Tim Ovel is at it again. First he democratized the follow focus with the indiFOCUS by creating a high quality independent-built follow focus unit that could be used on camera stock lenses without the need for gearing. Next he changed the slider scene with the indiSLIDERpro allowing you to purchase a slider that does not bend or flex for the price that you would have once paid for renting one. Now, Tim has changed the jib crane landscape forever with his new indiSYSTEM indiGO-JIB.
The indiSYSTEM indiGO-JIB is practically a jib arm in a bag. It’s a portable jib arm that folds down to 38″ which is about the size of an average tripod and when fully extended you have a little over an 8′ height extension with the camera plate attached. Most jibs are out of the price range of the average indy filmmaker. They are traditionally bulky and heavy and a super pain to set up and transport.
The indiGO-JIB is quite the opposite. In fact, you can mount the jib arm on an inexpensive Manfrotto 503 fluid head. You can balance out the your 10 pound camera in just a few minutes and counter weight your camera with either standard plate weights or purchase the 4 liter water containers that you can fill with water or dirt.
Imagine being able to take a jib with you to the wilderness and beyond. The sky’s the limit with the indiGO-JIB and for $349 it’s a jaw dropping incredible price. Simply put you can not be with out the indiGO-JIB on your next film. Seriously, this jib is designed so well with adjustments to give you the proper counterweight and the ability to get some creative shots that you would not be able to do with your average jib arm. I have a feeling this little guy will be snatched up by folks from the indy filmmaker on a tight budget to the heavy hitter industry DP.
I had a chance to use the indiGO-JIB for a high profile music video. The director asked me to not show the footage until the MV comes out in May so I thought I’d share some footage of our pre-shoot. I had a team of youth and young adults work with me on the shoot. They are a part of the Tech Apprenticeship program at the Asian Arts Initiative which I run every Sunday to train students in theater and film production work. They are a little green but they did a stellar job and it goes to show you don’t need to be an expert to use one.
The 8′ indiGO-JIB with my Gitzo sticks extends the arm to a reach of 12′. I needed to get even higher so I placed my sticks and jib on top of a few cafe tables which gave me an additional extension giving me a total height of 14.5′. What jib arm do you know that can easily be placed on top of a cafe table and still be rock steady?
We used the Panasonic GH2 in ETC mode with the Navitar 6mm f/1.4 c-mount lens. This is such an ideal combo on the indiSYSTEM indiGO-JIB because it is so small and lightweight. In normal creative film mode the Navitar 6mm 1/2 c-mount lens is quite small and you get a very large peep hole effect when you look through your viewfinder but in ETC mode it fits the frame perfectly with only a little vignetting and a slight soft edge. Because this is a flat field lens you can get incredible sharpness when moving the jib from a very tight extreme close up on your subject to that of a very wide establishing shot.
I had forgotten to bring a field monitor so I merely stopped down to f/4 and used a ladder to check focus at 14.5′ high and then brought the jib arm down to 2′ off the ground and our subjects were in focus as we moved the jib from ground to ceiling. It’s an incredible lens on the GH2 and combined with the indiGO-JIB is perfect for doing music video work because it gives you incredible range. With the indiGO-JIB you have fluid movement and wonderful shots to discover as you use it from extreme close up to long shot.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to test out the prototype version of the indiSYSTEM indiGO-JIB for a little over two months now and it has been nothing short of amazing. I know it will crack a smile from the big boys because is can do so much in this little frame. I’m sure we’ll see it being used on reality tv sets, narrative films and even more music videos. I mean why not? We’ve dreamed of doing these shots since we started watching movies.
Well here it is folks the democratization of the jib starts today. Damn it Tim! You did did again! Filmmaking is supposed to be expensive and unattainable. LOL! No really, kudos Tim Ovel for making another wall crumble.
Now people go out and make your dream films a reality!
Pre-Shoot test for Music Video
Camera: Panasonic GH2 in ETC mode