Here’s our latest assembly and video test of a camera jib support, based on the online Oliviatech build that’s been enhanced with useful directions, diagrams, and parts lists by The Basic Filmmaker. See also our earlier DIYcamera jib project, a DIY camera slider project, and a simple camera stabilizer project.
This version was pretty easy to put together. School staff should be able to assist students in building it easily and it will help students understand and make lovely crane-type camera moves as seen on tv and in film productions. Be sure to wear protective eyewear when cutting, drilling and filing, and remember: cut aluminum is shaaaarrrrp, as I found out when my pliers slipped and I gouged a finger. Before assembling, file-off any sharp edges of the tubing; the metal is soft and it’s easily done. Also be careful of the tiny metal filings that accumulate around the workspace. Wipe the filings off of the parts before they make it into an eye. This would be a great shop-related project, or a special project for other classes such as, “Explorations in Fabrication of Education-Related Camera Support Equipment”…
Most of the parts were from a local hardware superstore. I followed the Basic Filmmaker’s suggestion and ordered the aluminum tubing online already cut to size. Had to search a bit further for the nylon flange bearings but found them on amazon.com from monsterfastener.com. You may be able to find all of the parts locally at hardware and auto parts stores. Check the helpful directions for parts specifications.
Once the jib was assembled I mounted an inexpensive but solid little quick-release camera plate found on amazon.com (available for around $10.00), and used a Fitsanycase.com iPhone adapter and an iOgrapher.com iPad adapter to shoot test video. Thanks to KET’s J. R. Pemberton, who kindly cut and drilled the aluminum tubing and angle stock, and to Bill Osborne for his helpful assistance. Check out the The Basic Filmmaker for a very thorough project overview and jib project plan, then build one with your students or for yourself and have fun making those special camera shots that add so much to a video production.