Here we are Part two of the ‘Want to be a filmmaker’ series! Yup it has been 2 weeks since my grandiose declaration and where are we? Well I am sick :) Seriously I swear the moment that I hit publish on that video I got stupid ill and here we are a full 2 weeks later and I am just getting now over it. However that is not to say that we haven’t made progress starting with the story…

Film Noir!

That brilliantly dark time in American cinema with it’s fancy french name. I love Film Noir! I love almost everything about it. but being a visual person what I love the most about film noir is it’s tradition of visual storytelling. I love the fact that this story can be told completely through the blocking of the actors and the angle of the camera. You can turn the sound off on any good film noir and still completely follow the story.

So that will be our first project a mini film noir. I have been researching stories of the day that have now fallen into creative Commons. As well I have some ideas that could be easily adapted into I film noir script.

The Great Gear Gathering!

Second up, I have gathered together all of the equipment that I have been how fast collecting for years, and piece together what we will use to film. Starting with the camera.

The main camera we will use will be my Nikon D610 with that wide variety of lenses that I already have and use as a professional photographer.

To keep the camera movements steady I have a couple of different things to help out starting with this Shoulder mount camera rig that I have had for a few years now. It is made by Cavison (who side note have them most awesome old school website still in existence on the internet seriously it is straight from the era of geocities) and It is great at adding some substance to smaller lighter DSLR cameras.

Second is this Dolly/track system from Glide gear. It is super inexpensive and with the extension add on we can do about a 16 feet of camera moment. Either Side to side or track in or out.

As well I have purchased the glide gear 4 foot quick jib. It is a mini jib that will get you 4 feet of elevation of the top of your tripod. Jibs are great for establishing shots as well as just getting your camera up in to areas that would be hard to reach.

Now our DLSR setup is a little on the heavy side for this jib at it’s full extension but it is perfect if you reel it in to about 3 feet or so. and of course you can stick your tripod with the jib on it onto your dolly and combine these movements really really easily as well.


For filming mic’s I have a couple of shotgun microphones from rode as well as an audio technica wireless lav mic which I am using right now. which should get us through until we need something more specific. That said when it comes to microphones I have a ridiculous variety of awesome microphones mainly for recording music but I am sure that we can always find a use for them.

to record sound I have been using my battered Zoom H4n which I’ve had for years but I fear that this unit is on it’s last legs. (Seriously this thing has seen a lot of use over the years but I fear its years are over, the onboard mics are broken there is a loud hiss on one channel if you don’t slap it, you can’t use one of the XLR plugs)

So rather then buy the next Zoom H5/h6 for 4-5 hundred dollars we have replaced it when the much more economical Tascam 70D. (i got a bundle sale from B&H for 2 hundred and 20) Thus far it is quite brilliant. I hope to do an in-depth video into this in the future.

Last is light!

I do have a few smaller LED lights and video lights that I have used in our photography studio but they aren’t necessarily the greatest to light an entire scene.  I also already have a couple of studio strobes with softboxes and the like that I can just add in a brighter modelling light into and use as is.

However, I am really in love with these clamp lights!


[pullquote type=”left”]They are super cheap and you can stick em anywhere, and if you mix these with a couple of cheaper inline dimmer switches you are good to go.[/pullquote]

Dimmer Switch

Particularly because we are thinking about the harsh light & shadow of a film noir using these undiffused is perfect! You can of course blast them though a diffusing panel like this one or bounce them off a white the ceiling to soften them up as well. You can also double up your light brightness by adding in one of these Y’s just remember to not exceed the rating of the light socket that you are sticking it in. The last DIY light I have are these 500watt halogen work lights that you can get for under twenty dollars from your local hardware store. They are stupid bright!

So this is what we have to work with and I hope to do amazing things with it. Do YOU want to do amazing things as well? Let’s make films together!! We need a small but dedicated army. Actors, crew, anyone interested in helping out and being part of something awesome. In Vancouver Want to know more, get involved, or just follow along?

[button shape=”rounded” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”” title=”Join the Army!” target=”blank” info=”popover” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Click here!!![/button]