Low-Budget Filmmaking Tip #71

We’ve got the pow-ah!

Your location owner might have to lock their doors after a certain time, but if you ask nice, they might let you run an extension cord or two out through a little hole. Then, you can leave ’em coiled up after you’re done and come by in the morning and pick all your cords back up.

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Low-Budget Filmmaking Tip #62

But order it in advance!

If you have to rent a van, rent a van. It’s only about a hundred bucks a day, but think of what that hundred bucks gets you: You don’t have to worry about who’s bringing what piece of gear. Everybody just brings everything the few nights before to one location, and the night before, you pack it all in one van.

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Low-Budget Filmmaking Tip #37

You Can Always Shake it in Post!

Get a tripod! Battlestar: Galactica was a fluke — if you don’t lock that camera down, you’re going to make your viewers queasy. You can pan and tilt and even dolly if you have one, but unless you have a real good compelling reason, please, please, please get that camera on the sticks!

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Low-Budget Filmmaking Tip #36

Even at the dollar store!

If you can’t pipe your sound into your camera, borrow a camera with a microphone jack and use that to record audio. There is no real difference between a ’spensive 16-bit digital recorder and a 10-year old Handicam that records sound in 16 bits. Except, well, cost.

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Low-Budget Filmmaking Tip #32

The operative word is “steady”!

A cheap-ass steadicam you built using $15 worth of parts is better than no stabilizing tool at all, especially if you practice diligently with it, but it’s not a $1000 Steadicam, and it’s not realistic to compare the two. Make do with what you’ve got.

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