I know many people who keep a hold of all sorts of bits and pieces thinking “I’m gonna need this someday.” I admit, I can get like that from time to time. If you’re a filmmaker/photographer and have this tendency, all those knick-knacks that you keep stored in your garage or basement might actually come in handy. In this video, Michael Lohrum a.k.a. DIYCameraGuy goes through his garage and gives you plenty of ideas on how to turn household items you already have into filmmaking gear.
Of course, not all of you will have the same collection of stuff in your garage, attic, basement or wherever you store your it-may-come-in-handy items. But these are some of the things Michael found, and they can serve as inspiration for you to browse through your stuff and see what can be used for filmmaking or photography.
Scrap plywood: you can drill a hole in it, add an adapter to it, and turn it into a light stand. Add a sandbag to the other side for low angle light, or you can screw it in the wall.
Furniture sliders: place them under tripod legs for smooth slide shots.
Screwdrivers: it’s certainly useful to have all kinds of screwdrivers at home. Heck, when I started living on my own, a set of screwdrivers was one of the first things I bought. But, they can also be used on a set: jam them in the ground as markers for your actors to know where to stop in the scene.
Glass cleaner: Michael found some glass cleaner in his garage. If you have any windows or mirrors in your shots, they might need a quick clean.
Electrical splitter: needless to say, this is also always good to have on a set. Or anywhere, really.
Clamps: clamps are useful on set for attaching all sorts of things. Remember that plywood light stand? You can use a C-clamp to attach it to the door.
Putty knife: here’s a neat trick. Put a 1/4 20 mount through a hole and mount the light onto it. Then, jam the metal side of the putty knife in the door – and you’ll get an improvised light stand.
Nuts and bolts: these always come in handy for mounting lights and cameras.
A wooden rod: this is also good for mounting stuff onto it. Alternatively, you can use it to hang a backdrop or a green screen.
Blackout curtain: if you need to block the light, a blackout curtain is a way to go. Also, I guess you can use it as a backdrop.
Stadium seat pad: you can use this to place your gear onto it if the ground is really dirty or wet. In case it’s really cold and you’re shooting outside, you can use it to stand on it and isolate your feet from the cold ground. When taking low-angle shots, you can use this pad to kneel on and not get dirty, or keep your knees from getting sore.
These are only some of the items you can probably find lying around your home that might come in handy for filmmaking or photography purposes. Personally, I use a windshield protector as a reflector, or this DIY reflector made from Styrofoam and some reflective material I think is used for insulation. I also use these random items from time to time. I don’t know what they’re for, but I use them for photography. So the next time someone asks me why I collect crap in a huge purple box, I’ll tell them it’s for artistic purposes. : )
What are your favorite household items you use for photography or filmmaking?
[Using household items for filmmaking. | DIYCameraGuy]