Friday, November 27, 2015

Q&A: What about camcorder filmmaking?

And this what happens when you post a video on YouTube, a holiday hits, and you forget the accompanying post on your blog! Sorry about the delay for those who read the blog and don't subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Today we talk about tripods, vintages lenses, external mics, and the Frugal Endgame.


Technique: Camera Panning and Tilting

Vivitar Series 1 lens info (a good place to start)


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Technique: Camera Panning and Tilting

While it may seem super basic to describe the camera pan and tilt, it's still an important shot that every filmmaker should know how to pull off. If you have never heard of this camera move, the pan (from the term panorama) is to move the camera left and right, while the tilt is to move the camera up and down. Very simple stuff, but that doesn't mean you should be lazy when using it.

What I find interesting about the pan and tilt, is that it's one of the few shots that mimics the movement of the human head. When we need to look around we pan or tilt our head, just like a camera on a tripod. A tripod which also has a head, arm, and legs. Interesting.

In the video I show some examples of pans and tilts (sometimes solo, sometimes in tandem with other shots) from my short films. On the surface it seems like the simplest of moves, but like all camera moves, it can be as simple or complex as you want. The pan and tilt are revealing shots that hold back critical visual information until the move is complete. It's one of many storytelling tools you have at your disposal.

A fluid head on your tripod is a must when performing a pan or a tilt. The oil bearing in a fluid head will give you buttery smooth pans and tilts right out of the box. You'll still need to practice, of course, but you'll never regret getting a fluid head on your sticks. Conversely, trying to do a pan or tilt on a still camera tripod (with no fluid head) is a nightmare. Spare yourself the misery and don't do it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Q&A: How frugal are you?

Today we cover spring clamps, filmmaker frugality, a snow shoot, generic audio monitors, my ten minute time limit, and poop!


Creating a Small Studio, Part 3 - Tabletop Shooting!
Spring Clamp at Home Depot
External Camera Power
External Camera Power 2
Review: Fotodiox ND Throttle 
Variable ND Filter (Amazon : eBay)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Creating a Small Studio, Part 3 - Tabletop

If you're like me and you do any kind of videos about the making of anything, you've probably shot on a table, counter top, or desktop. There's been an evolution over the years concerning how I've done these shoots, but they have always had to involve setup and tear down. I longed for the day I didn't have to set up lights and a camera, and I could abandon the kitchen all together as a DIY location.

As I've mentioned in Part 1 (better sound) and Part 2 (lighting) of this series, having any kind of studio space can make you more efficient and allow your creativity to expand. Since I also do a lot of tabletop shooting, I also needed some kind of always-ready surface I could shoot my DIY builds on. Today's video covers how I do this.

I'm really happy with my "Laundry Room Studio". Sure, it may be small, but it addresses my needs of dedicated space with little to no setup needed for the majority of my online video work. I don't miss the kitchen one bit.

32" 5-in-1 collapsible reflector (Amazon : eBay)
11" articulating camera arm (Amazon : eBay)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Amazon Portal: A Free way to Support The FF

If you visit this blog regularly (what? you don't?), you probably noticed the new box in the upper right hand corner, which features the Amazon logo and a swirly super nova, black hole thingy. This I've dubbed the "Amazon Portal" which is just a link to the Amazon home page using my Amazon affiliate ID code.

Being an affiliate is a great way to make a little money from purchases made by others. Most of the time I simply create a product link to something that I'm making a video about or something that I mention. If you go through one of those links and buy anything, I get a small percentage (Yay! Thanks!). It's a nice, passive way to be supported by those of you who seem to like what I'm doing.

The difference with the Amazon Portal, is that I'm not telling you what to buy. Many people ask me how they can support me directly, and I really don't have an answer beyond the PayPal donate button also found on this blog's sidebar. So, the Portal is my indirect direct approach.

Whenever you need something from Amazon, come to the blog and use the link. Even better, copy the link ( or bookmark it, so every time you feel the need to spend money on Amazon, you can also spending a little to keep the Frugal Filmmaker humming along.

I'm always grateful for all the kind support and comments, but it does take more than good will to keep this channel afloat. That's why I really like affiliate programs. Viewers can make a monetary difference with no hit to their wallet, allowing them to spend more money on their films instead.



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