Archive for the ‘Tools/Equipment’ Category

How to Set Up an Uncompressed HD Workstation

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Last February, Mike Curtis of HDforIndies, authored an article in DV Magazine about how to Build Your Own Uncompressed HD Workstation. Most people that visit this site probably also visit Mike’s site and/or DV Magazine, so I didn’t bother noting it at the time. I figured it’d just be redundant.

But now Mike’s written a follow up article that concerns the audio side of the equation, and it’s equally essential reading for any filmmakers looking to upgrade their editing system. So now it seems appropriate to mention them together. There are two versions of the audio article available online — the Mac version and the Windows version.

Last Fall, when I started putting the wheels in motion to upgrade my editing system I consulted Mike about what would be best for my needs. A lot of the suggestions generated by our conversation (and, no doubt, several others by filmmakers like me) are now in these articles. I was particularly intrigued to see that the specific system I “built” has elements from all three of Mike’s quality tiers, from desperate cheap-o indie stuff to true pro stuff. That’s the beauty of DIY — you tailor it to your needs.

Mike’s recently teamed up with Silverado Systems, who will now sell you one of Mike’s pre-configured systems. For a lot of people that might be just the kind of convenience they need. For myself, I can say that, though I’ve had a few headaches in the process, it’s been great fun — and a great learning experience — to do it myself.

Again, here are the articles:

Build Your Own Uncompressed HD Workstation

Upgrade Your Images with Audio – Mac edition

Upgrade Your Images with Audio – Windows edition

DIY Projection Screens

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

The DIY Guerrilla Drive-In post a few days ago was a bit of a hit (i.e., sites linked to it, etc.) so in my ceaseless (shameless?) efforts to give the people what they want, here are two links to related DIY projects:

DIY Projector Screen

DIY Rear Projection Screen

Freeware for Filmmakers

Friday, July 13th, 2007

FreeGeekery sent me word that they had recently drafted a post entitled “15 Must-Have Freeware Programs for Filmmakers.”

A quick glance at the list tells me that only 10 of these will work on a Mac, but all the better for me to link to this. So much of what I write about is Mac-centric; it’s nice to write about something for folks using Windows. (Plus, Mac users already have iMovie, iDVD, and Garageband. There’s really not much of a reason for us to be crabby.)

I cleaned out my Applications folder a few days ago, which had me thinking I should write a post about the Mac shareware I enjoy. FreeGeekery’s post has me thinking that might be useful. Stay tuned…

DIY: Teleprompter

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Walter Graff has just posted instructions for a low-cost do-it-yourself teleprompter. Looks like it works… and at a fraction of the cost of professional teleprompters. Good stuff if you need such a thing.

While you’re at Walter’s site, be sure to check out his “Instruction” page, particularly the “What’s in my Light Kit” article.

DIY Underwater Camcorder Housing

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Last summer I linked to a DIY underwater camcorder housing that could be built for $70.

Since Summer is now officially upon us it’s only appropriate that I share another design for an underwater camcorder housing. If you have a Dremel, this one’s even cheaper to build than the one from last year. The downside? You’ll only be able to use smaller handheld camcorders. Still, I’m sure some enterprising souls will be able to come up with something that will fit larger prosumer video cameras.