Create Some Creative Effects with These 6 Household Items

Your junk drawer is a treasure trove of tools for camera trickery.

Got some tinfoil? What about Christmas lights? Are your old Smashmouth CDs getting all scratched up on the floor of your car? Well, it's time to put those things to better use by utilizing them in your filmmaking. In this video, Pierre T. Lambert shows you six ways to creatively use several common household items to create beautiful and unique camera and lighting effects. Check it out below:

I love awesome visual effects as much as anyone, but there's something cool and organic about creating interesting effects in-camera. Granted, they can be a lot more trouble than they're worth sometimes, but if you're in a pinch and really need to add a little bit of flavor and style to a shot, some of these creative little camera tricks might just save your buns one day.

Here are all of the tips mentioned in the video:

  • Use your smartphone to reflect light and create interesting effects.
  • Your smartphone's flashlight can be used to creatively add light.
  • Christmas lights, bistro lights, fairy lights, really any kind of string lights can make cool effects if you shoot with a shallow depth of field.
  • When you shine light on old CDs and DVDs, they create a cool rainbow effect.
  • Tinfoil is a great way to add some fill light...and you only need one hand to do it.
  • Use a scarf to (carefully) perform steady camera moves.

Okay, maybe some of these might make more sense in photography, where your subject and camera are stationary, but I think, with a little effort and creativity, you can definitely implement them in your next music video, commercial, or trippy dream sequence with great results.

What are some weird household items you've used to create in-camera effects? Share your tasty secrets down in the comments!     

Your Comment


Wow! Great tips! You can also try vomiting onto your lens to get some sick foreground bokeh.

But seriously, these shots are terrible. No self-respecting photographer of any level should utilize these techniques unless they want their clients to be incredibly unhappy with the final product.

February 22, 2018 at 9:10AM, Edited February 22, 9:10AM


Agreed this is garbage

February 27, 2018 at 11:13AM


Obnoxiously overwrought video and music presenting some truly useless techniques that give terrible results.

February 23, 2018 at 12:11PM

Niall Macaulay
Videographer / Editor

a copy of a copy of a copy. just terrible.

February 23, 2018 at 12:48PM

rodrigo calderon
director / dp / creative director

Dear NoFilmSchool,

Get rid of V Renée.

Thank you !

February 23, 2018 at 1:04PM


no dont say that! I really like a lot of stuff she posts. Not this though it's pants

February 23, 2018 at 8:05PM


Renee, I always appreciated your chosen articles... but this one... take a break from the night shift editor, things will become normal again... ;-)

February 25, 2018 at 12:08PM, Edited February 25, 12:08PM

Dibyendu Joardar
Director of Photography

The article is very easy to understand, I also read many other articles and I found your article has helped a lot of information for me, thank you for sharing.

June 14, 2018 at 9:46PM