My company just got a new Cammate jib and I'm wondering if any experienced jib operators here know of any specific training techniques we can practice (like tracking a laser beam etc.) or any training material out there we can read or watch? Thanks for any help you might have, in the meantime we'll keep practicing.
I'm a bit jealous about the Cammate your company bought. I'm looking forward to the day we step up to a Cammate.
As for a specific practice to recommend, there is nothing I know of right off hand. When we first got our jib, I started practicing with stationary objects. I practiced things such as keeping the front logo of a car in the center of my monitor while I moved the arm and the head. It might help to put a small dot of gaffer's tape on your monitor and try to keep it "locked" on your target item as you move the arm and head.
One thing that was difficult for me was to sync the speed of the arm with the speed of the head. I always had trouble with it until I talked with a professional jib operator at a concert. He told me to keep the speed knob higher than you think you would need. Since it is pressure sensitive, it will move as slow as the light pressure on the joystick, but you can catch the speed back up if you move the arm faster than the head.
If you play video games or ever did, you already have practiced the coordination to move the head, it's just a matter of moving the arm and doing it all at once. The best advice I ever got was from that operator about the speed control knob, it made me a better jib operator overnight. Give it a shot and see it makes a difference with your moves.