Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tip: How to Edit Faster

When you have to crank out videos on a regular basis (or non-regular, as has been the case lately), you want to get it done as fast as possible, with as few errors as possible. I do have a process, but I've also learned a few tricks that have helped me to streamline my process even further and get finished with my edits, faster.

This video mostly covers the idea of limiting your range of motion while you edit, saving time in the process. The basic concept is similar to that of typing by feel instead of sight. If you can give yourself single-keypress commands and keep your hands in the same spot, you should be able to increase your edit speed.

With typing, you keep both hands on "home row". This system puts your left hand on home row, which gives you 12-25 other keys you can reach (which you can reprogram in your editor), while your right hand stays on your mouse.  It will take discipline to keep your hands in place, but with a little practice you should be able to cut down the time it takes to edit so you can spend the rest of your time doing something else.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Frugal Boom Tripod Clamp

Ever had a shoot, but no boom operator to record sound? I had this issue recently, which would normally be solved by using a boom mic stand, but alas, mine is long gone. Since I had no time to order a replacement and no resources to by locally, I had to make something from existing parts.

What I came up with actually worked pretty well. Dubbed the "Frugal Boom Clamp", I attached two friction arm clamps (which had 1/4-20" threads) on both ends of a straight, dual flash bracket. This would not only firmly hold a boom pole, but also had a threaded hole for a tripod quick release plate. Presto! Done!

Now I can mount the Frugal Boom Clamp onto a spare tripod, and easily grip the pole in two places. This solves my problem, and also allows my to gently pan and tilt the mic during a shoot if needed. The whole thing took minutes to make and only cost $15 (if parts are bought new). Not bad.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sony A7II inside the Frugal Cage

The Frugal Cage is an inexpensive camera cage made of flash brackets that can adjust to small or large interchangeable lens cameras. I really liked using it on my older camera (the Sony NEX 5n), and I was excited to try it out with my new cam, the Sony A7II.

As I had predicted, it works pretty well. The adjustable nature of the Frugal Cage means it can expand to handle the larger size of the camera, but not be so huge that it dwarfs it. One complaint I've had about cheap camera cages is that one size does not fit all. Aesthetics are still important, even in DIY builds.

As shown in the video, everything fits together pretty well with only one real issue. With the NEX 5n, the SD card was located in the battery bay and accessed the same way (by dropping out). The A7II has a little door that must be opened to get to the card, and this door is blocked by the side of the cage. I'm resolved to just leaving a large capacity card in the rig all day, but in the future, a better solution needs to be found.


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