You've setup your story line. The dialog has all been shot. Your CG’s have been planned and now you want the wow factor. Open your scene with a jib shot and you’re sure to wow your clients or viewers. Kessler Crane’s Pocket Jib Traveler is the mobile jib that will get you there without breaking the bank or your back. It’s easy to pack, assemble and use. You will be smiling, as long as you have a steady hand.
Batteries Not Included
The Pocket Jib Traveler comes in a small bag and weighs 5.5 pounds, ideal for a mobile jib. It has many different camera mounting options and extends to six feet. It collapses to 27-inches and is easy to operate. The bag is nice to carry the jib, however it isn’t large enough to carry all the accessories.
Up Down, Left Right … Now what?
Within the bag everything but the camera mount was already on the unit. Its a very simple jib design. The back end swivels out, locks in and the counterweight mount can be extended for easy weight distribution. The weight lock is designed into the mounting platform and is a cinch to use. Although many different cameras can be mounted to the Pocket Jib Traveler, it has a weight capacity of 10 pounds, so some cameras are out of its operating weight class. A Canon EOS 7D was used for the purpose of the review.
The camera mounted easily onto the mounting platform, and with very little weight, equilibrium was found. Unlike larger jibs, in which the camera operator would operate from the back, The Pocket Jib Traveler required one hand close to the camera and the other at the pivot. This allows for the camera operator to have the best operation and keep the lightweight, yet ruggedly designed jib, steady. Note, grabbing the jib tightly is not recommended, a soft grip will allow the camera operator a better pivot and offer a better guide to get the shot more easily.
Warp Stabilizer is My Friend
The movement and reach of the jib arm is great, especially with this mobile jib. However, if the camera operator doesn't know how to edit with a little Warp Stabilizer, he or she won’t be happy with the results. The overall size of the jib caused the shots to have more wobble. Editing tools like Warp Stabilizer are able to correct this with relative ease. But overall, it’s a tool that must be used hand in hand together. A camera operator with a steady hand, a deep breath and a little software help is the recipe for success with this mobile jib
Foreground and Background
If you’ve used a jib before, you know what it takes to have a breathtaking jib crane shot. For those that haven’t, here are a few shooting techniques. Having a few things out of focus in the foreground end up giving the viewer a reference for the movement in the shot. The camera shot coming down from the trees, or up from a bedpost, allows objects at multiple depths to move, making the shot more interesting. The frame will make anything up close appear to move faster, with the middle and background moving slower.
THE POCKET JIB TRAVELER WEIGHS 5.5 LBS, EXTENDS TO SIX FEET AND COLLAPSES TO 27 INCHES.
When first using a jib, we had a hard time framing shots, until we realized, with a little movie magic, the foreground could make the shot more dynamic. Pulling down a branch from a tree and taping it onto a C-stand, when nothing is available in the foreground, is a nice touch.
From This Reviewer’s Perspective …
My experience with jib cranes has been with those that weren’t easily set up, but have a long reach, and stability. Trading easy setup to gain stability is a no-brainer when packing in to a remote location. However, if the camera operator needs a large establishing shot, where six feet of movement won’t change the perspective on the subject, this product won’t cut the cake.
As the camera operator, ask if you would trade five jib shots from the little guy for one shot from a big guy … well, that’s for the camera operator to decide. The flexibility one has with this pack and go jib, would make the usual boring tripod pans and tilts hard to settle for.
Kessler Crane, Inc.
Weight: 5.5lb. (2.5kg)
Collapsed Length: 27" (68.6cm)
Circular Travel: 72" (182.9cm)
Weight Capacity: 10lb. (4.5kg)
- Packs up in to a small bag
- Good build quality
- Tough to get smooth shots
- Jib bag not large enough to carry all accessories
Chris Monlux is the Creative Services Manager at a CBS, NBC and CW affiliate.