Submitted by a Videomaker reader
It’s all foamy!
Traveling with expensive gear can be risky. In order to protect your equipment, you can create your own custom insert for any bag using plastic and liquid spray foam insulation.
The first sheet of plastic goes inside the bag. Leave plenty of excess, which can be trimmed later. Layout the contents of your bag on the plastic. After you are happy with the layout, remove the gear, wrap carefully in Saran wrap and place in a similar pattern next to the bag.
Spray the foam insulation in layers on top of the plastic. Add each piece of gear and place carefully into the foam insulation. Push down, and slightly side to side to create the customized pocket to hold your equipment. Do this with each piece of equipment. You can create a top on the other side so that your gear is completely encased. Any excess foam can be trimmed away with a knife or scissors.
Another option is to spray the foam to create a rectangular block that will fit inside the bag and to then cut inserts out the block that fit your equipment after it dries. Either way, the end result is a lightweight, shock absorbing, protective insert, customized for your gear, for less than $10.
Jim Van den Dyssel
Camcorder Game: Test Your Skill
Wonder if you have what it takes to make money with your camcorder? Try your hand at this entertaining Flash game. [link removed – no longer available]. Use the virtual camcorder to record the money shot of the UFO visitors in your viewfinder and then sell your tape to the Nightly News. You can zoom in and out to compose your best shot, but watch that you don’t run out of tape or battery power. If you get a great shot, a news producer may write you a fat check. Get enough shots and you’ll be elected to the hall of fame.
Five Essential Steps in Digital Video: A DV Moviemaker’s Tricks of the Trade
Denise Ohio (2002, Que, www.quepublishing.com, 820 pp.+DVD. $45.)
One of the most complete books we’ve seen on the process of digital moviemaking, Five Essential Steps is a good place to start for any video-based feature production. From style aspects such as composition to technical aspects like tape format and the use of zebra bars, Five Essential Steps covers a lot of ground. Read about everything from keeping your crew nourished, to using prop firearms. Each topic is reasonably thorough and the style is friendly and accessible. For the icing on the cake, the book includes a DVD loaded with sample videos and trial versions of editing, compositing, storyboarding, scheduling and budgeting software packages for the PC and the Mac.