During 2007 my father and I developed our own camera crane. It is about 19 feet tall and has a motorised remotehead and a small controlscreen for the camera’s view. Without pilots and prototypes we would have had to spend about 400€ though the real costs were much higher.
The camcrane’s main component is a common 20 foot flagstaff. The joint for pan and tilt of the staff is a swivel castor wheel bolted directly onto a strong tripod. On the flagstaff’s upper end there is a servo-motor-driven remotehead that can be controlled by a joystick attached to the other end of the flagstaff. The camera’s picture can be observed live through a small monitor near the stand.
Using a deconstructable flagpole has the advantage of easier transportation, although it takes longer to set up. The remotehead is designed for the Sony HC7, so notably bigger camcorder may not fit and could affect the stability of the crane.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions or if you want to use the crane in your project!
You can get an idea of the crane’s capabilities by watching the following clip (in the end, there is also footage showing the remote head in detail):