2009 48hr Film Project

Hello Dolly!

by on Aug.10, 2009, under 2009 48hr Film Project, Creativity, Film making

Remember the problem with my dolly modifications for the 48hr film project coming up? I think I might have solved my problem.

When I first built my dolly I used some plans that called for the use of skateboard wheels – two on each axle. Then I would lay down some 3/4″ PVC pipe (in 10ft lengths) and place the dolly on top. The idea is the wheels would the PVC as tracks and go over any bumps.

It works in theory but rarely is PVC pipe “straight and true.” What ended up happening was the wheels would derail and slip off the track. This is why I thought it would be better if I didn’t use the skateboard wheels and switch to pneumatic ones. We all know how that turned out.

So I got to thinking. I need something to keep the PVC pipes straight without taping them to the ground. I walked over to my shed and found some old cedar fence post boards and below is what I came up with.

It’s simple, crude and works. I will keep a weight on the platform to make sure the wheels stay on the tracks and the added weight helps it roll smoothly as well.

I gotta keep telling myself – this is not a professional model but for what I put in to it (money wise) it works. See the pictures below.

So there you have it – problem solved. On to the next crisis…


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by on Aug.09, 2009, under 2009 48hr Film Project, Creativity, Film making

I’m still gearing up for the 48hr film project and I was doing some adjustments to my homemade dolly.

“A dolly? What’s a dolly Beto?” you ask?

Well, a dolly is basically a platform with wheels that you can mount a camera onto and get some great forward or backward pan movements – without using the optical zoom from the camera. It enhances the dramatic effect. I’ve seen some made out of PVC but I wanted something a bit more sturdy since my new camera is bigger AND heavier.

So, I had this great idea to get some pneumatic wheels (you know – tires) and mount them to my platform. Since these are “air filled” I figured they could go over anything, carpet, tile, asphalt etc. If I let some of the air out of the tires – then it would help with the bumps.

I went and found some relatively inexpensive pneumatic tires (about $8 each) and bought some bolts. I found out that a good 5/8″ inch bolt works great as an axle. I also found some metal braces (in the deck building department) and the bolts fit in there just right as well. I came home and began my build.

My first step was to pretend I was Hercules by manually start the bending process and then finish it off as Hephaestus (the blacksmith of the gods) to hammer out one section of the braces on my vise.

I then inserted the bolts and a couple of washers into the tires then mounted the braces on to the platform. Then it was just a matter of placing the wheels on the braces and tightening them.

I needed a guide for this platform so I then found my “big ‘ol sissy bar” or rather The Balance Buddy that someone invented to help train your kid to ride their bike. I found mine at Academy Sports.

Why didn’t I think of that? It saved my back when I was training both Joaquin and Emmy on riding their bikes.

When it was all assembled, I stood back and was quite pleased with my effort.

I then mounted my tripod on it and when I pushed it – it wiggled. Grrh….

Since these were air tires – there was not enough stability – this transferred to the tripod head which result in shaky video – that won’t work.

NUTS…I don’t always get it right.

…but it looked so cool. I’ve taken it apart and will return some of the parts. I have another idea though. I hope I can make it before we start our filming this weekend. It really makes our shoot look professional.

I took pictures (gallery below, click on pictures to view) so that later on I can make it work but for now – I have to think of something else.

*Update – I think I fixed it! – follow this link*

The pressure is on. Wish me luck.


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PVC Shoulder Mount

by on Aug.02, 2009, under 2009 48hr Film Project, Film making, PVC


Remember how I like to build stuff out of PVC? Well, I had me another project to complete. See, I went ahead and purchased myself a new camera. I’m going to be using it to film a lot of my son’s sports and other school activities.

Since my wife said I could purchase it now – I will be able to use it on the 48hr film project I’m involved this August. But I noticed it’s a bit heavier than my little Panasonic PV-GS300 MiniDV camcorder. You’d never know it but 2 extra pounds on your shoulders sure does make a difference.

PVC Shoulder mountSo I thought to myself, how can I mount this camera on my shoulder? There are plenty of professional shoulder mounts out there to buy but at a minimum they cost around $60.

Well…you know me and PVC right? Here’s what I came up with for only about $12.

My buddy Fernando came over one Saturday and I used him as a mannequin so I could measure out how to fit the camera on the shoulder mount…without dropping it. Check out the pictures below. Just click on the photos and you’ll get a nice big preview.


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More info on 48 Hours

by on Jul.19, 2009, under 2009 48hr Film Project, Creativity, Film making

48hour3Here is a video from this years producer for the San Antonio 48hr film project. He was interviewed on KABB and explained the process (sort of) to the audience.¬† They showed some films from last year. Ours was not featured. ūüôĀ

It’s interesting to hear that last year we had 24 teams. I don’t remember that many but then again – last year was a blur. I did put a slideshow together here of our weekend making the film and I hope to do the same this year as well.


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The 2009 48 hour film project

by on Jul.13, 2009, under 2009 48hr Film Project, Film making

48hour3You assemble a team. You pick a genre from the approved list. You have to include a character, a line of dialog and a prop into your storyline that can only be 4-7mins long. Beginning that Friday, your team, writes, shoots, edits, scores and produces a quality movie. Oh and you only have 48 hours from beginning to end.

The final film is screened at the Alamo Drafthouse in SA along with the other entrants and it’s a blast to see your blood, sweat and tears premiere on the big screen. The winning team will go on to represent SA at Filmapalooza in Las Vegas as well as have the opportunity to screen their films at The Cannes Film Festival and win hundreds of dollars in prizes, film equipment and other prizes!

Last year was a memorable experience – I can’t stop talking or thinking about it. This year, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.

Fernando (our team leader) has again skillfully assembled a dream team of returning members and new blood. Roles and responsibilities have shifted but once again, we have a gifted writer, phenomenal musicians, scavengers to collect items and props, a skillful line producer to keep us on track, an¬†extraordinary¬†creative/illustrator, a talented lighting tech and our never compromising director Fernando ¬†– we ready to enter this year’s contest.

These talented individuals, coupled with the powerful vision bestowed upon us from our leader will AGAIN produce extraordinary work from the team. In just four weeks our team will once again rise to the challenge. None willing to produce anything less than exceptional work…as we did last year – AND we’ll have fun doing it.

I am proud to be behind the lens and an editor with this team but I’m excited and scared at the same time. Our team will grow as film makers (yes I know FDB, you hate that term) and produce a film that entertains, evokes emotion but most importantly – something we are proud of like we did last year.

“It’s God’s will” – sorry Erica – couldn’t help myself – all you others – it’s an inside joke.

I’ll try to post as much information about the 48hr film project as time allows. The actual event begins on Friday August 14th – 7pm until Sunday August 16th – 7pm and I (like our core team) have carved out a small portion of my life to produce something amazing.

Alot of people will tell us, “Gosh it sounds like fun!”

It is but wish us luck, it’s gonna be crazy!


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