Saturday, July 31, 2010

Matthew Sorrels' FF DSLR Camera Rig

Here's a photo of my version of your camera rig (I mentioned it in your comment section). As you can see I changed the back elbow so it can rest on the table flat. I also made the left side a bit larger using 6" pipes rather than 4" so I can get my hand in there to adjust the focus ring on the GH1. I actually think 5" would have been better, I just needed a little more room. For the bolt that holds the camera I ended up with a lot of extra at the top, which is why I added the nut you can see on the bottom. I thought you said you used a 2.5" bolt in the video, but perhaps a 2" bolt would work better?

The GH1 is most likely the heaviest DSLR you could mount on this though. I doubt the Canons would work as well. It fits pretty nicely, but for a larger DSLR you might need a real base plate. Next up is some hockey tape I think or maybe I'll paint it black.

Thanks for putting up the video showing how to make this. I've been wanting a hand held rig for a while now but didn't really want to spend hundreds to get one. This was a great, easy to build solution.

We want your pictures! Send your shots of a gadget created with Frugal Filmmaker directions or inspiration and we'll post it. Don't forget to tell everyone how you did it and give us insight on what works and what didn't.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Curt Hendley is a Frugal Filmmaker

Show watcher Curt Hendley recently alerted me to this picture he sent out over Twitter. It features several things he learned from watching The Frugal Filmmaker. If you squint your eyes you can spot some PVC light stands, homemade dimmers, and clamp lights. He is shooting with the petite Sanyo Xacti CG10, a great little HD camcorder (with manual features!) that will only set you back $124 on Amazon.

My favorite idea of Curt's is his own. He's using a Mangadoodle for a production slate (it's next to the chair on the floor). Ingenious!

If you have a shot of anything you have created from an idea found here, please send it to me and I'll post it. I'd love to see what has worked for you. Even if it doesn't work, send it in so we can all learn from real-world testing by someone else besides me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekly Recap Link List 7-26-10

22 filmmaking apps for the iPad and iPhone

DIY DSLR Rig - Johan plug wire clamps

DIY dual gun bracket with 39" umbrella reflectors

Capture 720p HD with any liveview capable Canon camera

DIY iPhone 4 stedicam

"Inception" sound for film profile

10" flexible tripod - cheap ($12)

Tired of using rubber bands to attach your Hoodman loupe?

The Good Machine no-budget commandments

Studio tour and vlog lighting setup

The Frugal Filmmaker: camera stabilizer for under $5

Make a Camera Stabilizer Rig for Under $5

The latest episode of TFF features a gizmo I use all the time--a PVC two-handed stabilizer rig. It functions on the same principle as the FigRig, which only requires a pair of hands to operate. I've totally thrown out the "steering wheel" look, added feet so I can set it on the ground and created a simple spring-loaded camera platform. It all works well.

This video covers some history of this rig, which shows the original version I came up with over a year ago for the web series Midnyte, and the evolved version which allows camera control without letting go of one of the handles. I also got rid of the $12 camera mount featured on the table dolly, which serves no purpose, since the rig can be positioned to adjust the angle on the fly.

There's a lot of stuff crammed in this episode, so I hope it was worth the 4 weeks it took to produce it. On a humorous note, it took me about 30 TAKES to nail that intro. Yeesh.

Enjoy, comment, build!


4x 1/2" PVC pipe 6" in length
4x 1/2" PVC pipe 4" in length
1x 1/2" PVC pipe 3 3/4" in length
1x 1/2" PVC pipe 1 1/2" in length
5x 1/2" PVC T-joints
4x 1/2" PVC 90 degree elbow joints
1x 1/2" PVC plug
1x 1/4"-20 machine screw 2 1/2" in length
2x 1/4" nuts

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Future According to Bill

Bill Cunningham was on one this morning. He sent out some fantastic tweets that bear repeating. Since he didn't post these on his blog (which he has before in one form or another), I'm going to put them up here. Hope that's okay, Bill...

Filmmakers! Why aren't you teaming up with computer and mobile phone folk and vice versa? Don't you want to get your films seen?

The future of cinema is smaller screens and more dedicated fans who can access your entertainments. Think digital nickelodeons...

Just because it's on the small screen doesn't mean it can't be compelling storytelling...

And just because you screened your film in a theater doesn't mean it's any better or that you're somehow legitimate.

At the end of the day it's about who got paid enough to be able to make another film / tv show / etc...

And if you're new to all of this - it means many of the doors are closed until you've proven yourself financially. Yes, financially.

So do you want to be the artistic success and financial failure that only makes one film and disappears?

Or do you want to be the financial success that gets to wield their art again and again to a waiting audience? Your choice...

Any questions?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekly Recap Link List 7-5-10

Happy Independence Day! Here's another batch of very informative links to help you make your movies that much better and more affordable. If you want to find these as they happen, follow me on Twitter or join the Facebook group.

Copper pipe clamps--DIY DSLR rig

New game in the works, Socks Inc. (integrating SWAG into marketing)

Inspiring short films

Thoughts on new entertainment forms

Video Editing with the Sony PS3

Film marketing: build an audience or community?

How to create a damn good onion (layered storytelling)

DSLRs, democratic technology and the high cost of bokeh, part 1

DSLRs, democratic technology and the high cost of bokeh, part 2

360 rotational time lapse using $4 Walmart egg timer

Groovy, almost-free low light stands

The amazing media habits of 8-18 year olds (MUST READ!)

eBay DSLR viewfinder

Your indie film business plan

$14 lens gears plus some tape


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