The other day we had Pericles' first five "Reasons To Be Cheerful". Now we chime in with the balance of the ten. (Ted)
6. LED Lighting - The TorchLED TL - 50 is a daylight balanced compact LED light fixture for under $350. It has an intergrated rechargable battery that will give you 2.5 hours of operating time. The light output can be controlled with an onboard dimmer. As LED lighting technology advances, lighting panels and fixtures will drop and so will the gross weight of your gear. Lightweight and less heat make LED lighting a 'good get' for the DIY filmmaker.
7. CurrentTV - Current TV is an Emmy award winning independent media company led by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. current TV is both a web-based and a 24 hour cable channel available on most cable systems. Most all of Current's programming is Viewer Created. There are several ways to get on television. You can submit a story which you have found on the internet and submit it under a profile you create for yourself. If that story is voted to the top in a given time period (Every hour or two) Curret TV news editors will edit a news "pod" package crediting you with your avatar at the top of during the broadcast's news segment. You do that for free. However, Current also pays! If you submit a non-fiction piece in the 7 minute range, you can specify whether or not want it to be qualified for broadcast. Each month, one non-fiction peice is chosen and the filmmaker gets $1000. (One Thousand Dollars). But that's not all... Most all of the commercials are also viewer created. Current will list several clients such as Nikon and L'Oreal and if you want to participate, you are free to upload an ad and compete. If it airs only on Current, you get $2,500. If it gets airplay elsewhere, you can get up to $60,000. Uploaded video quality is pristine and can be either linked or embedded. You can see my 5 minute short Freedom Plaza with a "plug" for Truly Free Film on the current website and then you can see an embed example of the file at my blog Pericles Shrugged. But be forewarned, comments are not moderated and current can be a "tough room," but all in all I find it to be a great site with many users who will pass along your work to their connections if they like it.
8. The Portamic 5.1 Holophone - You can have the prettiest movie ever and if your sound is bad, it doesn't matter. It's always best to have a dedicated sound person with booms, lavs, and mixers. But there may be scheduling problems, or your sound person might get a last minute paying gig. Then there's always the shotgun... However, I think this is an interesting on-board mic solution for the 'one man band.' I would love to test it myself, but it seems that the holophone with six separate mic elements set-up in a 5.1 suuround configuration sounds promising. I haven't been able to wrap my mind around it yet, but it appears that you can send it all to two channels or use a decoder to bring it back to six. What will they think of next?
9, ikan Camera Cradle - This is a "beanbag" type camera support. It wraps around your camera and will give you lots of love when you are mid-zoom in a "no tripod" zone or you are trying to nail some shots from a car. The microbeads in the cradle buffer movement and can conform to just about any situation holding the top of a chain link fence or the headrest of a compact car. For less than $90, this can turn into your best friend in a tight spot.
10. Building the New Infrastructure to Film Freedom - I think as artists, we are finding ourselves at a crossroad. The concept of building our own infrastructure for the production, distribution and exhibition of our work is an incredible opportunity and available for the first time ever. The concept of preserving Net Neutrality and creating alternate venues and distribution models for each other, instead of against each other, is the reason I have any hope at all. If we stick together and work together we can literally help bring independent filmmaking back in from the cold. Iron Sharpens Iron.