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5 DIY Tips for Your Next Shoot

Logan Baker

Here are 5 ways to boost the production value of your video shots on a DIY budget.

Cover image via Film Riot.

One of the most valuable online resources for filmmakers and video producers is Ryan Connolly’s YouTube channel and production juggernaut, Film Riot. Film Riot provides actionable content on filmmaking questions, techniques, and gear recommendations. One of their recent videos focuses on a few DIY tips they’ve released in the past that will help reduce your budget or give you more time to focus on your production.

Let’s take a look at some of these DIY tips as well as where to find the equipment they call for.

Low Fog

5 DIY Tips for Your Next Shoot — Low Fog

If you’re shooting a horror film, or any type of science fiction story, creating mood and environment is key. This low-lying fog adds a layer of creepiness and a boosts the sense of production value on your set. As Connolly advises, when handling the dry ice, make sure you wear gloves and make sure you don’t touch the ice with your bare skin.

What you need:

Lens Flare

5 DIY Tips for Your Next Shoot — Lens Flare

Capturing an organic lens flare in camera is easier than it sounds, and this cost effective technique will get the job done without taking your shoot outside. With a little bit of tape on the top and bottom of your lens, you can get the flare effect you’ve always wanted, without distracting your audience.

If you still want more control over the flare or need to add one during the post-production process, check out RocketStock’s anamorphic lens flare pack here.

What you need:

  • Tape
  • Fishing line

Spray Paint Lights

5 DIY Tips for Your Next Shoot — Spray Paint Lights

Let’s say you don’t have the resources or time to get a few gels before your next shoot. Not to worry. You can simply spray paint the lightbulb. You can even include these in the shot, as they are visually appealing. Make sure you purchase heat-resistant paint because the bulbs become extremely hot as the shoot goes on (we’ve all seen what they can do to gels).

What you need:

Shower Curtain

5 DIY Tips for Your Next Shoot — Shower Curtain

Using a shower curtain as a diffuser is not just a household trick. Professional cinematographers like Shane Hurlbut have used it on big-budget film sets. Even if you don’t have shower curtain with you on set, a quick visit to nearest online grocery or supply store will set you up with a super cheap solution. This curtain will add a level of diffusion that will help with harsh sunlight or shadows.

What you need:

  • Shower curtain

Simulating a Party

5 DIY Tips for Your Next Shoot — Simulating a Party

One of the most frustrating aspects of shooting a scene that requires a lot of extras is actually rounding up enough people to make the scene look convincing. Fortunately for you, there’s a simple solution to subtly deceive the audience that uses only a handful of people and a few crew members to create the appearance of a raging party. Use your telephoto lens or zoom in enough to close the background up around your subject. Voila. If you want a little added spice, have a crew member walk in front of the camera or behind your subject to add even more to the illusion.

What you need:

  • A longer lens

Here are a few other DIY posts from PremiumBeat worth checking out:

Do you have DIY production tips? Let us know in the comments.

4K Lens Flares
Create a Hollywood look in your videos with this curated collection of 100+ lens flares in 4K.