We've all been there, you're standing on set with a DSLR, flimsy tripod, half a roll of gaff tape, two thirds of a c stand wishing you had a technocrane and a hundredth of the budget of any given Spielberg film. The shot you want is a jib up from their feet to their head as you swing around the scene. Well why can't you? Film is all about doing what you have to, to get the shot. If it takes the rest of that roll of gaff tape and unscrewing one of those tripod legs to use the C-stand as a makeshift jib then why haven't you already figured out a way to do it. The film industry waits for nobody and even on the largest of productions grips have to make incredible things happen with some not so incredible situations. You can make it on any given film set if you can quickly and safely rig something. Be a problem solver and don't wait for a solution to come to you. Sometimes the most amazing cinema can come from the most unheard of solutions.
I've done some pretty... how do I put this, not so great riggings in my life and i'd prefer not to go into too much detail for fear of having my rental card being snapped in two and burned. I've hung a camera from a tree with a rope as a makeshift jib, used skateboards, cars, and cardboard as dollies, and even propped my camera up on my wallet to get the right angle. To be completely honest not all of these shots were perfect but I made do with what I had to make it work. That's part of learning and growing as a filmmaker. Remember if you don't have the money there is always a DIY option of putting it together.
I've written about them many times before but look towards shitty rigs for inspiration. It is a collection of the most nonsensical film riggings you will have ever seen. I promise.
-Don't wish for more
-Do It Yourself
-Try not to break the equipment
Also don't tell any rental houses I told you to do this
Without further ado here are the videos that inspired this post.
And the final product.