» Posts Tagged ‘gear’

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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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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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Caleb Pike Cable BagsStoring our gear for transport may not be the most fun or engaging thing about filmmaking, but it’s definitely essential, and doing it in an organizational way can cut set-up and tear-down times way down, as well as keep your gear safe. Caleb Pike brings us another great video tutorial, this time highlighting a piece of storage that is easy to overlook — cable bags. Improperly kept cables not only take forever to untangle, but they can also get lost and damaged much more easily, so take a look at the different repurposed and professional bags Pike uses, including one that you won’t find at your favorite film gear retailers. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Can Huge Camera Cranes Be Affordable & Functional? Luke Neumann Says Yes - No Film SchoolGetting a large crane shot can be nearly impossible on a budget. Very often crane operators are not cheap, and the equipment is also expensive to rent. But what options do lower-budget folks have? Turns out there is some cheaper gear out there that should perform admirably and give you big-budget results. Luke Neumann of Neumann Films reviews one such piece of gear below, the Came-TV 33 ft. crane: More »

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SilencerYou could have a great story, riveting actors, and a capable camera, but if your shots aren’t in focus, you’ve really got a serious problem on your hands. Having an experienced focus puller ensuring that your shots are in focus may be a great advantage during production, but if you’re a barebones crew, that responsibility often falls on whomever’s behind the camera (probably you). The big obstacle to pulling focus yourself is having to giving up a hand that could be stabilizing your camera, but 24Shots has developed a trigger-controlled follow focus system, the Silencer, that will help you keep your images sharp while keeping both hands on the wheel. More »

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Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 1.54.47 PMEveryone knows that having the right gear is essential for any video production job. However, the organization of said gear (or lack thereof) is one of the many things that separates video production beginners from the pros. Not only can improper storage and transportation potentially damage the hefty investment that is video gear, but when gear is poorly organized it can slow you down as a shooter and prevent you from getting the shots you need. Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter has put together another fantastic video that details how he stores and organizes his camera gear so that he can access it as quickly as possible while still keeping it safe. Check it out below. 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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Documentary InfographicGetting started in documentary filmmaking is a lot like getting started in narrative filmmaking — most of the time you’re just picking up gear that is cheap and readily available to you. But, if you’re looking to find out what the pros are using, PBS’s POV, the longest-running showcase of documentary films on TV, asked working documentarians about the tools and equipment they used in their projects. Continue on to check out an infographic — a comprehensive equipment list of the cameras, lenses, microphones, and post-production software (and more) used by the pros. More »

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trost durable field camera slider shooting platform movement steel 01The DSLR revolution ushered in an explosion of one-person-crew gear options, and the slider has been no exception. Many manufacturers offer variations on the basic yet effective sliding camera platform, including Redrock, edelkrone, DitoGear, and Rhino. Now, a manufacturer called Trost is introducing a very sleek-looking slider aiming for extreme dependability and durability. Trost sliders feature hand-machined steel components, a quickly adjustable design, and the strength to support (some of) the weight of a 1983 Toyota Tercel. If you had any sliders on your holiday wishlist, you might want to check below for more details. More »

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lenzhound wireless lens motor control system wireless follow focus kickstarter camera shooting filmmakingOur recent post on the Redrock microRemote made it pretty clear that the desire for an even more inexpensive wireless follow focus solution is very real. As it would turn out, there is a very affordable alternative with significant momentum on Kickstarter — the Lenzhound Wireless Lens Control System. Going for under $400, the Lenzhound is also notably based on the Arduino open source electronics system. With these powers combined, Lenzhound might just be the most affordable wireless lens control system aiming for ‘pro.’ Read on for the Kickstarter video and more details. More »

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ClearView Matte BoxMatte boxes are fantastic filmmaking tools for a multitude of reasons. They allow you to have pinpoint control over the light that hits your lens (which is a must for discerning cinematographers). They make the process of incorporating optical filters into your setup so much easier and more practical than screw-on filters ever could. So why aren’t matte boxes more prevalent in low-budget filmmaking? Well, the good ones are ridiculously expensive, and the ones that are more affordable are terribly-built and sadly lacking in the features that serious filmmakers need. More »

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Cinevate MorpheusNo, it’s not the famous character from The Matrix played by Laurence Fishburne  – though I’m sure that’s all you’re going to think about now — it’s actually a modular camera stabilizer. Cinevate has been working for a number of years on a small, light, and inexpensive camera stabilizer that can take your GoPro or other small camera and give you smooth-looking footage. The company has launched a Kickstarter for the stabilizer, so check out the launch video below for more on the Cinevate Morpheus: More »

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Digital Imaging Technician Harddrives [Photo by Christian Dressler]

This is part three of a 3-part series on the evolving role and responsibilities of the contemporary Digital Imaging Technician. Nofilmschool interviewed 4 working DITs from New York and L.A. to help contextualize the role they play and offer insights into the business. Part 1 went into misconceptions about DITs, part 2 offers information about getting hired — now this one is for the gear-head in all of us. Read on for a look into some tools and practices behind the job. More »

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AbelCine doc grantFilm and video equipment and service provider AbelCine announced the 2013 AbelCine Documentary Grant yesterday, calling on filmmakers to submit 2-5 minute Vimeo videos pitching their longer documentary projects. Each of three winners will receive $33,000 which can be applied to their choice of a Canon C300 rental packages and lenses from AbelCine. US Residents 18 years and older are eligible to apply; hit the jump for deets. More »

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ryan_kooThanks to David Branin and Karen Worden of the great indie film show Film Courage for having me on recently. Given this website covers a lot of the “latest, greatest tools” in filmmaking, this particular interview question was a perfect chance for me to make it abundantly clear what my stance — and by extension the stance of nofilmschool — is when it comes to “gear addiction” and what tools filmmakers “need to have right now.” More »

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I’m sure some of you have been there before: that little red battery indicator has been blinking for quite some time, but for one reason or another, you’re nowhere near your DSLR batteries. Especially with live shooting, sometimes things happen fast, and you never want to be left wondering where your other batteries are. That’s where Rhino — maker of the successful Rhino Slider and Camera Stabilizer — comes in with a battery holster that is designed to take 2 Canon LP-E6 batteries and help ensure that you’ve got batteries easily and painlessly accessible. Check out the Kickstarter launch video: More »

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A few months ago, Kessler teased what they were calling the Pocket Jib Traveler. While we only got a few details, a few things were clear: it was going to be small, and it was going to be light. Now, we’ve got the full description and details on the jib as it nears release, including an introduction video that gives a rundown of the features as well as complete assembly information. Check out the video below. More »

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Danny Dodge is a cameraman and cinematographer who has devised what may be the most light-weight and portable curved dolly track system you’ve ever seen. Searching for a way to build the ultimate portable dolly setup, Dodge stumbled upon the fact that a draw string could be used to arch PVC track to any degree he wished. The SnapTrack Cinerails rig was the result. Combining a simple draw string device with seven Cinerails gives you up to eight feet of curvable dolly track that seems primed for low-impact DSLR shooting, weighs under ten pounds, and breaks down/sets up in about a minute. Check out the SnapTrack Cinerails below, and some pre-ordering info if you’re interested. More »

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Not long ago, we shared some footage of the ‘birth’ of Nikon Nikkor lenses along with some of the basics of lenses in general. The question that follows is one of proper maintenance, both on and off set. Whether you own lenses yourself or you’re getting into camera department work, there are some practices considered standard protocol for keeping your glass clean. Below, professional AC Evan Luzi of The Black and Blue demonstrates how he cleans lenses on set, as well as what supplies an AC should keep on hand for doing so. Plus, if you are a lens kit owner, DIY Photography has some tips for preventing fungus from turning your optical glass into an accidental petri dish. 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 »