Hope everyone is well... If you're tired (like most of us) of the horrid discrimination we must endure when bringing the HV20/HV30 on "for hire" shoots... check this out if you can't afford a sexy 35mm adapter, but still want to have her look good and improve her performance.
I got hired for a "no-budget" feature film shoot, a paid gig but not much $$$... and endless demands and battles with a director that had no clue what they wanted. Except that the footage had to be "24P HD" and editable on their home computer.
Well, break out some elbow grease tactics, throw a dress on your HV30, some black lipstick, and bring her to that damn show!
What follows will take your mild mannered HV20/HV30, and for under $50, make her look like the little beast she is... Allow the sexy librarian to let her hair down!
Here is what she will look like afterward:
ATR55 shotgun mic optional, I kept it on camera, set to wide, used it to pick up ambient sound in an effort to save the director some foley hassles. They did have a sound guy.
Okay, lets get started...
These items can be found easily with a bit of looking...
(1) SAILWIND Pro Bellows - This is a still camera matte box/bellows unit but is ideal for the HV20 and HV30. It has two stages for using pro filters. And the bellows adjusts with a knob forward and back so whatever zoom setting you are on, you will be able to get max shade. Cost varies but I see them go for about 25-30 bucks on eBay. I snagged this one for only $19.75
(1) Olympus flash bracket - Again, eBay is the best spot but you can get these new on amazon.com but they are a bit pricey. I spent more than I would have liked on this one at $25 on eBay. But it is a great bracket.
(4) Standard wooden paint stirrers from your local hardware store - cost FREE!
(1) 1/4-20 bolt 1 inch bolt - 15 cents
(1) 1/4-20 bolt 1 1/2" bolt - 15 cents
(1) 1/4-20 nut - 9 cents
(1) 43-52mm filter Step-up ring - $3.50
(2) 1/4 lock washers - 18 cents
And add some glue you have laying around the house, and a bit of black gaffers tape or black paint to make it look pretty!
So here are the components before assembly.
1. Chop/saw the heads off the paint stirrers and glue four of them together. This creates a perfect spacer for this setup. Next drill a 1/4" hole exactly in the center, and one inch down.
2. If you flip over your Sailwind bellows you will find a small casting divet on the other side of the lower mounting rail, perfect to guide you drilling another 1/4" hole through this soft aluminum.
3. Next look at your flashbracket... you will see a long mounting groove. At both ends, widen it out with a 1/4" drill bit.
4. Next get your high dollar mounting hardware ready!
5. Your Sailwind matte box has a tiny set screw that is perfect to guide/stabilize its mounting to your flash bracket. Slide the Sailwind rail under your flash bracket and pull it all the way to the end of your mounting slot. Secure with the 1/4-20 1 inch bolt lock washer and nut.
6. Put the black lipstick on! I used gaffers tape on the wood spacer because it gave a bit of extra grip but this is optional.
7. Put the spacer on the flash bracket with the 1/4-20 1 1/2" bolt with a lock washer on the bottom. It should hold itself in by pure friction until you mount the camera.
8. Mount the 43-52mm filter step up ring onto your HV20/HV30. This will let you use easy to find 52mm filters when not using square filters in the matte box or when you must take the HV20/HV30 off and go naked...
9. NEXT MOUNT THE CAMERA! It takes a bit of a balancing act, but if you have the matte box screw adjustment into the widest position the cam will slide in even with the largest available battery on back.
10. The flash bracket has a mounting hole for all but the biggest tripod mounting brackets. My DV7000 Velbon quick release fits fine under there...
HERE YA' GO!
As to the feature film shoot in question... it did not go well at all. The director didn't know what to do to create any sort of coherent visual language, and when I made polite shot and angle suggestions (off set, out of crew earshot) it became very ugly.
At the end of the SECOND day... After being asked to walk through knee deep snow, handholding the camera, following speaking talent, after we initially agreed the shot should be a locked off pan on a tripod, and then being endlessly berated in front of the whole crew when I couldn't keep the camera steady.... well, I then told the director what they could do with it... and walked off myself.
But the director had the gaul to ask... "Vic, can you rent us the Sailwind?"
At least they thought the camera was cool!