Using a Jib in Corporate Video Production

Eoin Dowdall
Creative Director

Should you find yourself talking to a corporate video production team about the use of a jib, and were wondering why your retail experience video is now being shot on a boat, we thought it may be helpful to describe exactly what the jib is in filmic terms.

Simply put – the jib is a boom device that carries a camera on one end and a counterweight on the other to act like a see-saw. This allows a complete movement of the camera through an extended arc, allowing it to be moved vertically and horizontally.

Like a lot of behind the scenes work – it is most successful when you are unaware that its there. It can give you high shots and shots that need to move a great distance – and unless you can find an extraordinarily tall camera operator, the camera is often controlled remotely and with the use of a separate external monitor.

This avoids the need for a crane (literally), a dolly (less literally) and other winged animals. Using a jib will give you a more sophisticated camera angle and freedom of movement than a static camera. We are increasingly spoilt as we are exposed to new brilliance in camera technology –who wasn’t awed by the filming of the Olympics or some of the latest Wildlife series? It can be used together with a Steadicam – and we will give you more details about that soon.

So back to the phrase – cut of your jib, refers to the tailoring of your sail, this got me thinking as to the origins of the word camera jib. And search as I might – I can’t find a specific link cited. The only thing I can think of is a boom on a boat – but then that is for the main sail and not the jib, or genoa. If anyone knows please get in touch – email or tweet.

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