Over the past week I have been building a camera crane, or jib. For those of you who do not know what a camera crane is, it is a device that allows you to take video from really high in the air to really low in the air. The one I built costs about $25.00, but if you have an old stand and access to a welder and some scrap metal, you could build it for well under $10.00.
The materials required to build it are:
2 2 by 2’s
some scrap metal
a stand from an old utility light.
The two 2x2’s are connected to the pivot, camera end and operator end with 1/4” bolts and nuts. This system is simple yet effective. The brackets on the camera and operator side are exactly the same, and are made of thin sheet metal. I spot-welded the metal together at school. The central pivot point is made out of thick steel bar that has been bent into a rectangle. The two ends were mig welded together. If you do not have access to a welder, you could do the same with pop-rivets or screws. The central pivot point connects to the stand with a 1/4” bolt, as that was what the stand would accept. The stand was from an old utility light.
The LCD monitor is just a portable dvd player. I connected the video output of my video camera to the input of the dvd player. This allows me to see what I am doing. Sometimes the sun is too bright to see the screen, so I added a piece of cardboard to help make the screen viewable in direct sunlight.
Here are some pictures:
Here is a short video that shows it “swooping”: