Crane style

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Rodreguez
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Joined: Feb 7 2005

Hi again.
There's a scene in a film I'm working on, in which I want to do one of those movements where the camera starts up about 15ft or more and slowly moves directly vertically down whilst passing a lamp, beam, or other object in the foreground. I understand it is a jib or crane? that is usually used for this type of thing.
I'm curently considering alternative ways of doing this as I cant afford one of these. One idea I've contemplated is having the camera attached to the top of a thick, maybe greased up pole (ooer) and just letting it slide downwards through my hands whilst standing on a box or something, but sooner or later I need to stop the camera at the right level to film someone walking through a gate, and it may prove difficult to hold the camera steady whilst this is taking place.
Anyone wish to share any techniques they may have picked up for dealing with these sort of situations? Alternatively, anyone know where I might hire the right tool for this on the cheap?