footage from this hack is pretty good and it saves you time and money. And that is always a good thing.

Watch Awesome Cinematography: Achieving a Jib Shot with a Slider

To see more cinematography tips and tutorials, check out the Premium Beat blog here.

[Via NoFilm School]

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