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    DIY butterfly / overhead / scrim jim
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    Senior Member adamrahn's Avatar
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    Took some inspiration from various threads and posts here and created what I think is a pretty darn professional DIY scrim jim for just under $80. Tutorial: https://youtu.be/h0onCLUDn-c


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    Looks good, now I'm tempted to build one, after I finish the six other DIY projects I already started. How did you attach the spigots to the EMT? Do the pipes twist in the wind?


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    Senior Member Patryk_Rebisz's Avatar
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    Ok. let me break down the math for you:
    $80 = materials
    $50/h x10 = research
    $50/h x5 = actual building
    TOTAL cost = $830.
    (v around $500 to buy it commercially)
    Patryk Rebisz
    director/DP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryk_Rebisz View Post
    Ok. let me break down the math for you:
    $80 = materials
    $50/h x10 = research
    $50/h x5 = actual building
    TOTAL cost = $830.
    (v around $500 to buy it commercially)
    First, why necro a post just to be a jerk?

    Second, your calculation isn't even particularly accurate. Valuing time at 4x minimum wage is aggressive for the population that would undertake this kind of project, and you're treating both research and building as sunk costs (they aren't).

    Finally, who do you think is going to do a better job of fixing a problem with any device (DIY or commercial) on set? Someone who has been buying equipment off the shelf his whole life or someone with experiencing researching and making.


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    Senior Member Patryk_Rebisz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcoughla View Post
    First, why necro a post just to be a jerk?
    Not necessary a jerk but rather having fun with how people misperceived reality - $80 scrim jim - yeah right.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcoughla View Post
    Second, your calculation isn't even particularly accurate. Valuing time at 4x minimum wage is aggressive for the population that would undertake this kind of project, and you're treating both research and building as sunk costs (they aren't).
    This a minimum wage rate for any half-decent DP.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcoughla View Post
    Finally, who do you think is going to do a better job of fixing a problem with any device (DIY or commercial) on set? Someone who has been buying equipment off the shelf his whole life or someone with experiencing researching and making.
    You know who's gonna do better job on the set with something as rudimentary as a 4x4 frame - a half-decent grip guy who has set up said frame hundreds of times before without need to second-quess how this specific engineer resolved fundamental problems. Sorry, but i build a ton of custom made stuff and the perceived savings are imaginary at best. And for the record, i GET IT, sometimes working on personal projects is very satisfying. I also get it that the human mind wants to excuse the time spend on the personal project by making up imaginary claims of the money saved.
    Patryk Rebisz
    director/DP
    www.ShoulderTheLion.com - my feature-length documentary
    www.TupeloProductions.com - my production company
    www.PatrykRebisz.com - my directing/DP work
    gear, gear, gear for rent in NYC area!!! >>> www.PatrykRebisz.com/lights.html
    (917) 291-2565


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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryk_Rebisz View Post
    Not necessary a jerk but rather having fun with how people misperceived reality - $80 scrim jim - yeah right.
    Ya, it's worth thinking about those issues. Maybe researching and building it was fun.
    Not everything needs to be billable. Like, I don't charge you all for my posts to dvxuser. ;-)
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    Senior Member adamrahn's Avatar
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    Thanks for watching, Patryk. While I disagree with your breakdown math (if it takes you 10 hrs to research 5 hrs to make you're doing something wrong.... I mean I made an entire video for you to cut all the research out, and while it might take a few hours 5 seems excessive....) I totally agree that it IS important to understand that the benefits of DIY gear don't always outweigh the cost savings. For this project, like most of my DIY ones, I made 2 of these, so my costs, even by your calculations, would be around $910 for 2, which is still cheaper than two retail versions ($1,000). For me it's less about actually saving money and more about teaching others that the barrier to entry on GOOD gear, even if homemade, is low and to encourage people to try things out for themselves. DIY stuff, being a maker, whatever you want to call it, is about creating things and this site is about being video creators.


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    I find this project to be superior to the Scrim Jim. It's all metal. It uses standard grometted fabric from any vendor which in turn provides for a wider selection of fabrics than Scrim Jim. It doesn't require the proprietary clamp. I never liked the Scrim Jim. I've seen it at shows and was not impressed. The connectors are so-so and plastic. It uses velcro which is cumbersome to use (I avoid velco whenever I can). It requires the use of only Scrim Jim fabrics since they have to have the velcro, which leaves you with a limited selection. At first glance, I far prefer this frame to the Scrim Jim frame. One improvement I would make is to use a bigger knob for the screws. You can't get those little thumb screws very tight without a tool.

    DIY has negative connotations for many as it often is seen as an inferior, poor man's solution (and it often is). It's not for everyone. Some people are busy with their craft as a DP and DIY is just a waste of valuable time. Professional people are not going to be caught dead on set with a dorky looking Youtube DIY. Others find it a means to an end. But DIY does not have to mean inferior. I find this DIY to be quite superior to the Scrim Jim.
    Last edited by Paul F; 09-19-2018 at 06:57 PM.


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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patryk_Rebisz View Post
    This a minimum wage rate for any half-decent DP.
    Yes, but that doesn't mean it is costing them that much to build this.

    Absolutely, don't give up paid work over making this DIY scrim!

    But what if you've got time off between jobs? Many of us freelancers have big chunks of spare time between gigs if it is during the slow part of the year. What better way to spend it than by upgrading/expanding bits of your kit?

    Plus, some people might just enjoy doing this for the fun of it! Thus the time spent is certainly not a cost factor, but part of the enjoyment itself!

    Additionally there are many dvxusers who would be hobbyists / newbie pros, who a build like this could be perfectly targeted for.
    Am a Sound Recordist in New Zealand: http://ironfilm.co.nz/sound/
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    I had to try this frame, so I built one for a 6x6 silk I have. I made the frame using 3/4" conduit instead of the 1/2" Adam used. I used conduit couplers in the middle so I could have the frame break down into 3' sections. I was concerned that it would have the same problem the Scrim Jim has, but it is rock solid. Having the screws tightening the pipes into the fittings makes all the difference. What's nice about this is that you can make up any size frame you like. Need a 12x12'? Use 1" pipe. How about a 20' x 20' with 1-1/4" pipe. Professional, versatile, solid; Cool. I'm sold on this solution. Thanks Adam.


    Here is one section of the frame with a coupler in the middle. This allows it to be broken down into 3' sections. I will get some 1/4-20 knobs so I won't need a screwdriver to assemble it.

    Last edited by Paul F; 09-22-2018 at 03:00 PM.


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