Thursday, May 29, 2014
It's been a couple of months since my thesis film premiered at school as well as online to the Kickstarter backers. It has since played at the Little Rock Film Festival, but I am really looking forward to releasing it publicly so everyone can see what I've been doing for the last year or so. It's been a long road, but I'm glad to finally be releasing (or abandoning as some would say) Collection Day into the wild.
I've created a more revealing trailer (above) to give you a slightly better understanding of what might be going on. Some people were critical of my original trailer, saying that it contained money shots, but no story clues and they are right. I don't like giving too much away so that it gets revealed more like a mystery, but I hope this trailer is more satisfying for those who like their trailers meaty.
Another reason I'm excited to finally put this film on my channel is that it frees me to make other videos. I'm not only talking about videos unrelated to my movie, but those very related that I can't make for fear of giving away important reveals.
Now that the film is out, I can make videos about prop construction, FX shots and filmmaking techniques featured in the film. Plus, I can use finished footage from the film without the worry of spoilers. All these videos will feature me telling people to go watch the movie first, then the instructions on how to do whatever.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Placing a camera on a roller skate and zipping it around on a flat surface is nothing new. I made my first table dolly out of PVC awhile ago, then remade it into a smaller, less expensive version. Both dollies did the same thing and did it well for a pretty low price.
Then these devices moved into the mainstream and we started seeing retail versions, which led to inexpensive Chinese knockoffs. I've kept my eyes on these and when they dipped to an all-time low on eBay, I snatched one up.
The above video is my comparison of the two and it feeds into a recent phenomenon of low price film gear. This is, that the prices of imported products are dropping so low, they rival the cost of parts for DIY versions. While it's still fun to make and use your own stuff, the fact is becoming all too clear that you can spend the same amount of money and save all the time by purchasing one of these imports. Things are definitely changing.
Friday, May 9, 2014
And so our ten day shooting schedule came to an end. Of course it ended in the house location, the place where we spent over half of our shooting schedule (and some undocumented pickup days). In the morning we were plagued by rain, but fortuntately it subsided and we were able to dry out exactly where we needed to shoot (the deck). The rest of the day went pretty well.
As mentioned in the video, it's bittersweet when a shoot comes to an end. You're glad to be done (production is very hard work, especially when there are only a few people doing everything), but it's hard to stop working with people you've grown very close to.
The good news is you can always (hopefully) reunite with the talented group you've assembled and do it again. For me, this was one of those groups.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
I recently discovered your YouTube channel and watched a couple of your videos. I really liked the Table Dolly idea, so I went out and made one for myself for $14 total, since I already had an old tripod and roller blade wheels. When I used it for the first time, I was filming a dance scene…so the dolly was rolling across the floor. The trouble was, I had to bend over or else be on my knees in order to push it along.
That gave me this idea: for about a dollar more, I bought another PVC pipe and a T joint. As you’ll see from the photos, I was then able to use a T joint in lieu of the elbow to create a stem by which I can move the dolly along while standing up. Between the 3' pipe and a 10” pipe, I am now able to mix and match them to utilize various handle sizes, depending on what I’m filming. All for only about a dollar or two extra! I took the following pictures and thought I’d share them with you.
Scott sez: Nice work Shane! I've always crawled around on the floor when using the dolly off-table, but Shane's idea makes perfect sense if you don't want to get down-and-dirty. I also like his idea of multiple handle sizes to accommodate different situations (much like the PVC light stands). With PVC being so cheap, you can do all kinds of mods like this at little cost.