Fact: Camera equipment is still expensive.
Back in April we put together a list of DIY fixes to help you exercise your crafty spirit and keep your pockets a little fuller. Here are more ideas from professionals, online videographers, and some creative film students to help you make more polished videos while sticking to a budget.
Russia is the car mount capital of the world. Remember the multitudes of videos that surfaced after the meteor struck? Those videos were all caught with dash cams. Vehicle mounts have been come a standard trick for filmmakers. Mounts for bikes, cars, and even motorcycles can be costly. The team behind Long Way Down/Round spent thousands and thousands of dollars mounting cameras to motorcycles and cars to capture motorcycle trips through Africa and Russia.
Mobile mounts do not have to be expensive or complicated. This dash mount is pretty nifty — all you need is a big car wash sponge, nonslip material, an old medicine bottle, and some spare change.
No car? Here’s an easy DIY Bike Mount for $10:
And, not to be left out, here is one for the motorcycle enthusiast:
Tripods, Jibs, Dollies and Steadicams:
A tripod is a web videographer’s best friend. While there are some less expensive versions out there, this tutorial is too genius to not mention, and the sleek design (it is a rubber band!) eliminates having to lug bulky equipment around.
Jibs and cranes are useful in getting high shots, as well as shots that require a great deal of horizontal or vertical range. Good jibs start at $200, running upwards of over $5000. This design for a jib will give you an extra 5 ft. of motion and is built from materials you can find at any hardware store. Made from aluminum, its simple construction makes this jib lightweight and portable.
The Frugal Filmmaker has a great crane tutorial for shots requiring more range than a small jib will provide. The Frugal Crane and Frugal Crane 2.0 will give you a whole lot of height for a relatively tiny amount of money. Using HDMI cables, dumbbell handles, and plumbing piping parts, the crane is a pretty impressive feat of DIY ingenuity.
Another great DIY from the Frugal Filmmaker is his version of the Steadicam Merlin, which will provide you with bump-less footage. Another plumbing mount, this stabilizer will give you smooth shots whether filming on tough terrain or running to capture the perfect bit of footage.
And, for a real DIY challenge: Nachimir’s remote control dolly. This is not a project for the impatient or faint of heart, but the payoff will give you plenty of street cred when it comes to DIY filmmaking hacks.
Random Cool Stuff:
This last category is part catch-all, part homage to some really nifty DIY finds that could not be left off this list.
Waterproofing gear and materials are expensive. There is also a certain amount of trepidation that comes with talk of DIY waterproofing projects. Lifehacker has a pretty good, and VERY inexpensive way, to make your own waterproof camera case using plastic food storage containers.
Another interesting waterproof case using… an insulated water jug.
An even less expensive Navy Seal approved version:
Another impressive hack is this DIY camera battery adapter. There are few things as sad as a dead battery during the middle of a shoot. You have planned every detail of your shoot… except the dead battery. While this is a more advanced DIY project, a prolonged battery life is well worth the effort.
A video thingy! Even the mind behind this device seems a little unsure of what he has made out of a Christmas ornament, Blue Tak, and a felt pen. The result will give you a cool 360-degree shot which requires little editing.
Chroma Key Screens are a pretty standard industry trick and are used to splice together two different pieces of footage. If you have the editing skills, here is a DIY for a cheap, portable blue/green screen that is built from fabric, tubing, and pvc glue.
Last, but certainly not least, here is a great resource for all of your blood and guts needs. This tutorial is perfect for that zombie video you have been dreaming of.