Monday, April 30, 2012

Recap Q&A: YouTube Interactivity?

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XLR-PRO XLR adapter

XLR to 1/8" mic adapter

PVC Ratcheting Cutters

Home Depot shop light

Editable talent release form

Make your iPad a second monitor (dual display)

Production sand need them

Use a telescopic snoot for film noir effects

Steampunk gauges on the cheap

How to be creative and think of new ideas

James DeRuvo interviews DSLR DP Shane Hurlbut

Zoom H1 teardown

DIY tripod mount for your smartphone

Inexpensive waterproof toolbox (camera housing?)

Never underestimate the power of the title sequence

Are you practicing these 5 natural lighting tips?

Audio recorder roundup

How to sync video and audio

Camera rig 3.0

$1 case for Zoom H1

Homemade camera slider

DIY string tripod

An Experiment

Saturday, April 28, 2012

An Experiment

 I apologize that this is so late this week, but here is the experiment I mentioned in the last Recap Q&A episode. The rules are simple. Flip a coin (or just pick) one of the two videos presented on screen. They will take you to a short film, followed by a survey. All you have to do is watch the film and fill out that survey. You can always navigate back to check out the other film, but please only fill out the survey for the film you chose first.

This is for a school project and I will be sharing the full purpose of this experiment in the near future.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Recap Q&A: UK Facebook Group?

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Audio-Technica ATR-3350 lav mic

Sony Movie Studio HD

iPhone tripod mount using binder clips

Creating a backyard pool effect

How to turn sunlight into moonlight

Frugal Crane video

Control flares with a shoot-through gobo

Ball bearing jib arm with motorized pan & tilt

The DIY $30 rolling camera bag

How to make your own matte box

Audio Crate

Is camera lust destroying your photography?

DIY camera slider test video

DIY 228 LED panel for $35

DIY slider 2 Big Brother Slider

DIY camera rig using 2 L-brackets

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Audio Crate

Awhile back I opened up my micro-budget light kit and gave everyone a peek inside, which sort of played like a "greatest hits" episode of past shows.  Today I do the same thing, only with an audio angle. I've got big box of stuff that I use on various shoots and wanted to crack it it open and share the contents. Nothing groundbreaking here, but there might be something you didn't know about that could help you quite a bit on that next excursion into sound recording.

Zoom H1 Field Recorder Setup
Noob Shockmount for the Zoom H1
Vivitar Steady Pod
Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones

Monday, April 16, 2012

Recap Q&A: How about Live Streaming?

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Belizarius font

C clamp mount for $10

Mini Camera Stabilizer

Filmmaking tools you can buy #3

Audio-Technica ATR-3350 lav mic

How to build an LCD screen hood

How to build a white background home video studio

Prolost flat - DSLR video setting

Logitech listened! Webcam has tripod mount

7" LCD bag and sunshade combo

DIY rigs

Frugal camera jib crane

$1 Budget: Foamcore, Squirtgun & Socks!

Two DIY projects that will help you see easier

DIY audio monitoring DSLR adapter

Best iPhone apps for filmmakers

Sidharta's frugal dimmer mods

Virtual Light Studio

Tascam DR-40 Portable Digital Recorder

Make it count

Camera support - ready rig

DIY evolution

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sidharta's Frugal Dimmer Mods

Today I am writing you because I was short on dimmers and you inspired me to build one. I started watching your videos chronologically, and that was the first one. So I went out and got the parts for the dimmer as well as some random PVC pipes and parts that I thought I should practice with.

Attached are a few pictures of the dimmer I built. I added a few very simple improvements, that I think are worth adding perhaps to the comments of that video page.

1. I added markers on the dial knob and the surface of the dimmer to mark the 100% and the 0% points. When working on set I find that we often say things like, "give me 20% less" or "take it down to 75%". So adding specific marker points will make it easier to be a bit more scientific about where to dial in the light levels. Cost: nothing, or the price of a sharpie.

2. I used a white surface to make it easier to see the markings on the dimmer itself.

3. I added a "600W" label on the dimmer so that anyone that picks it up knows what it is rated for at a quick glance.

4. I used electrical tape to surround the plastic bottom piece so that the tape would close better the gap that was left in the round hole where the wires came out of the box. Color coded electrical tape can also be used to personalize one's gear. I just used black cause i was too lazy to use my regular colors (red and yellow), and I was also thinking of making it a gift to a DP I work with.

5. I attached a Ground Lift to the female end, and taped it down with electrical tape, so it will always live as part of the rig. I taped it all the way around a few times, then just poked through the tape where the prongs insert. This way there is no need to frantically look for a small ground lift at the last minute when its time to use the dimmer (I do this with all my dimmers).

So there you go. A few very simple additions that make life easier on set.

Keep up the good work. If I continue building some of the rigs you showcase, and if I find ways to improve them a bit, I will share those tips with you so you can share it further.

Scott sez: These are some great improvements for the basic dimmer (that I didn't create as much as replicate). The permanent addition of the 3-prong to 2-prong adapter is my favorite. It should also be noted that if you blow a light when using one of these dimmers, the dimmer blows too and will need to be replaced. It happened to me!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

$1 Budget: Foamcore, Squirtgun & Socks!

Today on The $1 Budget, we look at another smattering of cheap stuff to help us make our movies. This includes (but is not limited to) alkaline batteries, a sock-diffuser, a foamcore reflector and squirtgun prop not used as a firearm. Almost all these ideas come from viewers and if you have any you'd like to see on a future show (complete with shoutout and link!), please share!

27 LED Portable Worklight/Flashlight

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recap Q&A: Should I Use Google+?

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Mini Stabilizer with Zoom H1 and Noob Shockmount

PVC pipe cutters on Amazon

DJ Speaker Stand

Yoga mat


Sony Movie Studio HD

Wheel-less slider

How to build the easiest motorized slider

Coffee sleeve lens hood

Tip: Animated Storyboards

7 rules for recording police

Tascam DR-40 vs. Zoom H4n

Tacam DR-40 feature review

How to use audio effects and filters in post

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tascam DR-40 vs. Zoom H4N

As usual, Deejay over at DSLR Film Noob gives us another thorough comparison of two popular products for the low-budget filmmaker. I was especially interested in his opinion of the Tascam DR-40, which is the lowest priced recorder ($150) that has XLR inputs. This means you can use all kinds of pro gear that will give you much better sound than the super-cheap unbalanced stuff I usually use. He says it's basic, but works well, which is really all I wanted to hear.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tip: Animated Storyboards

One way to bring your pre-production to life is to take your storyboards and animate them. I did this on my short film Hostages, as animated storyboards were a part of the previsualization assignment. When I included the animated storyboards into The Making of Hostages, people wondered how I did it. It's pretty easy, and in the above video, I describe how.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Recap Q&A: Most Important Part of Your Film?

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6.5' DJ speaker stand - $25!

Silicone jar opener

43" 5-in-1 collapsible relfector

Film festivals vs. the web

Frugal Crane 2.0 DSLR test footage

Tascam DR-40 XLR digital recorder - $153

Powerful DIY video light

$900 Panasonic GH2 vs. $3500 Canon 5D Mark III

Hard drive basics for video editing

Sima Quickonnect "Top Handle Rig"

Shoulder rig made from a lawn chair!

Transcend 32GB, class 10 SD card - $33

Studio lighting for less than $200?

DIY jib projects for less than $30
Tripod tips, tricks and techniques

DIY camera jib crane

Audio kit you already have

Blanket: make your background better

7 ways to increase YouTube views


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