These ten items are great for filmmaking and we all have them at home
There are so many things in our household that we could use for DIY projects. Some of them we use every single day for their primary purpose, but they can easily become our best friends when taking photos or shooting videos. If you’re on a budget or just need some quick and simple DIY solutions, check out this video from Chadwin Smith. He shares ten household items that you can use for your filmmaking and photo projects, and we all have them at home.
- A white sock – diffusing and dimming the light on practical lights has never been easier –just put a white sock over the bulb. Use it only on LED light bulbs thought because the regular ones get really hot!
- A curtain rod – use a shower curtain (or a regular curtain) rod to attach the light to it. You can grab a clamp and put your light onto the rod. In Chadwin’s case, it’s positioned so that it provides hair light, but of course, you can experiment. You can also attach your backdrop onto the curtain rod, that’s what I do sometimes when shooting at home.
- A towel – this is a well-known filmmaking trick: put your towel onto a table, place the camera on top, and there you have it, an improvised slider. Instead of the towel, you can also use a piece of cardboard.
- A pasta strainer – you can use it as a cookie to create light patterns on your subject or background. Just hold or clamp the strainer onto your light, and that’s it.
- A TV or a computer monitor – you can use your computer monitor or TV to add some colorful light to your shots. You can even use it as a backdrop. Either way, it provides you with many different options, so don’t be afraid to try it out and experiment with it.
- A broom pole – see that old broom in the corner? You can easily turn a broom pole into a boom pole! Alternatively, you can also use a PVC pipe, but either way, this is a neat filmmaking trick.
- A shower curtain – this is a lighting trick we’ve mentioned a few times, and it’s honestly one of my favorites. Get the shower curtain, attach it onto a light stand (or that curtain rod I mentioned above), and you’ve got yourself a DIY diffusion panel. I did something similar when shooting with Waleed Shah for his Rock Your Ugly project, only I used a regular white curtain.
- A white towel or sheet – once you set up that DIY diffusion panel made from a shower curtain, you may want to add some fill light to the opposite side of your subject. A white sheet or towel will do the trick.
- Black trash bags + duct tape – if you need to completely cut the daylight coming in from the outside, use black trash bags and some duct tape to cover your windows. You can also go with aluminum foil or cardboard.
- Blankets – if you’re in a room that has a lot of echo, spreading some blankets across the ground or even hanging them on the walls will help to reduce it.
There are so many ways to repurpose everyday items and turn them into DIY photo or filmmaking gear. For example, I sometimes use parchment paper to diffuse the light, and I’ve used a few tricks above. What are your favorite ways to use household stuff for photography or video? Let us know in the comments.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.