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Jason Nolte

In-shot transfer from ronin / movi to jib

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Hi All-


Looking for some advice: Have a shot that would be a Ronin / Movi (or possibly steadicam) that would be a follow / tracking shot and that would then quick-attach / transfer to a jib.. within the same shot..


Has anyone done a quick, (smooth) in-shot transition with some sort of quick release attachment / rig? Would love any practical advice / suggestions. Thx

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With steadicam it's called a "step on." The operator physically steps onto the platform of a camera crane and the grips who have been holding the nose down step off the platform, allowing it to move and finish the shot. In lots of movies - check steadishots.org to find examples.


Marvelous Mrs. Maisel did a Movi/Techno transition I believe - That was a David Mullen piece so he would know details.


The thing you have to keep in mind whether crane and steadi or jib and movi/ronin is that lever stabilizers like cranes and jibs are balanced systems. You can't just throw weight on or off them without changing their behavior radically and violently. In the case of a steadicam step-on/off if it's done wrong people get crushed or tossed and big heavy things break. Even on a modestly sized jib, if you pull 30lb off the end of a 10' jib, 100lb of counterweight will now slam into the legs and potentially capsize the whole thing.


The key is maintaining the balance of your jib/crane through the transition. You have to preload the jib with some kind of dummy load equal to the stabilizer load you'll be adding - and in a way that you can drop smoothly - in your case most likely a grip holding a strap on the end of the jib. (give this person a way to tie it down between takes also). Then as you hook the stabilizer on you continue to handhold and operate while the attachment is being made by a 3rd person. Good communication is critical to safety because if you send the jib before the connection is safe, it'll smack people, drop the camera, etc.. - all bad. So when the connection is made and that person gives the signal, the grip releases the weight and, because you've been careful to balance the jib with the stabilizer on it beforehand, the person operating the tail of the jib continues the arm movement smoothly.


It's not an easy move at all especially if you've never done it. BUT if you're able to practice the transition between dummy load and camera payload smoothly then it's doable. Just know that it can be extremely dangerous and that the crew responsible for doing it should be empowered to stop the shot if it's not working safely.

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We used an electromagnet to attach and detach the Movi to a 45 Moviebird. As mentioned you have to deal with the sudden weight imbalance when you detach the camera.

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Thanks all! The weight compensation issue on the jib issue makes complete sense. The 'step on' approach might be the most accessible. I assume that's exactly what's happening here:



I'm curious David- the electromagnet solution you used, I'm guessing that was a custom solution rigged for that setup?

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