We are DIYPhotography, but we love DIY solutions for moviemaking equally. After all, many of them can be applied to photography as well. Ryan Connolly from Film Riot gives you a list of top five (plus a bonus) DIY solutions for every filmmaker. They are cheap and simple, but don’t let it fool you – they can up your filmmaking game pretty well.
1. Coloring your lights without gels
I’ve never thought of this, and it’s so simple! You can color your lights without gels using high heat spray paint. You can paint the ordinary light bulbs in different colors and use them with a clamp light. They can be on their own or combined with regular light bulbs. You can use them as fill light or backlight – feel free to experiment. Just keep in mind that the spray paint needs to be high heat, otherwise there may be some safety issues.
2. Fishing line lens flare
If you’re looking for an anamorphic look on the budget, this is probably the cheapest trick ever. Just tape a piece of the fishing line to the front of your lens. You can experiment with different sizes, and also color the fishing line for various looks.
3. Low-lying fog
If you want to achieve that creepy, low-lying fog, you can do it yourself. This is DIY up to a certain point, considering that it involves a fog machine. But it can be found for about $30. And if you’re a filmmaker, you maybe already have one.
Take a Styrofoam cooler, cut a circle in the back and connect a fog machine to it. Cut another hole on the other side for the fog to get out, and then fill the cooler with dry ice. Once you let the fog through the cooler, it will get out on the other side and thanks to the contact with dry ice, it will stay low on the ground. This gives that “horror-effect” to the fog, and if you’re shooting indoors – it’s good to know that it doesn’t set off the fire alarms.
Keep in mind that dry ice is no joke, so make sure to use solid gloves while working with it, and don’t let it touch your bare skin.
4. Create a party with only a few people
Even if you have hundreds of Facebook friends, maybe you don’t want to include all of them in your party (even if it’s just for a movie). So, you can fake a huge party with only a couple of people.
Get a few extras on the set and place them in a group. Place your main subject further from them and film him or her with a long lens. Get a crew member to walk in front of the subject once or twice, to create an additional effect of a busy room. Add a sound of a crowded room, some music, and there you have it – instant wild party. I’ll never see parties in movies the same way again.
5. Shower curtain diffusor
I never knew how versatile a shower curtain could be until I started doing photography. You can use it as a backdrop, and it also gives excellent diffusion.
The trick is to get a white shower curtain with a level of frost you’re looking for. The more it’s frosted, the more diffusion it will create. You can use it to diffuse both studio lights and harsh sunlight, which makes the shower curtain even more versatile.
6. Bonus trick – DIY bounce
As a bonus trick, Ryan mentions the DIY bounce. It’s something like the 5-minute reflector I recently made, and you can check out his version here. It takes a few bucks and very little time, and it gives a great effect.
I must say I love all of these tricks. Although they are intended for filmmakers, they can easily be applied to photography as well. And most of all, they are all easy to make and pretty cheap. Even if you have a good budget, it’s always good to have a few DIY tricks up your sleeve – you never know when you’ll need them.
[Top 5 DIY Tips | Film Riot]