When you’re not one of the big boys, you don’t have as much money for production equipment. But the show must go on, so we improvise with ghetto production solutions. Here’s a look at how to do this.
The basics that you’ll need:
1. YouTube/Google (free)
2. Lots of gaffer tape (cheap)
What we’ve done:
Car Camera Mount
Actually this idea came about because we don’t have a studio set large/nice enough for interviews, so to get around that we decided to do the interview in my car instead.
Anyway, we needed to find a way to mount a camera on the car to get shots like this:
Host Sara interviewing YouTube star Ryan Higa in the backseat of my car. I remember him saying “Hey that’s a cool car rig!” and I liked him even more.
I recommend using at least 3 different colours of gaffer tape to help up the ghetto-factor.
A teleprompter is a must-have for any news show, but it’s also really expensive (last I checked it costs over $5000).
So when we started producing “Now You Know”, we googled “How to make your own teleprompter” and built one out of old boxes, a cheap computer monitor, a black cloth, a piece of glass, and of course…gaffer tape.
All you need after that is to download a teleprompter software for your laptop that will actually run your script on-screen. We’re using Presentation Prompter although there’re many other options out there.
Expensive professional studio teleprompter
Ghetto teleprompter. Make sure you balance all the items precariously on top of a shaky Ikea table for the full effect.
Back view. An A4 printer paper box makes an excellent base for the ghetto teleprompter.
When we started scene.sg, we needed to take lots of product shots for our articles with a clean background like how the pros do it. This photo is from our Best Gourmet Popcorn article, and it was taken in our ghetto lightbox.
Super nice professional lightbox that costs approximately 2 million dollars. (Just look at the high quality door hinges…wow, just wow.)
Ghetto lightbox made from an old printer box. People throw away boxes like these all the time not knowing their true value. Take advantage of their ignorance; these are truly diamonds in the rough.
These are used to weigh down light stands, C-stands etc. so they don’t topple over when clumsy production people trip on stuff.
Real sandbags that are proudly made in USA.
Actually real sandbags aren’t that expensive (about $20 to $30 each) but they’re so not ghetto. That’s why you absolutely need to make your own sandbags. Get the bags from any army supplies store, just add sand, plastic bags, and wrap them tightly with gaffer tape.
If you wrap them neatly you can even make them look like bags of illegal drugs.