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Triangle & JIMMY JIB III

Like everything else in the world, there is the right tool for the right job.  The Jimmy Jib is often the right tool to offer the exceptional production value you seek. For most film and video applications the Jimmy Jib can give you the shots you want, when you want them, within a reasonable budget.

Jib Vs 

Many producers and directors feel a Jib or crane is only designed for high and wide shots. Many don't realize the Jimmy Jib is extremely effective for ground hugging shots that can only be effectively executed with a Jib. This picture features a Panavision Gold with 4:1 lens and 1,000 Foot Magazine. The camera can go lower if a 500 foot or 400 foot magazine is used.


The Jimmy Jib allows Producers and Directors to achieve shots cost-effectively without the hassles of  a large crane crew and set up time and breakdown time.   

Three Wheel versus

Four Wheel Jib Base


The Jimmy Jib can be operated on either a 3-wheel or 4-wheel base.  The majority of Jib Owner/Operators use the 3-wheel base, often because it costs less to buy.  Another major factor in the Owner/Operator's choice is the storage and transportation for the 4-wheel base, as it is quite large and hard to store in the average vehicle.  Because I transport my equipment in a trailer I use the 4-wheel base whenever possible, for it offers far superior stability and it's potential for tipping is almost non-existent, whereas the 3-wheel base can tip very easily, even on solid ground.  Additionally, the 4-wheel base offers incredibly smooth dollying characteristics on smooth and slightly bumpy floors.

Without a doubt, the Technocrane offers features and capabilities the Jimmy Jib simply cannot match.  The Jimmy Jib cannot retract and extend, which for some shots is essential.  But for the vast majority of shots the Jimmy Jib can execute either similar or identical shots by slipping back and forth on the dolly to emulate the movement of the retraction or extension.

The Technocrane also requires coordination of a team of people, and does not allow for spontaneous reactions to variations in coverage, such as missed marks, etc.  

Another major consideration in the operation of the Technocrane is it's considerable weight and bulk.  The unit can not be quickly and easily assembled in confined areas such as in a house or small room.  In addition, it's weight limits the floor it can be operated on, and it's ability to be transported in an elevator.  Moving a Technocrane off of the main floor to a second floor during the same shoot is often impractical, and the time required can stifle the production.

The Technocrane requires 3 to 5 people  to operate effectively.  The Jimmy Jib on the other hand can be run by a single individual, or if sophisticated  dolly moves are required, with the aid of a dolly grip.  The 

What the Jimmy Jib cannot do is retract and extend within the arm like the Technocrane. The biggest difference is the Technocrane, and other remote arm systems, require far more people to operate and the and set up time is greatly less with the Jimmy Jib. The Jimmy Jib's mobility and lightweight design allows it to be set up in restricted areas and on platforms and floors that normally could not support a crane systems.

Jib Vs Chapman Cranes

The Jimmy Jib has huge advantages over Chapman Cranes like the Electra, Nike, and Zeus for film and video applications. The Jimmy Jib can work in very restricted areas, and requires a much smaller crew to execute complex shots. The Jimmy Jib can go higher and lower, offering ground hugging shots all the way up to a lens height of 35 feet. Because the Jib arm is built in 3 foot sections it has a range of 6 feet to 30 feet in arm length.

Jib Operation

The Jib can be operated under many variations. The first and most common is with a single Jib Operator. This is best if the Jib is stationary or is on a solid, smooth floor with a 16mm film or video camera. Heavier cameras and very long arms (over 18 feet) have too much weight to make this practical. When the arm is very long and a 35mm camera with a zoom lens and 1,000 foot magazine are in use the addition of a dolly grip is usually necessary if the base of the jib needs to be moved during a shot. It is important that this person be a fully qualified dolly grip as every movement on the base is amplified 4 to 15 times at the camera head. For all film applications a camera assistant is required.

Gear Head 

The vast majority of Jib Owner Operators offer only the Joystick control for the Jimmy Jib.  There is a gear head control option for the Jib, however, additional staff are required, including an arm grip, dolly grip, and an operator to control the pan and tilt of the camera, plus an assistant camera operator for focus and zoom. This mode is much more complicated and requires excellent communications with all personnel to execute even the simplest shot. As part of the system an intercom system should be included.

The Jimmy Jib is the perfect dolly "drift" platform

Many shows seek to add the dynamics of camera "drifting" during an interview or scene to enhance the visual perception and production value.  The Jimmy Jib can add far greater dynamics than just a dolly or pedestal.  For very little or no additional money the Jib can add very high and very low shots in addition to the drift.  Even with just a 6 foot or 9 foot arm the Jimmy Jib outperforms almost every dolly and pedestal for the "drift".

The Jimmy Jib is excellent for moves requiring sweeps with the arm, moves up and down with the arm, dolly moves over track or smooth surfaces. It can replicate dolly moves, however, it does it in an arc that is measured around the base.

The best thing is to call Wayne Norman and discuss your application to determine if the Jimmy Jib is right for your shoot. I will give you an honest evaluation and provide you with suggestions in how it can be used to amplify your production value.

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Wayne Norman - Jib/Owner Operator - 888-449-2963 (888-44-WAYNE)