The homemade DIY filmmaking gear Van Neistat can’t live without

Jun 16, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

The homemade DIY filmmaking gear Van Neistat can’t live without

Jun 16, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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You might be forgiven for not knowing who Van Neistat is, but as the name might suggest, he’s the brother of filmmaker and YouTuber Casey Neistat. After their HBO series, The Neistat Brothers, the two took very different paths. Casey went full-on into YouTube and Van… well, he kind of disappeared. Recently, however, Van’s done an about-turn and finally created his own YouTube channel.

It’s filled with some pretty unique stuff compared to most of the content we see on YouTube these days and it still has that very raw feeling of Casey’s early YouTube videos and the work the pair did together. In his latest video, Van talks about some of the DIY camera gear he’s made for himself and how he finds it invaluable.

Van shows off half a dozen different things in the video, and they are as simple as they are ingenious. We see an overhead shooting rig that works for wide coverage as well as macro, a camera hand-strap, a DSLR microphone windscreen, Plywood camera base, iPhone shooting rig and a clip lamp diffuser, all made from things you probably have just lying around your house – or easily available at places like Home Depot (or B&Q for folks in the UK).

And, sure, he could go out and buy these tools. Some of them may even be cheaper or last longer. But where’s the fun in that?

It’s been quite fascinating to watch Van’s journey on YouTube over the last couple of months. He admitted in a prior video that he’s not a consumer of content on YouTube, so he hasn’t really been influenced by what everybody else is doing on the platform. And when you watch his videos, that becomes very clear, very quickly.

His content has an aesthetic that might seem a little dated now, but it still works. It’s a very refreshing change from most of the online video content we see today.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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