Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

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DIY C-Stand

October 1, 2007

I found this little tip in a forum I’ve been a member of for about 3 years now, and thought it was just awesome.  I’ve been trying to find cheap light stands for a little while now and couldn’t find anything that would fit the lights I have.  I only use one worklight whenever I use controlled lighting at all, but it sure is nice to be able to control the look more that way and for a shoot I need to do soon I’m going to need controlled light to shoot the scene.  Needless to say, when I stumbled upon this little forum post I was very excited.  I then read his intro, the tutorial it’s based on and his own article about his method of putting it together, and am going to sketch up my own design and try to make my own based on that.  Now, moving on from me, I’ll shed a little light on the forum post ;).  It’s all galvanized pipe, black preferably, since it’s cheaper, and you make a three-legged C-stand or Century stand typically used in photography and film and video shoots.  It’s a great tool for mounting lights and all kinds of other tools from diffusion cloths to flags and bounce cards on your one- or two-man (or woman) shoot.  The price comes to about $30-$40 which is, especially when compared to commercial C-stands available at around $60-$200, very appealing.  Building 3-4 of these for the price of one, sounds sweet to me.  There’s also an attachment he links to on the forum post to a little unit usually used for drumsets but can be used on this little rig to hold a boom arm for bounce cards, etc. mentioned above.  So with no more from me, the link’s below, check it out and enjoy the benefits of the DIY internet filmmaking community.

Link: http://sticktowhatyouknow.com/phpBB2/…

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RED ONE in use!

September 10, 2007

I don’t know who else has been interested in this but I was hot on the trail a while ago and now that I’ve heard it’s going into use I’m super excited to see what happens next with this camera and its companion technology.  It may mean huge upgrades worldwide for producers and their studios, but it might just mean hugely increased content quality at a price that, when you think about it, really isn’t all that huge.  Now, this article, found on IndyMogul’s blog, mentions that filmmaker Roger Avery is going to be making an indie project using RED’s ONE camera.  For those of you who don’t know, this is an ultra-high-quality camera that is leagues better than the current video we shoot and even better, from my understanding, than HD.  Not to mention the frame sizes are enormous.  Check out more about RED here, and check out the original article from the link below.  This is awesome, I’m looking forward, as the author said, to what happens when this stuff starts hitting theaters and the global market.  Maybe us lower-budget filmmakers will even get a lower cost, possibly lower quality (but still higher than what most of us are used to right now) camera at prices we can afford.  This could be great.

Link: http://www.indymogul.com/post/2537/roger-avery-to-use-red-camera

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Canon XH A1 & DOF Adapters

September 9, 2007

This is a cool little video series I found today while taking a render break from editing a project about the Canon XH A1 HDV camcorder that actually gave me a bit more information that I’d already known, just about HDV itself.  I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but I’ll post all three for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy the information and go check out filmmaking.com, the site that hosts a few featured videos on the top of their page as well as links to tons of other resources around the internet for filmmakers.

Pt. 1

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts66BV5OTHI

Pt. 2

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9FFRU0iJMY

Pt. 3
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drz4VdEE

Hope these videos are useful or at least informative.  Enjoy, leave any comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to address them as best I can.

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A/V > RF > A/V… there’ll be a quiz!

September 6, 2007

Well here’s a little gadget I found today that looked quite cool.  I wouldn’t really use it in the small, one-room studio setup I have now… in my bedroom… but in a larger setup with multiple rooms all making up a studio or something, or if you just have better satellite reception in one room than another (of which I don’t know the technical possibility, since I thought satellites were supposed to reach most anything and everything… except sometimes in bad weather… heh), then this tool might be useful for you.  You plug it into your workstation (editing, effects, whatever), it converts your audio/visual signal into a radio signal which gets sent to the receiving end of the gadget (presumably in a different room), and that converts it back into an audio/visual signal and is plugged into your TV console or monitor for previewing purposes and what have you.  I thought it sounded cool and possibly useful in a studio where maybe you want to preview your final or even rough cuts of your films on a big screen to get more of a feel for it, but can’t buy another monitor and don’t want to waste a DVD – plus you want to see it in full quality – that would mean lengthy exporting and authoring to watch the DVD (depending on your system).  This would potentially solve that, since you could, I imagine, just set it up to preview just the comp window of your editing app, render out all the preview files in the Timeline and then go into the other room and hit play.  Oh yea, and don’t forget to add a couple of seconds of black first so you don’t miss anything while running from room to room.  You could even trick your hot date and tell her your new movie’s on TV at 8, check it out at your place in your home theater.  Aww… romantic. 😉

Link: http://www.geeks.com/…

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A/V > RF > A/V… there'll be a quiz!

September 6, 2007

Well here’s a little gadget I found today that looked quite cool.  I wouldn’t really use it in the small, one-room studio setup I have now… in my bedroom… but in a larger setup with multiple rooms all making up a studio or something, or if you just have better satellite reception in one room than another (of which I don’t know the technical possibility, since I thought satellites were supposed to reach most anything and everything… except sometimes in bad weather… heh), then this tool might be useful for you.  You plug it into your workstation (editing, effects, whatever), it converts your audio/visual signal into a radio signal which gets sent to the receiving end of the gadget (presumably in a different room), and that converts it back into an audio/visual signal and is plugged into your TV console or monitor for previewing purposes and what have you.  I thought it sounded cool and possibly useful in a studio where maybe you want to preview your final or even rough cuts of your films on a big screen to get more of a feel for it, but can’t buy another monitor and don’t want to waste a DVD – plus you want to see it in full quality – that would mean lengthy exporting and authoring to watch the DVD (depending on your system).  This would potentially solve that, since you could, I imagine, just set it up to preview just the comp window of your editing app, render out all the preview files in the Timeline and then go into the other room and hit play.  Oh yea, and don’t forget to add a couple of seconds of black first so you don’t miss anything while running from room to room.  You could even trick your hot date and tell her your new movie’s on TV at 8, check it out at your place in your home theater.  Aww… romantic. 😉

Link: http://www.geeks.com/…

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Cheap, Good Resources

September 5, 2007

Isn’t that something we all can love?  Some great quality resources, used on regular productions all the time, never get used.  Did you ever wonder what happened to those surplus materials?  Well, here they are!  I’ve found them for you!  (Thank me in the comment box).  This link I stumbled across through a video I found on the Filmmaking.com website and a video called Lights, Camera, Action.  It’s part of an apparently new video series with quite a high production value, though, to be honest, a pretty crappy website.  It can be seen here, but more importantly, the pilot episode can be seen here.  I’d let the flaws of the site go for now, just to see if they’ll pull off a decent web series on making good quality video.  The hosts were a bit cheesy in my opinion, but they had some good sounding promises for the future of the show.  Anyway… back to business… The Expendable Recycler is a company that buys leftover production materials, and stocks new materials (in case they run out of surplus stuff) and resell it all at “2/3 of their average prices elsewhere.”  This is a promising deal, so I went to check it out.  It turns out they stockk all kinds of things, from fluorescent tubes to tracing paper and duvetyne which, when I looked it up, sounded like a diffusion material.  The site seemed aimed toward lighting instruments, like diffusion and coloring materials, but that stuff is often expensive and for the low-/no-budget filmmaker like me, it’s a welcome deal.  The only thing I didn’t like about the site was that they don’t have a catalog online, which means that you have to call them to get any kinds of prices or idea of specifically what their products are.  Not to be taken as a down side, they seem like plenty happy people, based on their photo gallery on the site, however, you do need to live in the area and drive to the store or call them via their phone number listen on the site.  You can also email or snail-mail them a little something about your humble production and its oh so humble needs and its even humbler budget.  As for me, I’m going to stick with regular stuff I can find around here for now, but if the need arises (and it certainly will), I’ll scout them out for some lighting supplies when I have the resources to pursue some lights on my own.  Enjoy.

Link: http://www.expendablesrecycler.com/