Zone 6 Sails With Libec Jib

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.—My production company, Zone 6, has always been big on Libec. My investment in Libec jibs and tripods has given me a solid structure and foundation for my cameras, providing me with the assurance of getting the shot in any condition.

Travers Jacobs One of the best rigs in my "bag" of tricks is the Libec JB-30U jib. For opening or closing shots, as well as for stylized or "big budget" looks, the Libec gives me that extra edge of creativity that a producer or director is always searching for. I've used my Libec JB-30U on boats, the backs of trucks, mountaintops, urban landscapes—everywhere. It's solid as a rock, tough as a tank, and assembles quickly and easily. The jib also breaks down into three sections for neatly packing away in a durable Libec case.


When I arrive on a set, the JB-30U saves me valuable minutes of build time, allowing everything to stay on schedule. It also provides my audiences with some unique viewing angles as it accommodates under-rigging to place the camera right at ground level.

Recently, I had a job that involved filming a surfer moving behind a boat, and I wanted the camera to hang inches above the water and also to be able to boom up to a medium shot. The jib's mounting clamp gave me complete confidence of its grip on the camera. The jib performed flawlessly and the shooting range we were able to capture on the surfer was extraordinary.

I'm always trying to find unique ways to capture images, sometimes using shots that go beyond "conventional" methodologies. I feel that an audience becomes more engaged when the camera moves, sometimes unlocking my tripod to create a sense of "floating." While this could be accomplished with a Steadicam rig, this isn't always feasible when you're operating with tight production budgets. So when I find myself in a dialogue shot/reverse shot situation, I often put the camera up on the Libec jib in order to provide a subtle movement for "floating" or "revealing" action. The Libec jib can play a creative role in every scenario.


There's no need for special tools or a lot of operator time to change things. With its half twist-lock and unlock knobs on both the legs and arm, counterbalancing the arm with the camera mounted couldn't be easier. A simple twist of a knob loosens the weighted arm to extend or contract things, making it easy to adapt to an operator's particular aesthetic requirement. Also, there are tension knobs for panning and booming which provide complete operating accuracy.

A unique function of this jib is its adjustable torsion, which allows specific angling of the camera. This allows an operator to start the shot with the camera angled low on a subject, and then as you boom up with the jib, you maintain a direct view of your subject. Mix that up with a dolly-in, and you've got a classic horror shot. All of this makes the Libec jib a very handy and useful addition to my toolkit.

Travers Jacobs is a Los Angeles area cinematographer. He may be contacted at

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