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Two DIY Jib Projects That Will Cost You No More Than $30 and Some Elbow Grease

Have you been jonesing for arcing vertical and horizontal camera moves?  Perhaps you simply want an easy way to elevate your camera without having to climb a fence or set your tripod ontop of a chair.  Well, you’re in luck.  Here are two DIY jib projects that will let you do those things for less than $30 and a bit of your time.  The first is a small jib arm courtesy of Olivia Tech, the second is a slightly larger jib project from The Frugal Filmmaker, check out these videos to see them in action:

This first jib arm from Olivia Tech looks like a pretty nice tool for folks wanting something light and portable, and it’s small enough that you could reasonably keep an eye on the camera’s screen without needing a monitor.  Judging from the sample video it also looks pretty smooth:

For instructions and build details, go here.

If you’re looking for a larger jib that also lets you tilt the camera, then this second project from Scott Eggleston, aka the Frugal Filmmaker, may be more to your liking:

With a jib this large it will be more likely that you’ll need a monitor, and with that in mind Eggleston shows his own set up.  This is actually the second version of a design Eggleston had previously constructed, so check out both videos for a full instructional.  You can find the first version along with a full parts list here, and the updated version featured in the video here.

You might think, “well, when am I really going to need those swooping vertical/horizontal moves?”  You never know, and luckily, both of these projects can be pulled off for relatively cheap, so they may make for a good weekend project.

Have you tried building your own jib?  How were the results?  When’s the last time you used a jib?

[via CheesyCam and The Frugal Filmmaker]


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  • Awesome Post. Thank You!!!!!!!!

  • I’m on it, thanks for posting!

  • I don’t know. Seems like an awful lot of work when you can get the Glideshot pretty affordably and it works out of the box. Just my honest opinion.

    • If you don’t have the proper saw for cutting and punching holes in metal this may me a worthwhile path. I found this out the hard way when trying to make a DIY track dolly without these items.

  • olivia, man all i gotta say is wow

  • These types of posts are great.

  • E.M. Taboada on 03.28.12 @ 6:54PM

    Good to hear you guys liked the post – i’m hoping to start a weekly round-up of DIY projects, so stay tuned!

    • Yes, E.M.! I suspect you have a decent contingent of frugal, low-end media artists on the site. Thanks!!!

    • It would be also great to have a “best of” since there are tons of diy project coming out…
      Maybe also for different price ranges?

  • The Frugal Filmmaker illustrates jus how hard it is to make a good DIY video. The info is good, but the presentation sucks … big time. You really do need a script, winging it doesn’t cut it. Olivia, on the other hand, had her act together.

    Jibs also work great for non-moving shots. Never move furniture again — want to put the camera where the dining room is located, just boom the camera over the table. Is that kitchen island getting in the way, not if you have a jib.

    • Let’s be fair. This is a guy without a crew, using what little time he has, to make a video to pass on some information, not wow us with his production values or looks.

      Olivia’s videos have some useful information, but that crane of hers barely has any height.

      • nor does it looks very smoother from those few shots she demonstrated..maybe try adding more weight on both ends?

      • True…but with an eleven and a half minute video it would’ve been nice to see more than 15 seconds worth of jib footage. Jus’ saying…

      • @moebius22, no real problems with production value. He needs to remove “basically” and “essentially” from his vocabulary.

        He also needs to get his facts right. That’s not a joist, a joist is a 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, etc that makes the floor or ceiling framing in wood construction It is actually an angle bracket

        The Hex size for an 8-32 machine screw nut is 11/32, so the “nut & bolt” size is 8-32 not 11/32.

        There is no reason to keep referring to the “old design,” mentioning that this is an upgrade at the opening is all that is needed. Holding an audience is difficult … don’t make it more difficult.

        A few minuets spent writing and editing a script, and also fact checking all info, would make this a much more helpful DIY video.

  • DIY…Great idea for articles!

    I used wire cable on my DIY Jib also!

  • Nice Jibs especially for $30! Here’s another DIY Jib with camera tilt feature but the builder used mostly recycled materials. The sample footage is pretty good on it.

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