» Posts Tagged ‘diy’

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Diffusion PanelAs no-budget filmmakers, chances are we’re spending a lot of time trying to navigate the placement of powerfully bright lights as we shoot scenes in cramped areas, and having a way to diffuse light is imperative in order to avoid blowing out your shot. There are so many solutions to this issue, like using bounce cards, reflectors, umbrellas, softboxes, ect., but, like most things, these pieces of gear can be a little (or insanely) expensive. However, also like most things, there are DIY builds that’ll save you tons of money without sacrificing quality, and product photographer Tony Roslund is here to show you how to build just such a diffusion panel for only $30 without having to bust out your bandsaw. More »

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DIY filtersGood lens filters can empty your wallet pretty quickly, but the effects they produce are beautiful (and oftentimes needed). If your name isn’t Rich Uncle Pennybags, or if you’re a DIY enthusiast like most of us here, Film Riot has put a couple of ladies’ unmentionables to the test: traditional black stockings and fishnet stockings to see which replicates the effects of a $100 black pro-mist filter best. And as an added bonus, we’ve shared a few extra DIY filter ideas, from plastic soda bottles to plastic Pringles lids. More »

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CropperCapture[92]Over the years, we’ve covered a wide range of methods and tools for lighting a film, everything from hardware store clip lights to high-end cinema lighting tools. As fantastic and practical as some of the higher-end tools can be, most of us just don’t have the budget to rent (let alone own) those tools, so we end up resorting to cheap fixtures and DIY light-sculpting methods in order to illuminate our films. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, considering that having a DIY mindset when lighting can produce some truly ingenious and cost-effective techniques. Not So Fast, a short film from David F. Sandberg, is one such example of DIY lighting ingenuity. In a short BTS video about the making of the film, David reveals how he used a plastic IKEA trashcan in order to create a portably-powered DIY beauty dish that provides fantastic results. More »

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DrillAs indie filmmakers, we’re used to making do with what is easily, readily, and/or inexpensively at our disposal, and many times the locations we need don’t fit within those criteria. However, with a little bit of know-how and a few bucks (about $170), you could construct your own flats (the fake walls used on films and theater sets), which would not only allow you to film in the location you want (a mock version, at least), but it will take the stress away of having to shoot in someone else’s space. Matt Brown is here with a tutorial to show you how to saw, hammer, and drill your way to making flats that’ll be perfect for any project. More »

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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 »