I had a high time on the last day of Ichthus. I swung right in there and got my work done. I felt like I flew through my jobs, my excitement levels soaring, and gained a whole new level of experience. Really. I worked the jib for 4 of my 6 shifts yesterday.
What is the jib?
Glad you asked!
The jib is a giant, twenty-foot arm with a camera at the end. As our engineer, Dave (who is extremely smart and likes to label things with gaff tape) kindly explained to us, the physics of it are crazy. I cried over math almost every day in highschool, and made my math professor in college want to cry, but Dave tells us that the force you are swinging around on the jib is equal to the length of the arm times the weight on the end… a twenty foot arm with fifty pounds of camera stuff on the end equals… 1,000 pounds… right? I could be wrong. Ugh.
Anyway, you have to balance that on the other end of the jib. It’s like a GIANT see-saw, that has to be perfectly even on both sides. The other end is only 4-5 feet long, so we hung a few hundred pounds worth of weights on that end to make it even.
NOW, the camera op peers into a small screen, swings this massive arm around (it swings fairly easily because of lots of pulleys and cables and whirly thingamabobs… but it’s still heavy!) while fine-tuning the shot with pans, tilts, and zooms via a joystick positioned to the side of the jib. It’s great fun.
I had never done it before yesterday, but I was supposed to do it for two concerts and a speaker-guy. The first concert was fairly rough… generally, joysticks and I do not get along. The second concert was WONDERFUL! Once I’d figured out what I was doing, and I got the hang of it, it was SO MUCH FUN! By the time I finished my two hours + on it, my shoulders were a bit sore from swinging the big thing around. I went happily on to my next job as audio person…
For the evening concerts, which was Barlow Girl and Casting Crowns, I was supposed to be the jib assistant. This person is simply in charge of making sure the jib operator does not lose control of the thousands of pounds of weight, and that they don’t swing too low and hit people in the head. It’s really a pretty boring job… all through Barlow Girl I just watched the show, and tapped the operator’s hand a couple times when he came close to decapitating an exceptionally tall redhead in the crowd. BUT, once Casting Crowns came up, the operator offered to trade with me… OH YEAH! It was very exciting… I loved it. It was especially fun because it’s such a big band- like seven members- which meant I could get lots of sweeping shots across the stage. 😀
I also got to direct yesterday… for Francesca Battistelli (or, as we began to call her last week… Francesca Bowl-a-Chili). That was exciting as well. I love directing. Of course, I had a twist this time. Everyone was on headset, at their cameras, waiting for her band to finish their soundcheck, when Richard, my jib operator, spoke up.
“Lacey… I think I see her warming up backstage. Just thought you should be aware… she is very pregnant. Very. So… be ready for anything.”
Reports from all the headsets began to come in… “yup. She’s pregnant.”
“Bowl-a-Chili is great with child!”
“Don’t think there will be any crowd-surfing in this show!”
It went well… though, since she was pregnant AND wearing a skirt, my handheld cameras had to be very, very careful to not get very low angles. It made us concentrate harder on our shots than normal, anyway.
The only band I was able to get pictures of was Sanctus Real… and here they are!!