02-17-2005, 01:28 AM
For my film cource i am doing i have to create some form of Documentary style production... and so i chose to do a "how to" style info doco about tips and tricks used by Low budget filmmakers... you know things like using corn syrup and dye with a bit of cocoa powder to make blood.... that sorta thing....
does anyone have any tricks or tips that i can use?
02-17-2005, 02:09 AM
I just bought a couple of oak filing cabinets... When I opened the boxes, to my surprise I found PERFECT pieces of styrofoam for bouncing light. This styrofoam is a little different in that it seems very tough and it's only an inch thick. Very compressed. I already had some white carpet tape so I taped the edges of about 3 different board sizes. I already used one of them and it works great.
You can also get foamcore pretty cheap at places like Walmart or art supply stores...
If you're in a pinch and need something in a hurry, you can also purchase several different kinds of windshield covers. They have silver, black (great for masking light... Use like a flag), gold, blue, pink, etc. You;d be surprised at how well these work for bouncing light and changing skin tone.
You can also find prebuilt artist canvas at artist's supply stores. These usually come in different sizes and already painted with white gesso. Perfect for bouncing light.
Another tip I have for low mode shooting with small camcorders... I purchased this thing at Target last year. Apparently, it is for picking up small stacks of wood. It has a really well made handle and made out of nylon webbing and velcro. You basically wrap it around whatever you need to pick up. With a little modification, I was able to get it to hold one of my smaller camcorders right in the center. It doesn't take much to balance it perfectly. Then simply hold the handle and walk the camera around down low. Looks just like a steadicam shot. Great for following feet walking. It cost me $5.95.
Want a great microphone for your minijack camcorder but don't have much money? Purchase a Canon BM-70 Super8 microphone on eBay. So far, I've managed to find 3 of these. Total money spent: Less than $20 including shipping. I know these are great microphones because I already have one for my Canon 1014 XLS. New, they were over $100. Notice I said for minijack camcorders... This is not an XLR microphone.
Another tip: I've been on quite a lot of low budget shoots over the years and have done just about everything. One thing that seems to run consistent in shoots like these are people tripping over the usually black microphone cable all the time. It finally occurred to me while shopping on eBay one day as I came across a rainbow colored set of 20 feet XLR cables... Hmmmm. I wonder if people would trip over a yellow cable as much? Nope. Neither did they trip over an orange or blue cable either.
Basic special effects makeup. Check out your Halloween Superstore right after Halloween where everything is half off... You can get really good stuff cheap. Professional looking bullet hit makeup (not the cheap crap at Walmart), blood, prosthetics, etc. Get a fog machine at Walmart after Halloween. Hell, buy 2 of them along with some fog juice. Really cheap the day after.
Another cheap special effect that comes out good on DV or film: Take some toilet paper or tissue and peel the layers apart. If it's one ply, then work with that. Find a spot on your actor's body that you want to slash. Cut the appropriate size tissue for the spot. Apply a super thin layer of petroleum jelly to the spot on the body. Lay down the tissue and then apply more petroleum jelly to the top of the paper. You have to be careful and work it in easy so it becomes transparent but not torn. Takes a little practice. Naval jelly can also work but it dries faster so you have to work faster. Once the tissue is set, take a paperclip and bend it so one end of it is sticking out. You can also use a sharp toothpick. Then simply start puncturing and pulling on the tissue in super small bits. Keep going until you have the size of slash/gash you want. Then fill with fake blood. Take it easy on the blood. Do not overfill. Fill a little at a time until the wound looks real. I've also seen the same thing but with very finely ground coffee mixed in for texture. Not much. Just a pinch or two.
I got more if you need 'em...
02-17-2005, 04:13 AM
you can also purchase several different kinds of windshield covers. They have silver, black (great for masking light... Use like a flag), gold, blue, pink, etc. You;d be surprised at how well these work for bouncing light and changing skin tone.
This is a hard one to top. :cool:
02-17-2005, 04:24 AM
thats some really cool info filmy... thanks... if u have more let me know! its good to have this kinda info in the industry!
02-17-2005, 10:42 AM
Yeah Filmy, share more of your little film tricks, it will be like a class, i could learn something. It's always good to have little tricks since we indie's cant spend the $$$!