We’re knee deep in production for the Priest lake Documentary this last week.   Throughout the pre-production we’ve kicked various ideas around about the format of the program and the idea shook out (like these things have a tendency to do) that a mix of traditional history documentary, coupled with a mix of natural information about the local flora and fauna, would be a good way for the overall story telling of the priest lake area.

Both Ed and I are inspired by nature docs like the BBC’s Big Planet, or really anything the BBC puts out frankly, and want to showcase some of the natural beauty that the Priest lake area has to offer.   We decided to shoot full 1080 HD for the nature scenes, to really capture the detail of it all, and have been traveling about the area getting good “B roll shots of interesting nature shots.

Yesterday we went up past Nordman about seven miles and got some great video shots of Granite Creek raging with spring run off with the telescoping camera jib positioned out over the crick.

Ed put together a real simple camera jib made from an aluminum ladder and the damb thing works perfectly for getting interesting and smooth tracked camera shots.

jib1 jib2

The unit it’s self is made up of just one side of a telescoping aluminum ladder, hooked into a smooth pan head tripod via a standard camera lug mount.

It’s counter balanced with a 10 lb weight perfectly for the two different camera mounts we use (a static pan head mount and a free floating stedi-cam mount) and the Nikon DSLR camera we’re using.

Once the unit is all setup it take just two fingers to guide the camera through the arc of the shot.   All total I think we’re into it for about 100 bucks for parts and we have gotten lots of use out of it.     We’re looking to upgrade the unit a bit more by adding some simple powered gyroscopes to the stedicam mount so we can get perfectly angled and auto leveled motion shots.   We should have the parts to build the gyro stabilizers in a week or two and that will make this piece of kit work almost perfect!