Monday, October 31, 2011

Quickonnect Drops Back Under $9 on Amazon

If you build a lot of DIY gear, you want a quick way to move your camera between rigs. I had come across the Sima Quickonnect awhile ago (and created an episode about it), but Amazon quickly sold out of them. When they were back in stock, the prices were no longer a great deal.

Well, take courage Frugal Filmmakers! The Sima Quickonnect is still in stock at Amazon and the price has returned to an all-time low of $8.59. Get three and you qualify for free shipping. I love these little connectors and they have a home in every one of my rigs. Very handy.

Weekly Recap Link List 10-31-11

Happy Halloween!

Just add water (to props) for squishy realism

GoPro 2 is here!

DIY $5 fog machine

Almost there (new FF episode teaser)

Simple but bloody spraying zombie bite effect (ewww!)

Film High School, episode 1

15 essential (and inexpensive) tools for wardrobe, hair & makeup

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almost There

I know it's been awhile since my last Frugal Filmmaker episode and for that, I apologize. I've been trying to get the bugs worked out of my latest build (can you guess what it is?) and after a few weeks of testing, lots of swearing and four redesigns later, I finally had a breakthrough. It's not perfect, but it does work well enough to reveal. I'm getting the feeling this gizmo will have an update to make it work better, but I can see revisiting many Frugal Filmmaker devices with improved versions.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just Add Water for Squishy Realism

It's Halloween week and Knoptop gives a great (and cheap) tip to make your on-screen props look more disgusting! Simply spray water on the item to give it a realistic sheen of grossness. Dave's video shows us how a dinosaur puppet can look more lizardy, and how a body-part sandwich can literally turn your stomach.

Yes, I did say "body-part sandwich".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DIY Gearlust is Still Gearlust

I am really grateful and glad that so many people seem to be enjoying some of the filmmaking contraptions that I have been putting together for the last year or so. I've had lots of great comments and support and am still amazed when people make requests for items that have been made many times over. I'm flattered that you constantly want to see "my take" on any given piece of homemade gear.

I has made me think, however, about how easy it is to get caught up in obtaining that gee-whiz item that will finally let us make our film, even if that item is a cheap, DIY knock-off of the retail version. It's a trap, really, that keeps us from flexing our creative muscles when we feel we "need" some piece of kit that will make our shoot possible.

From a completely minimalist perspective, the only gear required to make a film is a camera. You don't need a dolly or stabilizer or jib. None of these will make your film "better". It's all about technique and what you do with what you have (a good story doesn't hurt, either).

Granted, some of this stuff costs nothing to make (The $5 PVC Stabilizer is still the most popular video I've made), but if you don't have it, so what? Soon you'll be telling yourself you need the next item on the list and soon you're in a downward spiral of need, need, need instead of write, shoot, edit.

Of course, there is an opposite side to this coin. While I admit all you need is a camera, I cringe when I hear things like, "I don't need lights!" and "the on-camera mic is just fine!". You DO need lights and you SHOULD use an external mic. People watching your film deserve to see and hear what is on screen, even in microbudget-land.

Does this make me sound crazy? After all, most of my show episodes are built around the very thing I seem to be criticizing. Gear is great, but the desire to create and express shouldn't be tied to it.

All I'm saying is that the most important thing about being a filmmaker is you need to make films. Waiting to obtain the latest bell or whistle is just plain silly. Did Dumbo need the magic feather that he thought made him fly? Nope.


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