Thursday, May 31, 2012

$1 Budget: Stop, Clean, Reflect!



The advantage of being able to do short, easy-to-produce, alternate content is that I can whip up an episode when I don't have a short film at the end of the month. I wanted to have a more complete version of Sleeper finished, but it wasn't to be. Instead, it's a bonus episode of The $1 Budget, which a lot of people seem to like.

This time out, I spend all of my money at Dollar Tree, which seems to have all kinds of goodies that us filmmakers need to fill in the gaps between more costly gear. I appreciate all the suggestions I received for this episode and if you are reading this and can think of any others, please comment below.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Recap Q&A: Story Ideas from Where?



RSS readers: Click on the title above to reveal the hidden video.

Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/thefrugalfilmmaker
Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/frugalfilmmaker

Vegas Pro 11 Editing Workshop (book/DVD)
http://tinyurl.com/7ha5a7u

Get Slow Motion 60fps On Your iPhone 4
http://tinyurl.com/8yhjqql

Canon a1200 Powershot (great for entry-level video) for $72
http://tinyurl.com/cq3v2a2

Sylvania 7" portable LCD TV - $50
http://tinyurl.com/czed7z4

Tascam DR-07mkII handheld digital recorder - $99
http://tinyurl.com/c75eb32

Quick Release Showdown
http://tinyurl.com/cuebj3t

Lighting for mood
http://tinyurl.com/7u37f2m

DIY track dolly demo reel
http://tinyurl.com/brf6als

Cell phone rig
http://tinyurl.com/cnmzjh7

Lens diffusion that works on any camera
http://tinyurl.com/7zj2lwj

Shotgun microphone for $20
http://tinyurl.com/7xywtop

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quick Release Showdown



After using the Sima Quickonnect for all of my sub-$10 quick release needs, another product has shown up on the horizon recently. A clone of the Manfrotto 323 RC2 quick release system, this Chinese knock-off is a solid product that comes in at 1/4 of the price of the original. Both systems are great for allowing you to move your camera between DIY builds, but this Manfrotto clone is the better buy in my opinion.

The New Jersey eBay supplier seems to randomly jack up the price up to $108.48 (why?), so double check before you buy, or use the Hong Kong supplier.
http://tinyurl.com/7mgoezh

Manfrotto Clone, Hong Kong Supplier ($9.30)
http://tinyurl.com/cjdllfh

Sima Quickonnect, Amazon ($8-12)
http://tinyurl.com/7ft44z9

Monday, May 21, 2012

Recap Q&A: Favorite Movie?



Blog: http://www.thefrugalfilmmaker.com
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/thefrugalfilmmaker
Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/frugalfilmmaker

New quick release camera mount for $8.48
New Jersey supplier for $8.48: http://tinyurl.com/846f8jq
Hong Kong Supplier for $9.30: http://tinyurl.com/cjdllfh
Amazon link for $10.59: http://tinyurl.com/crkefcz

New material for DIY projects
http://tinyurl.com/d7olxky

Full body greenman suit - $25
http://tinyurl.com/73uedor

Shooting great portraits (or video) with minimal setup
http://tinyurl.com/cgjwfwo

67" monopod for $12
http://tinyurl.com/cmjjqkx

Video production: getting permission
http://tinyurl.com/cysakwf

Off the shelf ring light - $25
http://tinyurl.com/cpj8tvq

Getting better prodcution audio is easier than you think
http://tinyurl.com/dybd5kn

Simple Snorricam for $7
http://tinyurl.com/cm5ad2m

Making fake realistic looking instestines
http://tinyurl.com/d4z5k3n

Refurb Kodak PlaySport ZX5 waterproof cam for $59
http://tinyurl.com/85we57f

Canon T3i vs. Kodak ZX5
http://tinyurl.com/7r45qvz

Sima Quickonnect back in stock
http://tinyurl.com/6p9tlsw

32" Collapsible 5-in-1 reflector - $10
http://tinyurl.com/6o2mys3

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Simple Snorricam for $7



Another viewer request, this time I make an attempt at creating a Snorricam, a rig that makes you look like you desperately need a nap. This has got to be one of the simpler rigs I've ever built.  Most Snorricams have lots of padding and straps, but I did away with all of that in favor of a counterweight system.  It isn't as rock solid as the traditional version, but you get to see more of your actor as well as some other nifty options not found elsewhere. Who wants to be like everyone else anyway?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Recap Q&A: What Techniques?




Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/thefrugalfilmmaker
Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/frugalfilmmaker

If we Cannes, you Can! (e-book, mentions The Frugal Filmmaker)
http://tinyurl.com/86cnb5l

Entry level 720p camera with focus and exposure lock - $78
http://tinyurl.com/7wvn4ab

DIY filmmaker can lights
http://tinyurl.com/7y9adjr

DIY $2.50 rotational spider dolly
http://tinyurl.com/84w38wv

Free downloads for writers
http://tinyurl.com/6o4f3x2

How to make money online
http://tinyurl.com/7rxv8xd

Video camera mount for your car for less than $20
http://tinyurl.com/6vxqso3

Camera tabletop dolly - $40
http://tinyurl.com/723p683

720p vs 1080i HD explained
http://tinyurl.com/7y5wdws

DIY microphone stand & audio mounting
http://tinyurl.com/6qxhcdc

$1 Budget: slate, cap, grenade!
http://tinyurl.com/84d2c96

The Complete Frugal Filmmaker Radio Interview
http://tinyurl.com/6wdryzl

Tascam DR-40 XLR digital audio recorder - $150
http://tinyurl.com/7gyqygj

Production dialogue - microphone placement
http://tinyurl.com/7p7xgr4

Small clapper board - $4
http://tinyurl.com/79ca6dt

Camera L-bracket w/2 shoe mounts - $8
http://tinyurl.com/6n6m6wn

Zeikos multi-coated UV filter review
http://tinyurl.com/7jwpmsh

Tripod to softbox stand
http://tinyurl.com/6rb3pc2

Bicycle camera mount
http://tinyurl.com/885tgqq

Fisheye lens for $6
http://tinyurl.com/7n4dxat

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fisheye lens for $6



Knoptop and Quick FX returns with his version of putting a peephole onto his point and shoot camera. This gives the coveted "fisheye" look of a super wide angle lens that distorts everything. I've seen different videos using this specific hack, but never quite seen it the Knoptop way. And if it uses PVC, you can bet I'm going to pay attention.

Also, check out Knop's "uncut" version that shows more of the parts collection process as well as a trip through the drive-through to get a doughnut. It's classic Dave.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Complete FF Radio Interview



Last week I participated in my first ever radio interview for "Grow It, Build It, Live It", hosted by Joni Dahlstrom. Joni was a very gracious host and was aided by her son Jake, who is a film student and suggested me as a potential interviewee. There were some prepared questions as well as those that were provided by listeners who were logged into a chat room. I think the show went well and we were able to get some very useful information out into cyberspace. Internet radio is just another example of how the web has changed all forms of media and I had a lot of fun participating in the show.

If you missed it and would like to hear the entire broadcast, click on the audio player above. If you would like to listen on your own device, you can right-click here and select "Save Link As...". I've cut out all the four-minute breaks, which brings the whole show in just over two-and-a-half hours. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

$1 Budget: Slate, Cap, Grenade!



This time on the show I find some more goodies that only cost a buck. These are a dry erase board that can easily be used as a camera slate, a toy grenade that has lots of prop potential, and a lens cap for a camera that already has one.  If you have any good ideas for the show, please let me know and I'll give you full credit if it makes the cut.

Press play!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Radio Interview Tonight!

If you haven't heard already, I'm going to be interviewed tonight (6-9:00 PM PST) on "Grow It, Build It, Live It!" hosted by Joni Dahlstrom.  It's a first for me and I hope that it all goes well and I don't say anything lame. If you'd like to just listen, go here: http://www.talkstreamlive.com/ If you want to ask questions (filtered by the host, I won't actually see them) go here: http://www.themicroeffect.com/ and click on "chat".

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Recap Q&A: Does the Format Work?



Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/thefrugalfilmmaker
Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/frugalfilmmaker

I'm going to be on Grow It, Build It, Live It! hosted by Joni Dahlstrom
May 8, 2012, 6:00-9:00 PM PST
To listen: http://www.talkstreamlive.com/talk_radio/radiormn.stream
To chat: http://www.themicroeffect.com/ click on "chat"

Give away your film's soundtrack for free
http://tinyurl.com/7uttk2h

Sony ECM-AW3 wireless bluetooth microphone review
http://tinyurl.com/87nftvl

Microphones & audio syncing tutorial
http://tinyurl.com/7vz8el3

The Frugal Filmmaker: Europe
http://tinyurl.com/7dg3ywu

DIY on-air studio light
http://tinyurl.com/7datwbw

Video lighting with outdoor flood lights
http://tinyurl.com/78yb3qe

Patriot 32GB class 10 SD card - $22
http://tinyurl.com/7rxxaz8

How to make fly through cloud footage
http://tinyurl.com/7lumbzp

Tip: Floor Lamp Lighting
http://tinyurl.com/7t55897

5 tips for controlling natural light
http://tinyurl.com/7hgpyaq

CameraSim simulates a digital SLR camera
http://tinyurl.com/7f53rev

Canon VIXIA HFR20 - $283
http://tinyurl.com/89famjj

New to DSLRs?
http://tinyurl.com/6tfv9ln

VR light stands (light box)
http://youtu.be/zjJ5jX1sRqo

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tip: Floor Lamp Lighting



This month in the tip episode, I share something I've been using recently that's efficient, thrifty and effective. When shooting any video in my apartment (intros, build instructions), I would normally have to assemble some PVC light stands and attach clamp lights, or bounce some work lights off of the ceiling. The problem was, I was spending more time than I wanted on the setup/teardown. I am often doing these videos late at night and when I'm done, I want to go to bed, not spend another 30 minutes striking.

I started looking around at available lighting and found that I could use two floor lamps, a ceiling fan lamp, and a kitchen light to get a similar result to the DIY gear. The only catch was I had to be standing up (the floor lamps are about 6' tall), but that just created a new look for the videos (never a bad thing).  After some experimenting and moving lights around, I found a good combination that provides a decent look with only about 5 minutes of setup time.

I believe the floor lamps came from IKEA, but you can find them just about anywhere. They are very common and will only run you about $9-12. The best part is, when I'm done, they go back against the wall. It's just more evidence that if examine your immediate surroundings, the answer to a filmmaking problem might be right in front of you.