Would you spend $599 on a travel tripod?

Would you spend $599 on a travel tripod?

In 10 days, Peak Design has already raised over $5 million for their new travel tripod. Nick is one of nearly 12,000 Kickstarter backers. But would you spend nearly $289 for a small aluminum tripod? Or $479 for lightweight carbon fiber? (Final retail price will be $599.)

Griffin has been testing out the Rapid Filter System by Alter—a quick way to flip an ND filter on and off your lens. Also available through Kickstarter.

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Panasonic tells me they’re planning a Lumix “product announcement” this Friday, May 31 from CineGear Expo in Los Angeles—but that’s all they’re telling me. It’s 12:30p PT, probably live-streamed as these things usually are. Check Lumix social media for more details.

This Thursday night, May 30, I’m running the Midnight Half Marathon—a crazy, live-streamed 13.1-mile race, with no set course. Just eight checkpoints throughout Brooklyn.

Griffin Hammond
Can I make my own press pass?

Can I make my own press pass?

I attempted to hire Vistaprint to create a plastic card with my name, face, and the word PRESS on it—a press pass that I designed. But the proof was rejected as “suspicious.”

A press pass is not a government-issued ID. It’s akin to a business card, something that honestly conveys what you do for a living, and something you have to make yourself if you’re a freelancer. A press pass is not the same as media credentials, which are created and granted by an event organizer. The freedom of the press extends to all U.S. citizens—anyone can do journalism.

Ultimately, I was able to print my design through Custom Lanyard.

So why would I want a press pass?
Delta Airlines, for example, will allow media organizations to check excess-weight bags for $50, instead of the usual $150 fee.

“Camera, film, video tape, lighting and sound equipment that is tendered by representatives of network or local television broadcasting companies or commercial film-making companies will be accepted as baggage at the fees noted below. Valid photo ID with company insignia is required.” (Delta Airlines)

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Here’s Nick’s finished video—a very short tutorial on fixing his speaker with a vacuum.

Griffin Hammond
How long should freelancers save clients' video files?

How long should freelancers save clients' video files?

If a client from six years ago emailed you, would you still have their wedding video? Nick and Griffin discuss their data retention policies for freelance clients.

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When it comes to pricing for client work, Nick recommends watching Mike Monteiro’s F*ck You, Pay Me.

After Nick expressed interest in piloting a plane, John Patrick Bishop shared his pilot video.

Griffin Hammond
One-Day Documentaries with Griffin Hammond

One-Day Documentaries with Griffin Hammond

Indy Mogul is back! This is first episode of The Indy Mogul Podcast, hosted by Ted Sim:

Today we catch up with fellow co-host Griffin Hammond about his work covering the 2016 Presidential election with Bloomberg News and the process of creating his festival darling documentary “Sriracha.” We also discuss the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking and how to film a documentary in one day.

Griffin Hammond
Judge Denies My Request to Film in NYC Courtroom

Judge Denies My Request to Film in NYC Courtroom

Swiss tourist Paolo Prosetti was arrested after crashing his drone near Times Square in New York City. When Griffin attempted to film his court case, the judge denied his request.

Lots of exciting videos this week!

Griffin Hammond
Andy the cat is on Polish TV

Andy the cat is on Polish TV

Polish news program Fakty TVN featured one my most popular YouTube videos, Andy the cat climbing our Christmas tree. It’s a lesson in investing even in silly videos—you never know which work you create will resonate and lead to interesting opportunities.

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Griffin Hammond
B&H Surprised Me With a Canon EOS R + 24-105mm!

B&H Surprised Me With a Canon EOS-R + 24 105mm!

When B&H invited Griffin to an after-hours gift exchange, he wasn’t expecting to go home with a $3,400 camera kit. And he definitely wasn’t expecting Canon’s new mirrorless EOS R with 24-105mm lens!

Six other YouTubers walked away with excellent prizes as well: Steve Ronin, Armando Ferreira, Thunder E/Booredatwork, Jon Reyes, Jacklyn/NothingButTech88 and Brendan Miranda.

Thank you so much to Mendy Paul at B&H for inviting me! Happy holidays!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals for Filmmakers
I’ve started tracking November deals for filmmakers at griffinhammond.com/november

Griffin Hammond
New Mac Mini - Good for Video Editors?

New Mac Mini - Good for Video Editors?

Apple has finally refreshed the MacBook Air and Mac Mini. What does that mean for video editors?

This week, Alex Ferrari launched Indie Film Hustle TV, which includes in its filmmaker-focused library my film Sriracha, as well as an additional hour of behind-the-scenes Sriracha content. Learn more at IFHTV.com.

If you’re near NYC, join me Thursday, November 8 at the B&H SuperStore for my workshop, Traveling Light While Filmmaking.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 80: Do you need Full Frame? Lumix S Series

Episode 80: Do you need Full Frame? Lumix S Series

A full-frame camera from Panasonic sounds really exciting—but what will it mean for Griffin’s streamlined travel style? Plus, your questions about shooting telephoto on the iPhone, losing signal on the Mavic Air drone, and why you should avoid cheap step-up rings.

Nick talked about selling his previous iPhones on Swappa, and responding to Matt’s question about camera bags, Nick recommends his Peak Design Everyday bag.

All of my gear is listed out at griffinhammond.com/gear, and to answer Austin’s question, I recommend buying slightly more expensive anodized aluminum step-up rings. These are less likely to warp, easier to use than the cheaper aluminum.

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Griffin Hammond
Panasonic’s First Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras—Lumix S Series

Panasonic’s First Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras—Lumix S Series

Lumix S1R and S1 are Panasonic's first full-frame mirrorless cameras, announced today at Photokina in Köln, Germany.

Both cameras—coming in early 2019—feature a full Super 35-sized sensor, which is nearly four times larger than the micro4/3 sensor in my Panasonic GH5.

The Lumix S1R is a 47-megapixel camera designed for photographers, and the S1 is 24MP for hybrid photo video shooters. Each camera shoots 4K60p, with in-body image stabilization, a 3-axis tilt LCD, and two different card slots—one for an SD card, and one for an XQD card.

Panasonic is developing three new L-mount lenses: a 50mm prime f/1.4, a 24-105 and a 70-200mm. Like the cameras, these lenses will come out in early 2019.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 79: John Luna Edits This Podcast

Episode 79: John Luna Edits This Podcast

John Luna is an Adobe Premiere editor, but he edits this podcast in Final Cut Pro X. Plus, your questions about finding an audience, avoiding flickering lights, and making corporate videos look cool.

*As a burn survivor, John speaks quietly—it’s through his recovery that he taught himself video production.

Subscribe to John Luna on YouTube and follow his Instagram. Watch his video Grand Central Station.

Two resources Griffin recommends for amateur filmmakers is the website NoFilmSchool, and Robert McKee’s book Story.

You don’t need to buy anything for my baby, but because some have asked, Amy and I have a registry.

If you’re interested in Panasonic’s next camera announcement, follow @LumixUSA on Instagram, where they’ll livestream their September 25 press conference at 6:30am EDT. (It’s early because it’s from Photokina in Germany.)

Griffin Hammond
Episode 78: My Office Is Gone

Episode 78: My Office Is Gone

Griffin has to give up his video production office—for a very happy reason. Plus, your questions about Final Cut Pro X keyboard shortcuts, creating a nighttime lighting effect, and are you allowed to use stock footage in your film?

Did you know? There are over 56 hours of the Hey Indie Filmmakers podcast!

Saif asked about lightweight travel tripods. I use the MeFoto RoadTrip carbon fiber. You’ll find the rest of my gear at griffinhammond.com/gear

Nikolas needs to take an existing captions file, and burn it into his video as titles. I found a free Final Cut Pro X plug-in called X-Title Caption Convert, and also Caption Burner ($129).

My latest video is about my very fast friend Alex, and his attempt to run his fastest mile!

Griffin Hammond
Episode 77: Justinsuperstar Travels, Makes Documentaries

Episode 77: Justinsuperstar Travels, Makes Documentaries

My good friend Justin Johnson is prolific video producer and talented, world-traveling documentary filmmaker. We met up in New York to discuss his innovative techniques and creative philosophy. Plus, your questions about finding good stories, distribution strategy, and matching multiple cameras.

Follow Justin’s work on YouTube or at justinsuperstar.com.

I recommend his recent mini-doc series Fan Creators, produced for SyFy, and his latest travel video, A Journey to Kitzbühel, Austria. You can also read about his creative approach in this Tongal Creator Interview.

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This week you can hear me on Ian O’Neill’s new podcast, How They Did It: Filmmaking.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 76: We’re Rebels in Stormtrooper Disguise

Episode 76: We’re Rebels in Stormtrooper Disguise

After going undercover as stormtroopers in Star Wars virtual reality combat, Nick and Griffin are joined by their childhood friend and video professional Adam Kruminas. Plus, your questions about cropping 4K video, the easiest way to add storage space to your editing machine, and advice for your first documentary.

At The VOID in Las Vegas, we experienced Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire—a particularly immersive virtual reality game.

Thank you Chris Johnston for setting us up with your studio, and to camera operator Sam Seeger!

Although our friend Adam has access to pricier broadcast equipment, he prefers lightweight gear for some shoots—the sub-$100 Tzumi SteadyGo gimbal to stabilize his 4K mobile phone. He’s also using an inexpensive MAONO lavalier microphone for audio, and often a selfie stick as a tripod substitute. I personally think Adam would really enjoy my favorite, simple piece of gear—the Pedco Ultra Clamp. *ding*

For Panasonic GH5 V-Log footage, I’ve enjoyed a LUT called VLog_to_V709_Varicam, included in this free zip file of LUTs created by Mitch Lally.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 75: Pre-Production Meeting

Episode 75: Pre-Production Meeting

Nick and Griffin plan which microphones and cameras they’ll need for next week’s three-person shoot. Plus, your questions about sound on a budget documentary, upgrading your editing machine, and when you need a location release to sell stock footage.

The Faustian Man wondered why I don’t more actively promote my film Sriracha on the podcast. He says, “I watched it last night still amazing! I love that doc.” It’s free on Amazon Prime.

Kasey asked about music libraries. Episode 47 discusses the topic in-depth. For my music, I use and recommend Artlist. I’m also an affiliate, so I receive a commission if you sign up.

Listen to Alex Ferrari’s interview with Griffin on Episode 258 of Indie Film Hustle—“Making Money with Documentaries & Sriracha with Griffin Hammond”

Griffin Hammond
Episode 74: Improvising DIY Film Gear

Episode 74: Improvising DIY Film Gear

When Griffin’s filmmaking equipment fails to arrive, he’s forced to improvise and build his own DIY solution. Plus, your questions about making money with cheap equipment, putting Canon glass on mirrorless cameras, and proper exposure for your productions.

I tried to order this $24 Tablet holder to mount my iPad to my DJI Mavic Air remote, but after USPS lost the package, I decided to build my own version by recycling pieces from a GH4 camera cage, a Reflex shoulder rig handle, and mounting this Joby GripTight for iPad.

In this episode, I also demonstrate how Drone Deploy created an auto-flight plan for my drone, and 3D-mapped my friend’s house.

Griffin Hammond