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DIY Cinematography Hacks You Can Reproduce at Home

With some common household items, aspiring filmmakers can reproduce the look of shots that have been produced professionally — or at least something close to it. These DIY cinematography hacks are quick and easy for the aspiring filmmaker or professional to reproduce at home for use in DIY filmmaking projects. While they may not exactly amount to a professional production, they are fun to recreate and can be used here and there.

BBP Cinematographer

At Beverly Boy Productions, we use all the latest equipment and techniques to produce professional shots for your videos, but we also understand that aspiring filmmakers might be working on super tight budgets so we thought you might like to see some tricks of the trade.

Check ‘em out, and let us know what you think!

1. DIY Tripod without a Tripod

What do you do when you need your camera to be propped up and stable but you don’t have a tripod on hand? You use a heavy jacket and a tabletop!

That’s right! This is one of the simplest and most under-utilized DIY cinematography hacks, but we thought it was worth mentioning. 

To create your DIY tripod, all you have to do is fluff your heavy jacket into a pile on the table, stack it however you see fit for it to hold your camera on the tabletop.

Then place the camera on top and begin filming. You’ll notice that you get a smooth, wobble free shot and that you have the versatility to move the jacket easily on the table to produce a panning motion too!

2. Instant DIY Stabilizer

What do you do when you don’t have a stabilizer and you need to steady your shot? If you’ve got a camera strap, you’ve got a stabilizer!

All you have to do is place your camera strap around your neck and then pull the unit out away from your body so that the strap is taught.

Allow the strap to stabilize your moves so that your arms and hands hold the camera out in front of you in a steady, stable motion.

Don’t let the strap become loose or else you’ll lose the stabilizing feature.

3. DIY Diffusion

Need to diffuse some light in a jiffy? All you need is a curtain. If you’ve got a curtain that has some texture or motif to it, that will provide some added effects but even a shower curtain would work well for this.

Simply place the curtain over your light and then bunch it up as needed so that the motif blocks light or filters it in various areas.

You can get some dramatic diffusion effects by simply testing this method out using various curtains that you already have around the house.

4. DIY Glass Diffuser

Another great way to diffuse the light that is coming into your camera is by using a piece of broken glass or plastic that can be held in front of your lens.

The cracks or breaks will diffuse the light in various ways and can be used to produce very dramatic diffusion of the lighting around your scene.

Consider testing out different colored pieces of glass, or different pieces of broken glass or plastic to get the desired effects. You’ll be surprised at what you can create with these DIY cinematography hacks!

5. DIY Props

You may not realize that you can use various household items such as a colander or an old potato masher to produce varied visual effects on your set — but you can!

These DIY Cinematography hacks can be used to produce varied effects on your background or on the lens of your camera.

Try this: Place a colander in front of your light source so that there is a shadowed effect on your background. Move the colander around until you produce the desired lighting effect.

You can do something similar with a potato masher by placing it in front of your light source and allowing the shadow to light your wall area behind your subject for a dramatic appeal.

Try these DIY cinematography hacks at home and let us know what you think or, if you have some simple DIY cinematography hacks that you’re already using, show us! We’d love to learn about what others are doing at home!