Getting that new lens or camera may help your footage look a bit better, but it’s the small things that will help improve your life. It’s usually simple stuff, too. You just need to figure out exactly what it is and make sure you spend the time to do it.
If you need some help figuring out what types of life hacks can help your productions, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter has the perfect video for you. Let’s check it out!
1. Label Everything (Especially Power Bricks & Cables)
I know I have tons of different power cables and bricks for all the different electronics you may want on set. You probably do too. Think about other things, like hard drives, lights, chargers, etc. The simplest recommendation is a silver Sharpie. It’ll show on all your black accessories. Or just go for it and get a label maker. Might want to put your name on everything too.
2. Get a V-Mount Strap
Many lights keep the V-mount battery off the actual head itself. However, you don’t want the battery mount/brick just dangling from the light. A V-mount strap is an easy way to connect your brick to the V-mount and then you can keep everything nice and clean on set.
3. Lock SD Cards
When you are done shooting or need to swap out a full SD card, you should always flip that little switch on the side of the card. That locks the card and prevents you from accidentally deleting anything from it until it is safely backed up.
4. Have Plenty of Extra Cards
One good piece of advice to invest in extra memory cards. You don’t want to run out of space in the middle of a shoot and you absolutely don’t want to have to worry about backing up and formatting media so you can use it again during the same shoot.
5. Fast, Close, Low, Wide
This is one of Caleb’s tricks for getting better camera angles. Using the idea of fast, close, low, wide, or FCLW, Getting a fast lens, going in close and low, and making sure it is a wide lens will give you a different look than the common options.
6. Get Mics Close
The best way to get better audio: get your microphone as close to the subject as possible. Getting your mic closer to your subject gives us a cleaner signal, meaning less noise. It also helps eliminate background noise
7. Backup Audio Recorder
You never know when something is going to go wrong. Audio is perhaps the worst thing to lose out on, cause it could make your best take unusable if it goes wrong. Having an additionally (probably cheaper) recorder added to your audio chain can help make sure there is a backup recording in the event of worst-case scenario.
8. Build a Video Emergency Kit
There is plenty else that can go wrong for your shoot. Having a set of extra parts available can save what would otherwise be a doomed shoot. Keeping a spare audio recorder, microphone, extra SD cards, and more in a pack that is always with you can save your life. Keep it in your car’s trunk or another easily accessible place.
9. Compact Key Light
Modern key lights can be massive and then you add a nice, large soft box to get the look you want. For some shoots you might not need all the power of that massive light, so to lighten your load you could get a bracket that holds just the soft box and then you can pop in a much smaller light that fill the box. Lighter packs can be a huge help in some cases.
Essentially a fancy rubber band, BongoTies can be worn like a bracelet and then the second you need them easily popped off to secure whatever you need. Well worth having a few around.
Do you have any of your own tips to share?
[source: DSLR Video Shooter]
- Silver Sharpie (Amazon)
- Angelbird AV Pro MK2 UHS-II SDHC Memory Card (B&H, Amazon)
- Transcend 500S UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (B&H, Amazon)
- Brother PT-H110 Portable Label Maker (B&H, Amazon)
- Zoom H1n Portable Audio Recorder (B&H, Amazon)
- Godox S2 Speedlite Bracket for Bowens (B&H, Amazon)
- Aputure Amaran AL-F7 LED Light (B&H, Amazon)
- BongoTies (B&H, Amazon)
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