» Posts Tagged ‘diy’

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Flashlight CinematographyLighting plays a huge role in making a film look aesthetically pleasing and cinematic, and though lighting kits can be expensive, there are always DIY workarounds to keep costs down. But, could you imagine if you pulled out a bunch of cheap flashlights on the first day of shooting? Your cast and crew might laugh you right off the set. However, Joey Shanks, who never fails to share his invaluable DIY film tips, shows us how these small, but increasingly powerful flashlights can be used with a few inexpensive mods to give your shots all the illumination they need. More »

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Shanks projection mappingWe’ve seen incredible pieces of art that have used projection mapping, but when Bot & Dolly showed the world its video entitled Box, it really hit home how this technique could be used in feature filmmaking. But because the vast majority of us don’t have access to robotic arms and other expensive tools, DIY practical effects master Joey Shanks is here to show us how to pull off these effects with equipment that you either have at home or can buy cheaply and easily. More »

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DIY TimelapseGetting a high quality time-lapse doesn’t have to be insanely expensive, especially if you’re only moving your camera a short distance; set up your tripod in a desired location, slap on a slider and a motion control device and you’re golden. But, covering longer distances in an area that is inhospitable to tripods can be a little more tricky — and expensive. The folks at Syrp, however, want to show you how to build your own wooden DIY 2-axis Cable Cam rig that will let you pull off stellar time-lapse shots at a fraction of the cost. More »

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DIY ring lightIf you’re like me and don’t know what to do with all of those empty fried chicken buckets piling up on your kitchen counter (okay, not really — I know exactly what to do with them), DIY Photography has shared a great DIY (naturally) lighting solution that repurposes said greasy poultry receptacles into a formidable ring flash. And even though it’s designed to be used for flash photography, it should translate well to video. So, find out how to put it together using a cardboard bucket, aluminum foil, a plastic folder, and some tape right after the jump. More »

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HologramDid anyone else lose complete emotional control of themselves when they saw the Tupac “hologram” perform at Coachella? Just me? Okay. One of the coolest things about that performance was the fact that it wasn’t actually a hologram — it was a reflection. In fact, the process used to resurrect the legendary hip-hop artist can be done easily in your backyard. The master of DIY practical effects, Joey Shanks, brings us another excellent tutorial on how to create the illusion of a hologram using projectors, mirrors, glass, fog, mist, even your own breath by implementing simple techniques — one of which is hundreds of years old. More »

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Rigwheels Passport-Camera-DollyRigWheels showed off their new Passport Camera Dolly system at NAB, which takes flat mount and 75mm/100mm bowl mount tripods, and has the ability to completely fit inside one Pelican case. What might be most impressive for those who travel is the fact that the Passport Camera Dolly system comes in at 50 pounds, so it will go right into your checked baggage before a flight without any more fees. The system is now available for pre-order, and you can check out more details below. More »

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FogContrary to popular belief, fog machines are not just helpful tools used to set the mood at awkward middle school dances. In fact, as many of you might know, fog (or haze, but we’ll get to that later) is widely used on film sets for a number of reasons, one of which is, yes, to set a specific tone, but it can also be used to pull off many different stylistic, technical, and aesthetic effects. In this helpful video, Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly shows us how using fog can help you add depth to your shots, diffuse light, or simply create a creepy atmosphere befitting of a slasher film. Also, learn how to get the most out of your fog machines with a couple of cheap, DIY tricks. More »

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DIY Ring LightOne of the biggest components that contributes to making a film look cinematic isn’t just a great camera and lenses — it’s lighting. Many times, however, lighting kits are the pieces of gear that are rented thanks in part to their large, awkward storage requirements, as well as their high price tag. But, having lights available whenever you need them can save money and headaches in the long run, and what better way to stockpile lights than through dirt cheap, DIY builds! Continue on for a handy tutorial on how to build a $30 ring light. More »

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GoPro 3DIf you’re feeling a little like the footage you’ve been taking with your action camera lacked a little bit of — action, you might want to check out the rig GoPro demonstrated at this year’s NAB, the 3D Dual Hero System for the Hero3+, which allows users to record synchronized footage with 2 Hero3+’s that you can later convert to 3D with GoPro Studio. However, as you might suspect, there are inexpensive DIY solutions in case the $199 price tag isn’t conducive to your budget. We have all the specs and features of GoPro’s 3D system, as well as helpful tutorials on the entire 3D capturing process , including how to build a DIY 3D rig for less than $25. More »

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cinema-lensNo two lenses are the same, namely if you’re talking about stills lenses and cinema lenses. There are pretty significant benefits in the latter, features like consistent front diameters, durability, and minimal (if not zero) lens breathing, but these do come at a cost. If you, like many of us, went the economical route and snatched up a bunch of stills lenses to lower the cost of adding to your gear repertoire, but are still wanting the added benefit of shooting with cine lenses, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter offers a DIY tutorial on how to apply an inexpensive cine mod to your stills lenses, giving your whole set several desired features of a cine lens for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a single one. More »

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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 »