Something as simple as moving your camera will add not only the kinetic energy you may need to keep your work from being boring, but the sophistication you may desire for your professional career as well. The tools we use to do this are often big, heavy, and only serve one purpose, but Digital Juice has announced their light and versatile Gemini Dual-Action Jib, the industry's "first transformable jib". Not only can you utilize the Gemini from the back for a number of different crane shots, but you can also move to the front and operate it like a handheld stabilizer.
Nice crane shots really increase your production value, because a lot of clients and film-goers tend to associate them with Hollywood movies and top dollar commercials. In reality, jibs don't have to be all that expensive -- as long as we're talking about either DIY jibs or tripod mounted ones. But, the issues that you might run into with these jibs are that they're too big and heavy to transport and store easily, and they only serve to get you a certain kind of shot.
The Gemini is able to mount onto a tripod with a 100mm head. Its telescopic design allows it to collapse down to 49" (about 4') and extend out to 12', making it not only really transportable, but effective for quick counter-balancing and obtaining fairly tall crane shots. The Gemini comes with the jib body, tie-rod (which can be repositioned for different shots), cradle, and fluid head mount. It's made out of black electro-coat high-strength aluminum and stainless steel, and weighs in at about 14 lbs. (That's just with the body -- the tie rod, cradle, and mount add about 6 lbs to that.) It can handle a payload of 10 to 24 lbs, though only 11 to 20 lbs if you're utilizing the fluid head adapter at the front of the jib.
And again, the Gemini has a dual-purpose -- it's both a jib and a handheld stabilizer. By switching from the camera cradle to fluid head mount, you can control your camera from the front the jib like you would a handheld stabilizer. The versatility doesn't stop there. PVC explains how users can, by repositioning the tie-rod, achieve a wide array of shots while your camera is in the cradle:
Using the standard camera cradle, operators can reposition the jib’s tie-rod to in one of three positions to allow for three different style shots. Set the control rod to normal, to lock the cameras tilt to the desired inclination throughout the move. Or, move the control rod to the fixed position, to force the camera lens to stay locked throughout the jib’s vertical arch. Manual movement allows the operator to lock down the camera at any position or allows for the operator to decide what the camera sees while it dips and sweeps.
Check out Digital Juice's promo video for the Gemini below:
Digital Juice is selling the Gemini bundle, which includes the body, tie-rod, camera cradle, and fluid head mount, for $2,026, however it's currently running for $1,299 on their website. Each part is also sold separately, and Digital Juice also offers several accessories, like a carrying case and several mounting stands.
What are your thoughts on the Gemini Dual-Action Jib? Does its dual-purpose sound like something you'd find helpful or hindering on projects? Let us know in the comments below.