Tool Time: Camera Mounts and Gooey Gore

I thought about posting today about yesterday's results show on On the Lot, but saw Bill Cunningham's post, and decided against it. Bill gives a great list of things we can learn from the first crop of one-minute films from the finalists, so I'll just direct you there. I pipe in with my two cents in the comments section if you're really desperate for more opinion.

Instead, I've cobbled some fairly recent info that might help you on your next low budget shoot. I hope these will help you overcome one of many hurdles you will face on the road to completion.

Adapters for Bottom-Loading Cameras

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to insert a tape into the bottom of a camcorder should be smacked. The mechanism is always right next to the tripod thread indicating that someone might want to put their camera (and rightly so) on some sticks. However, if you want to change tapes, you have to remove the camera--brilliant! I would never touch a bottom-loader, but if you are unfortunate to have access to one, DM Accessories has an adapter letting you keep the cam on the tripod while you rotate tapes. Now that's a good idea.

Mic Stand to Tripod Mount
Here's homemade adapter that converts a broken mic holder into a tripod connection. This is for all those filmmakers that have plenty of mic stands laying around, but no tripod (hey, it could happen!). This nifty instructable is handy, small and easy to make. Great for taping those studio sessions when the band uses your tripod as a guitar stand.

Effects for the Grand Guignol Filmmaker
I'm not a splatter-hound, but I know there are lots of you out there, especially in low budget land. This instructable gives very detailed directions about making a realistic (yuck!) gunshot wound. Even if you don't need this kind of prosthetic, the materials used here could apply to many a gross effect. I'm always impressed by the amount of work that goes into this type of thing, even for "simple" wounds like this one.