Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: $10 Camera Quick Release System

I'm always on the lookout for the perfect piece of DIY kit to help me in my quest to build the perfect camera rig. A large part of this is a quick release system which allows the fast removal and attachment of cameras, recorders, and other accessories to whatever rig I've constructed.

In the past I've covered the Sima Quickonnect and the Manfrotto 323 clone, even featuring both of them in their own head-to-head video. While I like both of these and continue to use them, they weren't without their faults. I go into this more in the video, but when I came across a newer generic model of quick release, I was intrigued.

In the end I wasn't that impressed (and can't see giving up the Sima or the Manfrotto clone), but I was glad I found something unique that actually addressed issues of my first two choices, even if it doesn't quite work for me.

Featured quick release system (eBay : Amazon)
Manfrotto 323 quick release clone (eBay : Amazon)
Sima Quickonnect (eBay)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Q&A: Can you show me a TV show setup?

Today we look at rehearsing, green screens, foley, TV show setups, and why I slouch on camera.


6x9' muslin green screen
What is foley?
The 180 degree rule

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Q&A: Should I record my own sound effects?

Today our questions cover render settings, what films to watch, creating sound fx, car mounts, and the real reason that gold reflector is in my window.


A Better Way to Use the Short Film Idea Deck
Video4YouTube (free Sony Vegas plugin/script)
Sony Vegas: Import text file to credit roll
Ben Burtt wiki
Suction Cup Camera Mount
32" 5-in-1 collapsible reflector (Amazon : eBay)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sony Vegas: Import text to credit roll

Making a scrolling credit list can be a laborious process. While I like the simple credit roll format made available inside of Sony Vegas Pro, it still has a form that is not fun to fill out. There must be a simpler way, right?

I've been shooting ballets and ballet recitals for the past three years. One thing I always dreaded was entering the extensive credit list for the roll at the end. I recently discovered that you can import a text file into the Sony Vegas Pro credit form, and if the formatting is correct, it will save you a lot of work and time.

The trick to doing this is two fold. One is to get your credit information into a text file. If you have a copy of your project's program in a PDF file, you can go to a site like ExtractPDF and it will rip out the text for you. If it's your own project, you can prepare the text in a word processor (much easier than inside the editor) an export as a text file.

Next, you'll need to format your text properly. The basic credit roll generator allows for three simple formats: titles, subitems, and two columns. Titles are designated with a space before the text, subitems have no space, and dual columns are separated by a tab. See the video for more clarification.

Once I figured out how to do this, I was amazed how easy it was to get the credit roll set up. While tweaking of the properly formatted text is still important, it is so much faster and less of a chore than manual entry. I just wish I knew about it three years ago.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Q&A: How do you light a low-lit scene?

Today we talk my first cold weather shooting experience, lighting low light, finding outdoor locations, vintage lenses, crowdfunding and Frugal Filmmaker Trivia!


Holiday Gift Guide 2015
A better way to use the Short Film Idea Deck
Abandoned Arkansas
Five Things I Learned Using Kickstarter

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Picks 2015 (gift guide)

It's the holiday season and if you're looking for a gift for any frugal filmmaker (such as yourself), here's a short list of choices you may find beneficial. These are all items that I have reviewed in the past year and I am still using them all.

You'll find more details in the the video, but here is the list given listed from most expensive to most affordable.

5. Seagate 5TB hard drives (video : Amazon)
4. Audioblocks (review : website)
3. Aspen lav mic (review : Amazon : website)
2. 7' light stand with compression collars (review : Amazon : eBay)
1. Large 1/4-20 knobs (review : eBay)


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