Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Funnyhacks Ep 03 - Epic footage on the cheap

Epic footage on the cheap

Episode 3 shows some ways of getting some more difficult shots that can be quite expensive if you would normally use specialist equipment or hire aircraft.

This is an ongoing interest of mine, so there is likely to be lots of followup footage, especially in behind the hacks.

Video on youtube (I really recommend watching in HD if you have the bandwidth)

Video on viddler

Choice of camera

I only briefly touched on this within the show, but it is really worth while getting a camera with no, or few moving parts. Things that stick out are also a bad idea. The nice thing is that the cameras with no moving parts are often the cheapest ones, so you just need to choose one which does video well.

I have personally used the Vivitar Vivcam 5010 and the Aiptek DV3500 (I believe this model name has been reused for a newer camera). Both of these cameras are cheap but do great video for their time. The Vivitar is what I'm still using for rough stuff. Note that although it is an advertised feature, I have never had the sound working in any form on the Vivitar. I suspect that is a fault.

Mounting the camera

I have two rules when mounting a camera:

  1. If the thing crashes, the mounting must break, not the camera.

  2. Firm usually gives a much better picture than sloppy.

Cloth tape (duct tape in New Zealand, Gaffa tape in the UK) works really well in many situations, since it's durable and very very sticky. Parcel tape has it's place. Mounting your expensive equipment is not it.

In the early days, I used rubber bands for everything. The idea was to use them as shock absorbers. I soon realised that while they were absorbing the shocks, they were also prolonging the length of time that the camera bounced for.

Behind the hacks

Don't forget to check out the new behind the hacks section. This will have lots of stuff that didn't make it into the show, and any ongoing material.