Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: RGB LED IR Remote "Light Stick"

Recently, there was (one of many) awesome posts over at Cheesycam, where Emm talked about accent lighting created from running lights that go under cars and cheap, wireless $15 LED strips with an adhesive backing.  He mentions Steve Taylor's video that puts these lights inside a clamp light reflector for maximum effect.

When I got my set, I had a hard time getting the LED strip to stay inside of my reflector, possibly due to the smaller size. Instead, I wrapped them around a 3/4" PVC pipe where they held firm and were compatible with my PVC light stands (if you want to put them on a regular light stand try this). I like the various lighting effects that could be produced with these, though their use may be limited by the limited remote and strobing issue seen in the video.

If you want to use them in the field, there is the option of powering them from the inexpensive 12v batteries that I use on my external SD monitor. The connectors are the same as the provided power supply, making this an easy (and cheap) purchase.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Recap Q&A: Do You Like Found Footage Movies?

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DVDlab authoring software

Watch "Zoom H1 Accessories"

Noob Shock Mount Adapter (for Zoom H1)

"Chronicle" (Blu-ray + DVD combo)

DIY flourescent video lights

Rode Smart Lav Reviewed

10 tips - how to shoot in rain

Moby offers music to filmmakers for free

Matching artificial light to the light found on location

How I made an impossible film

Counter balance weights for $15

Why "Cosmonaut" creators gave audience upper hand

Building a "dry ice" light for $36

Tip: Thumbnail slate

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tip: Thumbnail Slate

Here's a trick that will ease headaches in post production. If you have ever had to scrub through a clip to find the slate (frugal or retail), wouldn't it be nice if the thumbnail was the slate? And what if you don't use a slate? While the answers may appear to be common sense, this is one lesson I seem to keep learning...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Auditioning Actors

I know Chris Henderson covered this topic in depth on my blog awhile back, but how to find actors is a question I get asked over and over. While it is not an expensive process, it will take a bit of time and effort to line up all of your ducks and get people interested in your project enough to want to work with you. If you already have a reputation, this might be easy. If you don't, you've got your work cut out for you.

Either way, I hope this video helps in your pre-production process.

Collection Day Audition Notice (designed by Stephanie Stephens)
Collection Day Audition Sides (attached as notes to the CD Facebook page)
Directing Actors by Judith Weston
Chris Henderson's series on "Casting Your Microbudget Film"
Thumbnail photo courtesy

P.S. Don't forget to be professional during auditions. Actors (like crew) are doing you a huge favor. Treat them with the respect and professionalism they deserve, whether they are good for the part or not. This is where you will begin building a reputation with the local filmmaking community, and everyone talks. Give them good things to say and you'll always have the talent you need.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Recap Q&A: Which Editor and Why?

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"Collection Day" Facebook Page

Rosco Cinefoil (black wrap)

Watch "Tip: External SD Monitor Battery"

Digital Prism 7" portable television/monitor

Sony Vegas Video Editors (with 30 day free trials)

6 filmmaking tips from Richard Linklater

DIY digital stabilized camera gimbal

Amazon Storyteller turns scripts into storyboards

An actors guide to producing your own film

Mounting options for photography (or video) backdrops

How to make a soft DIY LCD hood

Conquering creative burnout: put down the camera

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Collection Day 5: More Auditions Tomorrow

Our makeshift greenroom. The ironies abound!
I really like auditions and I love actors. They are the ones who breathe life into your characters, the ones who literally inhabit this world you have created for them. The best ones will totally commit to these characters, no matter how strange or silly the story might be. They are fearless. If they trust you, they will move in the directions you guide them. If you trust them, you will listen to their insights and feelings about the character. You don't always have to agree with them, but they are the ones living in your character's skin. Pay attention.

I was encouraged by what we saw in round one of our auditions on Saturday (despite the heavy rain). There is another audition tomorrow night and the trilogy ends this coming Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing more local talent and very excited for callbacks when we get to start pairing people together to see how their chemistry plays out.

Casting is sort of like looking at paintings. You don't know what you'll like, but you recognize it when you see it.
--Steven Bochco

Monday, June 3, 2013

Recap Q&A: What Non-gear Storage Storage?

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"Collection Day" teaser from Fist Full'a Fedi Productions

"Collection Day" teaser from Miika Was Here

Large pistol (shotgun mic) case

Interview with Brian Paulin of Morbid Vision Films

NEX-6 with Lens Turbo converter

Lens Turbo Full Frame adapter for NEX

Adobe Creative Cloud Review

Review: Fotodiox macro extention tube

Tough, low cost travel tripod review

Shooting a reality show with two pocket cameras

Macro shots on a pocket camera

$1 DIY sandbags

PhotaREX softbox for redheads review


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