» Posts Tagged ‘diy’

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RigWheels PortaRail SystemWe’ve talked about some nifty gear from RigWheels before, but the thing that separates their gear from some other solutions is modularity. You can put together a dolly or camera mount with as little or as much of their gear as you’d like, and most of it can be adapted to other rigs you might already own. This year at NAB, we talked to Lance about the new PortaRail collapsible dolly/slider rail system. This system can fit inside one case and features 40″ long high-grade aluminum pipes that connect together seamlessly with threaded connectors. Check out the interview below: More »

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Creating a StormSometimes, for a film, you gotta make it rain — unless of course you live in the Pacific Northwest, or somewhere equally as soggy and miserable. And even if you do live in 75%-chance-of-rain perpetuity, natural rain looks nothing like movie rain on-screen. Creating stormy conditions is something that is extremely intentional and labor intensive, but Jason Satterlund, a Portland-based filmmaker and probable rain expert, shares several tips on how to create “sexy movie rain” and dynamic wind effects on a budget. Continue on for the videos. More »

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Film Riot SoundIf you’re just starting out as a filmmaker, or more specifically, a sound designer, you might be looking for a little guidance on how to create foley. In this video from Film Riot, sound designer Rob Krekel, who helped create the sound for The Last of Us, walks us through the basics of capturing (cheap) foley, like setting up your recording devices, arranging your mics, and choosing the materials that will give you some great sounds. More »

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MonopodWhat’s the difference between a normal monopod and a video monopod? Well, the most glaring difference would be the tripod foot, a nifty little add-on that not only keeps your video monopod steady, but also almost single-handedly jacks up the price to outrageous amounts. There is a DIY work-around, however, and the folks over at CheesyCam have shared a tutorial, as well as some helpful links, to show you how to take an inexpensive monopod, add a $20 fluid base tripod foot (as well as some adhesive), and make a fully functional video monopod. More »

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PortaRailWhether you’re a get-in-get-out filmmaker, or just someone who doesn’t want to lug around a big, awkward piece of gear, having portable tools  is a definite boon on any project, which is why RigWheel’s new rail system, PortaRail, which will be showcased at NAB, is such welcomed addition to their indie-focused line of motion and mounting products. These collapsible, DIY rails aim at offering an affordable camera movement solution that will allow you to set up, tear down, pack up, and go. More »

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Shanks studiosJust because you don’t have a whole lot of cash or space doesn’t mean that you can’t have a highly functional studio. In this video by DIY special effects guru Joey Shanks, we’re taken inside his garage-turned-filmmaking-studio and shown the inexpensive tools and items that he uses to make his studio an effective and efficient place to work, as well as a bunch of tips and tricks on how to make the most of what little you may have. More »

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Simple Machine's Nandan RaoA huge challenge for independent filmmakers is getting eyeballs on their movies. Many new tools aim to solve this problem, but Nandan Rao’s DIY screening platform Simple Machine is going one further: they are offering cash for you to create your own live event, your own film festival — as long as it can be accomplished for $1,000 or less. Read on for the full details and a quick word from Simple Machine founder Nandan Rao. More »

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Miss ShockMaking films often rides on being well-connected — knowing someone somewhere who can perform a service that your film needs. Most of the time, finding financial backers, a DP, sound/lighting techs, actors, and editors is fairly easy regardless of who you know or where you live. However, finding a good FX artist is a little bit more tricky (In 6 years, I’ve only met 2 in my hometown), and if you’re unable to find one, you might have to do the next best thing — learn how to do it yourself. And who better to teach you some excellent techniques than Oscar-winning special effects makeup artist Rick Baker. More »

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DIY Pistol GripOf course we’d all love to get our hands on a gimbal stabilizer to steady our shaky images, but most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on things that aren’t — rent or food. If you’re in desperate need for a stabilizing solution, but finding yourself with either a near-empty bank account or zero easy access to a local professional photography retailer, you’re going to have to l get a little creative. Luckily, Chad Bredahl of Krotoflik shares a tutorial that shows you how to build your own DIY pistol grip out of jump rope handles, something that is not only accessible, but won’t cost you more than a few bucks. More »

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Real Gun TutorialAt one point or another, one of your films is going to call for the use of at least one gun, and unless you’ve already got your own arsenal of real firearms, getting your hands on some is going to be a touchy and expensive undertaking. If you’re more keen on the cheaper alternative, stockpiling plastic toy and airsoft guns, it’s important to make sure that they look realistic on-screen. In this helpful tutorial, filmmaker Tom Antos shows you how to ensure that your shoot ‘em up film doesn’t lose its verisimilitude by applying a weathering technique that is not only used by professional prop makers, but is also less expensive than a couple of cups of coffee. More »

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Norman Kickstarter still 1

When you launch a Kickstarter campaign and track its position on Kickstarter’s Discover page, you quickly realize you have Kickstarter neighbors. These are campaigns that launched around the same time as yours or happen to share the same popularity rating. Of course, I love checking out Kickstarter campaigns for films, and soon my Kickstarter neighbor Norman captivated me. After backing the project to help writer/director Joel Guelzo get funding to finish the film’s VFX, I realized his DIY feature project would resonate with the NFS audience. So, I asked Joel a few questions. Check out our interview below to hear Joel tell us the background of his sci-fi labor of love, Norman. More »

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TP Link TL MR3040If you’re unwilling to shell out a fistful of hundred-dollar bills for a wireless monitor, you might want to get your hands on a TP-Link TL-MR3040 wireless router. By installing alternate firmware on this little guy, you can turn it into a Wi-Fi dongle that you can then connect to your Canon or Nikon camera to turn your Android phone or tablet into a wireless monitor/controller for only $30. Check out the following tutorials to get step-by-step instructions on how to turn your Android device into a wireless monitor/controller. More »

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DIY BoomAudio, the oft looked over aspect of filmmaking, is indeed a difficult art to master. You can have the best professional in the booth during post, but if you didn’t get a decent capture from the get go, there’s little that can be done. Film Riot has uploaded a video dedicated to the microphone, which not only covers the basics of mic choice, placement, and accessories for beginners, but also gives a link to their video tutorial that shows you how to build your own boom pole for $25! More »

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Peter JacksonThere are so many films out there that filmmakers with all types of budgets, tastes, and sensibilities try to learn from and emulate. Screenwriters may look to Chinatown to learn its structure while cinematographers may look to Soy Cuba for its one-of-a-kind tracking shot. And then there’s Peter Jackson’s first feature film Bad Taste (1987). Before he was working with top dollar visual effects, Jackson was a DIY filmmaker making films on a small budget, and in the 1988 documentary, Good Taste Made Bad Taste, he shares how he shot the movie using stabilizers, dollies, and cranes that he made himself — an unintentional DIY tutorial for all low-budget filmmakers. More »

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Anamorphic fishing lineWe talk a lot about shooting anamorphic here at NFS. With its unique aesthetic, including horizontal lens flares and oval bokehs, it’s no wonder why so many indie filmmakers are wanting to get their hands on these awesome, albeit expensive lenses and adapters. And because the price tag causes most of us to miss out, we have to get creative to achieve at least a portion of what anamorphic lenses provide. Here’s a DIY tutorial that shows you how to use fishing line to produce horizontal lens flares with a similar look to those made while shooting anamorphic. More »

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DIY JibAs no-budget/independent filmmakers, achieving the look of high production value and not spending a ton of money are always at the forefront of our mind, and finding the optimal point at which those two things meet is our main concern. Often, that means a DIY solution. Chung Dha shares with us his process of constructing an inexpensive DIY jib with a remote tilt, which will give you more versatility and control over your film’s aesthetics, while not causing you to break the bank while doing it. Continue on for his tutorial. More »

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Hills Green

Canadian filmmakers Ryan Glover and Krista Dzialoszynski talked to No Film School earlier this year about making their micro-budget feature film Hills Green. With the film’s release on iTunes today, I decided to bring them back to briefly talk about their festival expectations, distribution strategies and their long road to releasing on iTunes. More »

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52 gopro bullet time rigWe’ve seen the bullet time effect achieved through many methods. In terms of low-end tech and budget, you’ve got the inventive ceiling fan/GoPro technique, and on the high-end you’ve got the innovative 12 Teledyne DALSA Falcon2 multi-viewpoint technique. However, somewhere in the middle lies the action camera array approach, and Devin Graham and his team took 52 of GoPros, built a specialized circular rig, and filmed dogs running through it with some pretty cool results. Check out the behind the scenes video as well as the finished product after the jump. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video DIY Reflector - nofilmschoolSometimes you need a solution to a problem on set and you’ve got limited resources and limited time to solve it. Recently for Luke Neumann, that problem was figuring out a way to have a number of sturdy reflectors for fill light that wouldn’t blow in the wind, and would also be relatively easy to set up with a small crew. In this video below, Luke shows you how to make some inexpensive DIY reflectors: More »

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Bomb It 2To what lengths would you go to get the shot you want? This question is one I’m sure we are all regularly asking ourselves, and I speculate it was one that independent filmmaker Jon Reiss asked himself often while making his guerrilla-style documentaries about indigenous street art from around the world. In his latest film, Bomb It 2, which is currently on Kickstarter, Reiss traveled  all across the globe with consumer gear, capturing the work and process of a wide variety of graffiti artists from places like Bangkok, Tel Aviv, and Copenhagen (just to name a few.) Reiss shared with us what it’s like to be a guerrilla filmmaker — globetrotting alone with little equipment, getting into sticky situations, but ending up with a film to be proud of. More »