One day you may find yourself wanting to film your masterpiece. You may find yourself with a camera, a tripod, and some friends willing to lend their acting talents. However, you may not find yourself with a substantial budget for purchasing the other big-time film equipment that could put your film over the edge from looking like found footage. Today, we will look at a few simple solutions for possibly making your project look and sound more professional.
MAKE A HOMEMADE BOOM POLE
A boom microphone is great when you don't want your actors to be holding or wearing a microphone. However, a boom pole is also imperative for suspending the microphone out of the view of the camera. We have one you could borrow here at NCTV, but if you were interested in creating your own for not too much money, there are ways. One simple way is to use a painter's pole. They usually cost around $20.00 and aren't too heavy. Try to get one that is 12 - 16 feet. You don't want a pole that's too heavy because somebody is eventually going to have to hold it for an unknown length of time. Then, you will need an extension piece. A roller extension will work. In the store, they are usually located right near the poles. Then all you'll need is a screw to hold the microphone in place. Next thing you know, you're filming with better, amplified audio.
FILM FROM YOUR CAR
Let's start by saying that cars can be dangerous especially if you're trying to hang out of one with a camera. So be careful. Anyway, cars can be helpful in keeping a shot steady. If you're walking next to two people who are also walking, it will be hard to avoid a shot that is shaking around quite a bit using just your hands. Instead, you can set up your tripod in the back of the car, adjusting the legs appropriately to rest on the seat and the floor together at once. From there, you can put your car in drive and smoothly ride along next to the people on camera. GoPro mounts and cell phone mounts could work too if that's what you have. And if you're worried about the sound of the car messing everything up, go ahead and use that boom mic pole that you made!
FILM JUST ABOVE THE WATER
Nowadays with GoPro cameras and their respective underwater housing cases, you can film under the water with no problems. But what if you want to film just above the surface of the water? Well, this DIY solution for that problem is extra special to us here at NCTV because we have our very own makeshift camera raft. It was made by cutting a couple pool noodles into thirds and then tightly fastening them together using wire, such as a clothes hanger. Then all you need to do is finagle your tripod's legs, preferably a tabletop tripod, into the spaces in between the noodle pieces. That will secure the camera as it floats. You can also attach a string to the exposed wire in order to more efficiently control the speed of your raft and keep it from drifting too far. Definitely, use a GoPro for this and definitely have the underwater housing on it just in case something goes wrong and the camera ends up a little wet.
There are many, many other DIY articles and videos out there, but a lot are about how to create your own equipment, such as the boom mic pole that I described above. It can get somewhat pricey and many times involves a lot of PVC pipe.
Remember, here at Norfolk Community Television we have plenty of equipment that you can take out for free! Stop by the studio at 158 Main St. in Norfolk or give us a call at (508) 520-2780.