Inside the DIY Filmmaker’s Toolkit
For the cash-strapped filmmaker who has the ambitious vision but lacks a Hollywood budget, here’s a handy guide to do-it-yourself production equipment and tools.
This is a wonderfully written and illustrated article that gives handy tips to aspiring filmmakers. Looking for a good camera to start out with? This article gives you two suggestions. Check out handheld camcorders or DSLR cameras depending on what your looking for. The handhelds tend to have a “unique realism that is often not achieved with large-scale cameras”. Plus, they’re cheap and easy to transport. Now DSLR cameras are also more affordable when compared to other cameras used for major motion pictures. They have interchangeable lenses and large image sensors that can produce the look and feel of professional-grade film cameras.
Need a dolly? Use a wheelchair! They make for a fantastic substitute. Heck, it’s been rumored that Robert Rodriguez borrowed one to film runaway scenes in “El Mariachi”.
Sometimes we want action shots but are afraid of not being able to get a steady shot. Have no fear, this article explains how you can make one with solid pipes or rods, a t-joint and a counterbalancing weight.
Green screens. The article recommends using them for special effects, I agree. Now this is something I’ve seen used before but didn’t hear about.
Chinese paper lanterns as light diffusers. It makes perfect sense!
If you need a boom microphone, you can easily do that by using telescoping mop handles, PVC pipe and even a broomstick. Just attach the microphone holder and microphone and you’re done!
I’ve always wanted to use a jib shot and now, with this suggestion, I very well could! A tripod jib is a cheaper solution than getting an actual jib. Get a low-cost tripod, aluminum poles, a camera mount and a counter weight.
Fake blood can be made quite simply. You can use one part water, 3 parts corn syrup and red food coloring.
Now if you want sound effects, go make them! The article gives several suggestions as to how to make some and examples of what others have done!
Why I chose it:
I chose this article because it gave references to things I knew about and wanted to hear more about. The article was nicely made, very creative and definitely helpful. Many of the things the article mentions are things that most of us can afford and do. I mean, I had never thought of using Chinese paper lanterns as light diffusers. These suggestions give hope to aspiring filmmakers, like myself, that we can create everything (or almost everything) that we see in our heads.