DIY, Video Equipment Hacks

5 DIY Equipment Hacks To Enhance Your Videos

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Avatar of Reuben Dongalen Jr.

By: Reuben Dongalen Jr.

September 15, 2021

Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on expensive gear and software, there are DIY tools and essentials all around you that you can use to create a high-quality video. 

With video content ruling the digital world between YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, it’s become increasingly vital for creators to expand and enhance their production quality. While top video creators and editors have access to high-end equipment, others who don’t have that financial bandwidth are looking for video equipment hacks to get the job done.

Here are five DIY video equipment hacks that are both inexpensive and accessible to boost the production quality of your videos.

1. Towel Camera Slider

Hayden Pederson, YouTube

Camera sliders are one of the best pieces of equipment in a video creator’s arsenal, giving them the ability to capture smooth tracking shots for a more cinematic experience.

This video creator shares their DIY camera slider: an everyday towel. For flat surfaces and controlled environments, a towel is a simple and easy solution to capturing smooth shots across a setting. Other options include a skateboard, broom sticks, and even a homemade dolly that are better fits for uncontrolled surroundings like the outdoors.

2. Belt Stabilizer

Olivier Schmitt, YouTube

Stabilizers can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, yet they’ve become a basic necessity to a high-level video producer’s collection. It’s a go-to option for increasing the overall quality of your videos, allowing you to shoot and capture subjects smoothly while preventing unwanted movement or any camera shake.

As the quality of your production increases, it becomes easier for your audience to connect and ultimately engage with the story being told. It’s a step closer to producing a style synonymous with cinema.

This video editor shared a super easy and convenient belt stabilizer hack that can be used to fill the void until you can acquire a stabilizer of your own. The use of a steadicam or gimbal gives you, the video creator, more mobility and thus greater flexibility to shoot the videos the way you envisioned.

3. DIY Neon Signage

You might’ve seen cool, captivating neon lights and signage in the background of some of your favorite creator’s videos. Oftentimes, they are used to highlight your channel name, a creator-specific hashtag, a brand, or a theme in a creative way. 

Creative Ryan, YouTube

Less expensive signs are typically limited in options. Once you explore custom designs, they can start to reach steep price points.

Ben Johnson, YouTube

Instead of paying for a custom neon sign worth hundreds of dollars, you can use your computer screen, a laptop, or a tablet to showcase your desired designs in the background of your videos. This saves you time, money, and allows for more freedom to customize the text and design, depending on the concept of your content. For creators that aren’t design-savvy, we’ve recommended awesome creator apps and tools such as Canva to help you create the templates you’re thinking of.

4. Duct Taping Your Smartphone

With the evolution of smartphones designed to capture and shoot as high as 8k resolution, your cellphone can now act as your main camera.

While the quality and the ability to customize the settings on a traditional camera are still superior, a phone offers unparalleled flexibility and creative freedom when shooting video. One way to capture some unique and unconventional footage is by using duct tape., YouTube

Odd as it is, a combination of your smartphone and duct tape gives you the ability to shoot creative angles that can’t always be captured without expensive, high-end gear. As some filmmakers would attest to, it’s vital to have unique angles and points of view to add dynamic storytelling to your videos. 

By taking advantage of the smart tech within our phones, you’ve found a cheap but creative way to capture those rare shots you’ve always dreamed of. However, we recommend using an older phone or having a second one (if your budget allows it) rather than your day-to-day device. Accidents happen, and phone repairs aren’t always so affordable.

5. DIY Lens Flares

Anamorphic lens flares are an awesome way to enhance the quality and feel of your video content. In fact, it’s an element that pro filmmakers use to enhance major themes in their films.

Many professional filmmakers fall in love with the anamorphic lens due to this exact trait: creating a horizontal stretched lens flare that can appear like stripes of light. This adds a level of pro-filmmaking aesthetic to your project. 

Run N Gun, YouTube

Depending on your environment, your camera, lens, or subject, you may be limited in your ability to generate this effect, especially if you are a beginner video editor. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on lenses and lens filters, an easy, DIY tactic that filmmakers use to create this effect is by shining reflective or textured objects against the camera. 

It may take some practice, some light manipulation, and experimentation, but between a CD or an old neck chain, you can create cinematic lens flares that will improve the aesthetic of your video.

If you’re looking for more innovative ways to improve your video content, partnering with BBTV gets you access to high quality creator tools and services like Jukin Media and Epidemic Sound. Combine that with the help of industry experts within the Channel Growth team, your video content is bound to go to the next level.

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