» Posts Tagged ‘diyproject’

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It’s certainly not the sexiest piece of gear you’re going to deal with, but dimmer switches can be unbelievably handy, especially if you have limited time and a limited budget, and you’re already working with DIY lights. A dimmer switch, if you’re not sure, is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a way to selectively dim or brighten the quantity of a light source using electricity, rather than manual means like placing a net over the light. This is an important distinction as you’re not trying to change the shape or quality of the light — just simply lower the output. Most of these can be built for very little cost, so click through to check out some tutorials on building your very own dimmer switches. More »

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Since the explosion of DSLRs, shoulder rigs have become almost a necessity for smooth handheld work. Some you can buy on the cheap, others you can build yourself for even cheaper, and one can even double as a portable jib solution. Name brand rigs will save you the trouble of a DIY assembly job, and should hold up well enough to use on just about any shoot, but they’ll cost you quite a bit more. Now we’ve got another how-to video, this time geared toward shooters who’d like to build their own somewhat heavy-duty shoulder rig for as little as $100. Check out the video and the full eBay items list below. More »

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We recently featured several practical but effective techniques for creating the (by now) famous Matrix-esque ‘bullet-time’ effect — accomplished, in more than one case, by using an evenly spaced array of GoPros and some post-processing elbow grease. Clearly, the availability and portability of such cameras is catching on beyond conventional ‘action cam’ uses, and inspiring creatives of nearly any budget to create shots only A-budget Hollywood productions used to be able to pull off. GoPros make sense for such arrays, because they are forgivingly frameable (and decently affordable as far as rentals go). Now, another project has demonstrated what’s possible with these simple but adaptable cameras — in this case, built into a rig that can also be handheld. More »

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There’s a variety of rigs out there for pretty much all your mounting needs — Cinevate and of course Kessler are go-to solutions for jibs running the gamut from heavy-duty to collapsible, respectively. The same goes for shoulder rigs, with options ranging from professional solutions to lightweight prefabs all the way down to homebrew kits. Of course, something that can pull double duty as a portable jib and custom shoulder rig — which you can put together yourself for $50, to boot — may be the best of, like, three worlds. Read on to check out some details — plus info on how to build your own 360 degree panoramic head mount, plus some hardcore DIY stabilizers — all geared toward the low-to-no budget but crafty shooter. More »

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Thanks to the extensible nature of third party interchangeable parts, you can assemble a shoulder rig that balances robustness, accessory accommodation, and price range almost perfectly to what you need, for a price you can afford. You may buy a complete package from a trusted vendor, one on the super-cheap from overseas, or upgrade your older kit with new pads, grips, and weights. You may even eschew the steel altogether and build one yourself, and there’s many a building guide for such a DIY assembly out there — one more recent post breaks down a PVC shouldermount rig for a paltry $10. For this and some other (picture left) dirt-cheap alternatives, check below. More »

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Even on projects that can afford to rent a lighting and grip package, it can be useful for you to have your own lighting kit stashed away. Whether this kit is something you keep in the trunk of your car, good in a pinch — or what you use to make your living — the boy scout motto applies. Who knows, maybe you’re up the creek, just that one cube tap or ground lift short, but because you brought your kit, your gaffer owes you a brewski when the day is done. Thanks to a few open filmmakers with some ingenuity up their sleeves, we have some details on what extremely affordable and useful gear can comprise your own DIY lighting kit. More »

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There are a lot of tutorial videos out there about making DIY camera stabilizers/steadicams, but usually the ones I come across are either made for tiny consumer cameras or the test footage looks ok, but doesn’t quite possess that creamy smooth motion that I come to expect from a good stabilizer. Then I came across a video by Studio Amarelo in Vimeo’s Video School channel that demonstrated a highly adjustable rig that could be built from cheap off the shelf parts, and produced some fantastically smooth footage: More »

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Shane Hurlbut –that never-ending font of cinematography knowledge– has another great DIY solution on offer. This time he tackles the simulation of fire light. In the past, Hurlbut had used various approaches to creating fire-like lighting, but none gave him the realism that he wanted to achieve. So for The Greatest Game Ever Played he dreamt up a better way: The Medusa. More »

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Re-purposing something is always fun, especially when it can be used to help out filmmakers. This is one of the more interesting DIY monitors I’ve seen, and it’s got one of the largest screens I’ve ever seen for a device like this. Basically, the Motorola ATRIX 4G Laptop Dock for the ATRIX 4G phone can be used as an external monitor. The Micro HDMI port on the device senses any incoming HDMI signal and then outputs it on the screen. Check out the video below of the device in action with a Canon 60D: More »

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Tired of squinting at your DSRL’s LCD screen?  Maybe you need some extra lighting oomph for that indoors shoot?  These two projects aim to make your no-budget existence a bit easier.  The  first is a DIY viewfinder from Knoptop and Learning DSLR Video, and the second is a big 800-watt equivalent CFL video light from IndyMogul (accompanied by a goofy short shot with it): More »

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Have you been jonesing for arcing vertical and horizontal camera moves?  Perhaps you simply want an easy way to elevate your camera without having to climb a fence or set your tripod ontop of a chair.  Well, you’re in luck.  Here are two DIY jib projects that will let you do those things for less than $30 and a bit of your time.  The first is a small jib arm courtesy of Olivia Tech, the second is a slightly larger jib project from The Frugal Filmmaker, check out these videos to see them in action: More »