Keeping it Reel

5 DIY Rigs for Young Cinematographers

So you want to be a cinematographer….the problem is, you’re 17. You don’t have access to any fancy equipment or gear. Getting a camera was hard enough, getting actual equipment on top of that would be pretty impossible. So how are you supposed to show your stuff if you don’t have the equipment to get those perfect shots?

Well, the answer is you build your own equipment! It might be easier than you think. You can build all kinds of rigs for a ridulously cheap price. Check out a few of the DIY tutorials below to see what you can make.

DIY SteadiCam

A steady cam is an absolute necessity for film making. If you want to get a smooth fast past shot, you are going to need one at somepoint. With fifteen dollars and 15 minutes, you could have one of your very own.

DIY SnorriCam

If your filming a dream-like sequence, a horror film, or just want to grab a quick POV shot, a snorri cam is a great tool. And all you need to build your own is two belts. Who knew?

DIY Dolly

If you want to create a truly smooth tracking shot, nothing beats a dolly. The video below shows how to make a relatively simple dolly and track for your camera, so you can pan horizontally to your heart’s content.

DIY Fig Rig

Much like the steady cam the fig rig allows you to stabalize your camera to get those clean moving shots. This video shows how to build one for a ridiculously cheap price.

DIY Slider

A slider is great for highlighting a wide landscape, getting close up shots, and adding a little drama to a scene. At only $10 dollars, you could create your own and start filming in a whole new way.

You don’t need to win the lottery or save until you’re fifty to get the equipment you need. Start exploring alternative ways to get the shots you need for your creations. You’ll be on your way to making the films you’ve always wanted to in no time!

Think you’re ready to start making more than backyard shorts? Download our Application Checklist and get started with our application process. You may be able to make your own equipment at home, but you can’t receive personal instruction from industry professionals from your couch.

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

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