» Posts Tagged ‘howto’

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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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Dolly Zoom TimelapseThe internet is practically overflowing with timelapse videos. Some of them are good, some are not, and some of them are truly mind-blowing. As we know, modern motorized camera movement equipment has really paved the way for all sorts of inventive movement to be included in the timelapse format. In general, if a camera move has been done in a live-action environment, someone has probably done it in a timelapse. Although I could very well be wrong, until today I had never seen someone perform a dolly zoom during a timelapse. Eric Stemen recently put together a video not only showing how the technique looks (mind-blowing), but also how he pulled it off using traditional hyperlapse techniques and a little ingenuity. More »

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Dolly HacksCamera movement is one of those aspects of filmmaking that, if done well, can make your film look like a million bucks. If you’re on a tight budget, however, you’re probably not going to be able to drop the necessary cash on pricey sliders, dollies, jibs, etc., but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your footage to look like you did. In yet another excellent video from our buddies at Film Riot, we’re given a bunch of  ideas on how to pull off buttery smooth dolly, tracking, and crane shots using everyday household items. 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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Enrique PachecoTime-lapse photography is definitely not as cut and dry as setting your camera on a tripod and pressing record. It takes careful planning, a few pieces of essential gear, and a little bit of expertise to create those beautifully cinematic shots. If you’re interested in adding this technique to your repertoire, Spanish cinematographer and time-lapse pro Enrique Pacheco shares a bunch of invaluable tips and answers many central questions with you in this helpful Shutterstock video entitled Timelapse Wisdom. More »

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LoglineIn my experience, writing screenplays and loglines is a lot like algebra and geometry: people typically excel at one while struggling with the other. Penning a screenplay is hard enough, but writing loglines can be difficult, because you have to strip your story down to its most essential parts, while still telling it in its entirety — you’re not given the luxury of playing the long game. If you’re like me and struggle with writing up loglines, this Script Lab video explains in simple terms just how to do it. 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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ScannersScanners, David Cronenberg’s 1981 film that defies explanation (you really have to see it, as any synopsis will sound kind of ridiculous; I’ll give a really half-baked one shortly, though) is justly famous for not only its mind-bending narrative, but its torrent of effects, including one scene where, well, a guy’s head explodes. Check out this video and see how they did it! More »

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Double ReflectorAs indie filmmakers, we’re used to working in tight spaces — bathrooms, cars, your own studio apartment, so we know that, sometimes, the locations we need for our scenes just aren’t conducive for simple lighting setups. Luckily, The Slanted Lens recently pulled off a little bit of cinematography acrobatics for a shoot they did inside a cave at the L.A. Zoo, and they’ve shared a tutorial to teach us how to use two reflectors to double-bounce natural light around a corner. More »

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teleportationThere are several techniques that you can use to pull off a good teleportation effect. Most understand the basics — how to splice two (or three) different shots together, having your actors freeze while your teleporter gets into position. However, there are a few polishing moves that you might not know about that could really up your SFX game, as well as sell your effect. The always entertaining and enlightening crew at Film Riot has a brand new tutorial that shares a few of these tricks, including how to position your teleporter, what kinds of visual and sound effects you can use, and how to put it all together in After Effects. 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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noir1Genres come and go, but 70 years after its birth, the “rules” of film noir have become part and parcel of the conventions of modern cinema. Why do filmmakers come back again and again to this bleak landscape? And why are these films still popular (if they weren’t, well, there wouldn’t be nearly as many. QED.) And just what, precisely, are its rules — rules so skilfully subverted by modern directors? A documentary from the BBC, originally aired in 2009, seeks to answer just that, shining a light on the dark corners of film noir. Plus, check out tips that will help you achieve your own film-noir-style lighting effects. 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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field-of-viewWhen you first start shooting photos and videos, understanding the basic differences between lenses is pretty simple — the way your images change between a wide angle and telephoto lens, for example, is overt. However, learning how to use perspective and field of view to your image’s advantage can really help you capture the look you’re going for, and Steve Perry shows you how to do that (using landscapes as an example) in this tutorial. Find out how to utilize the concept of perspective in order to become more intentional as you capture your shots. More »

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Fight SceneShooting a high octane, action-packed fight scene can really have an impact on your audience, but really only if it looks realistic and — well — truly painful. Tuts+ offers some excellent tips and tricks on how to achieve a believable brawl between your characters, including which lenses to use, tried and true blocking and choreography, as well as an editing trick that will speed up your strikes, making them more impactful. Check out the video after the jump. More »

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MentorlessHow many times have you been feverishly writing your screenplay, making great headway, only to stop abruptly because you didn’t know how to format exactly what’s in your head? Learning how to write action or a character description can be tricky enough, but how do you write/format the phone calls, inserts, montages, and flashbacks (or audio flashbacks!) that you want in your stories? Screenwriter and founder of Mentorless, Nathalie, has taken a ton of the guesswork out by creating a catalogue (of sorts) of over 430 screenplay examples from 25 scripts, and she’s offering it up to all of us for free! Continue on to learn all about it, as well as how to get your hands on it. 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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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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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 »