Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Power of Podcasting

These Kids Are Very Visible... ...thanks to podcasting. A few weeks ago I came across a podcast called "Invisible Children" that was set up by 3 high-school students (or possibly recent H.S. grads) that did a documentary of the same name.

The documentary is about children who are forced to fight in the war in Uganda. Like many other issues in Africa, the problem has largely been ignored in the U.S. until this incredibly driven group of young people decided that they would try to stop the war. How can 3 high school students stop a war in Africa you might ask? Simple... they started by harnessing the incredible power of podcasting to drive a national campaign to raise awareness of the issue an raise money.

Their efforts are chronicled in regular video podcasts which feature scenes from the doc which is still being cut and behind-the-scenes footage of their hustle to make it all happen. (You can also subscribe to the podcast by searching iTunes podcast directory.) Apart from the power of podcasting, "Invisible Children" also represents a great case-study in guerrilla video activism. These young filmmakers who want to make a difference started with a little doc and expanded their efforts into podcasting, house parties, town-by-town public screenings, merchandising, a national tour... even a video musical to raise awareness of their issue.

Follow their case-study and make a donation at the site. It's worthy cause and just may rekindle that idealistic young filmmaker that still lives somewhere deep in your soul.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Down and Dirty DV Raincover

Down and Dirty DV is all about teaching you to make the most of whatever you've got to work
with and finding

low-cost effective solutions to everyday filmmaking problems.

Video cameras and water don't mix. However, sooner or later, we all have to deal with
shooting in the rain or not getting our shot. Rain covers are often a pricey and
low-priority accessory for guerrilas. Here's a very simple alternative to keep your
camera dry when it drizzles. It's virtually cost-free and will take you less than the
time to read this article to actually do.

Guerrilla Recipe - 30 Second Down and Dirty DV Raincover


1. Clear Plastic Bag

2. Rubberbands

1. Razorblade or scissors to slice bag


1. Get a clear plastic trash liner. Those plastic bags from the vegetable section
of the grocery store might work as well if they're big enough. Cut about a 4" slit
in the side of the bag (just big enough for your hand to fit through).

2.Place the camera inside so that the lens is facing out the opening of
the bag and the slit you cut is at the bottom of the camera.

3.Secure the bag around the lens hood/shade with a rubberband so that only
the lens glass is left exposed. Smooth out the plastic over the lcd flipout
screen and secure with a seperate rubberband.

4.Slip your hand in the bottom and shoot like normal.

Additional Tips for Shooting in Wet Weather:

-It's always best to still have an assistant with an umbrella for heavy rain.
-Use 2 bags for extra protection.
-Dry off any exposed parts of the camera that get wet ASAP after shooting.

Total cost of professional raincover = $85.00
Total cost of the down and dirty raincover = $.33

If you find this type of info helpful, holla back at a brotha and let 'em know with
the handy "comments" buttons below any of the blog posts. Happy guerrilla filmmaking,
Peace, Love and Video,