“Can we do it ourselves?”
Video production is rapidly changing and we know we’re not the only ones asking ourselves “How did they do that?!” and “Can we do it ourselves?” after watching amazing online content.
As professionals in such a creative industry as video, we have to think on our feet quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, we’ll miss or never get the shot we planned. The motto ‘anything to get the shot’ is a mantra we live by. Even more so when it takes some figuring out and building crazy rigs that will get the job done.
I hate to say it, but some production days run smoother than others. The times they don’t is when we’ve left something in the vehicle or worse back at the office. Thankfully, Cineflair always comes with a Plan-B (B for Brains of course) as we’ve crafted ourselves to be able to handle situations where we don’t even need the piece we are missing. We adapt and execute. I’m sure all of us filmmakers have that “million-dollar idea” we would love to patent, but at the end of the day, most of them are only used once.
So here are 5 DIY projects we think are helpful for filmmakers and photographers, who like us, are ready to do anything to get the shot.
1) The Ziploc Sandbags
Such a simple idea! And so cheap to execute. All you need is a roll of duct tape, sand/dirt, and to avoid getting glued to a wall while building it.
2) Jar Opener Follow Focus
A super cheap and easy rig to allow for follow focus. You can get jar openers for a couple dollars in most grocery stores or right here in Amazon. This little hack can make all the difference in the world when you are running around and just need a little more precision when focusing.
3) The Egg Timer Timelapse
I mean, who doesn’t love a perfectly cooked egg? Just slap a GoPro sticker mount on a flat surface egg timer and you got the perfect, lightweight, cheap time-lapse rig.
4) The CentriGoPro Rig.
This is where the real fun begins.
Below is a video we shot ourselves to celebrate Canada Day after we proudly built our own version of this great tool.
This cool rig gives you an awesome DIY version of the “Bullet-Time” effect from The Matrix. Being hands-on/DIY junkies, we had to try this. The rig cost no more than 15$ and all the parts can be purchased at your local hardware store.
All you need is:
- GoPro or equivalent camera
- 1 Wooden Coat Hanger
- Fishing wire
- Gorilla Glue
- Small piece of plywood (for stabilizer fin)
- To make the string easier to spin and hold, we made our own handle out of a 3inch 3/4 Bolt and ran the string through a washer which was cut and welded onto another washer to act as a Gyro around the Bolt.
This rig took about an hour to make and was ready the next day after the glue had hardened between the fin and GoPro mount. It took a lot of trial and error to get the rig feeling sturdy enough to fly above our heads. We had to adjust the length of the fishing wire so it wasn’t too long or too short, the handle ended up being too short so we attached it to a metal pole to extend it to about 3 feet. This gave us the distance we needed to swing it above our heads and others standing beneath.
We also found a great video that shows the whole process of building this rig. The only problem is… it is in Russian. We were thinking of a joke to make, but the only thing we could come up with was around Russian hackers… so we may just leave it at that.
5) 8 more camera hacks in 90 seconds.
Why cut it at 5 when we can give you just a little bit more? That’s when we recalled this amazing video made by YouTube genius Peter McKinnon, a phenomenal photographer, and cinematographer from Toronto (and a constant source of inspiration to our team).
In 90 seconds, Peter gives us 8 tips that are so simple to execute that you’ll be left thinking ‘Why didn’t I think of that before”?
That’s it, folks! We hope these get your brain thinking of how just a few tweaks or small DIY can help you save a lot of money, but also elevate your game to a new level.
While you are on a row and eager to learn more, why not check out some of our other educational posts like: