Tech Tuesday – DIY Time

Whether it’s because you don’t have the cash to spend on a official Steadicam or you just can’t justify spending more money on a piece of camera gear that costs more than the camera that sits on it, there are many reasons to go out and build your own equipment.

Grand camera crane shots, subtle slider movements and graceful steadicam moves can be achieved for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase the equipment. For today’s Tech Tuesday blog we’ll be showcasing some of the best DIY camera gear tutorials out there.

So, get ready to dust off your building skills you acquired from years of playing with Legos because it’s time to start building!

Camera Crane (Jib Arm)

A simple camera crane shot can be an excellent way to start or begin a scene. It can be used to for epic shots that show off beautiful landscapes or even for more functional shots such as following someone as they stand up from a chair. Here we have an excellent DIY video on how to craft your own camera crane out of only $40 in parts!

Camera Dolly

The camera dolly. One of the most used pieces of film gear on any set and TheFrugalFilmMaker has an excellent tutorial on creating your own.

Camera Stabilizer Rig

The often overlooked piece of gear – the stabilizer rig is simply an easy to carry device that your camera is attached to. It also acts to carry other accessories such as a microphone, lights or batteries.

In the below video – which is also brought to you by the FrugalFilmMaker we’re shown how to create a great rig for under $5. Seriously, give this guy 5ft of PVC pipe and he’ll make you anything.

Camera Slider

The camera slider is great piece of equipment. There are many times where only a small camera movement is needed in the shot or there just isn’t enough physical space for a dolly track to be placed on the set. This where a slider comes into play.

Watch any show on TV (police dramas in particular) and you’ll see that when ever people are deep in conversation the camera is always moving. A slow move in either direction will give a standard coverage shot so much more life.

Bonus Gear!!! SnorriCam

No the SnorriCam is not some snorkel/camera hybrid, it’s something much, much cooler. Made famous by Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, the SnorriCam create the effect where the subject says in one place while their environment moves around them. Something we did years back in an episode of Break a Leg. Though all we did was duct tape a tripod to Yuri Baranovsky’s chest for that effect. In the below tutorial you’ll see how to create a much more practical and effective piece SnorriCam.

$20 DIY PVC Snorri from Tom Preska on Vimeo.

So there you have it. Go out and build your gear and get film’n!