My 5 Favorite Cheap Tools for Filmmaking
Filmmaking is inherently tool-centric
You need tools to make films. Often we think we need thousands of dollars of gear, but we really only need our phone and a piece of posterboard to use as a bounce. I've worked on a wide range of projects, from $0 personal instagram videos to a multi-million-dollar ESPN show, and there are a few tools that I find are helpful no matter what your budget is.
Quick disclaimer: Starting this month on my Patreon I'm giving away Amazon gift cards to randomly selected Patrons, and I was trying to figure out the best things you could buy with them. I figured I'd make those thoughts public ;)
1: Nite Ize DooHicKey - $5
Every filmmaker needs a good flathead on them at all times, and I've found this to be the one I keep track of best. I have a regular stubby screwdriver in my bag at all times, but having a little flathead right on your keychain or belt loop is fantastic for when a QR plate starts randomly wiggling on you. It doubles as a great little box cutter/bottle opener, but the main thing here is the screwdriver.
2: Nite Ize Twist Ties - $20
I promise Nite Ize didn't sponsor this post, I just love their stuff. These rubberized moldable twist ties are one of my best kept secrets. I mainly use them on my light modifiers - 6x6 silk and bounce - in place of traditional ties. Since they are moldable I'll often quickly bend them into hooks on location and hang them from the back of a kino, a grip arm, a practical curtain rod... Your options are endless. They're also way faster than regular ties for quickly mounting to a frame.
In the gallery below you can see some examples of mounting a Silk using these ties.
3: Double Ended 1/4-20 Adapters - $7
These are the kind of thing you never realize you need until you have a few on hand. They're great for mounting mic receivers, shock mounts, and anything else that normally has a female 1/4-20 mounting point. I try to keep a few of these on me at all times, with a few more back at the office.
4: Gaff Tape - $17
This one needs barely any explaining. You should always have gaff tape on you. I keep a number of colors around for different things, but I like having white for labeling memory cards and cases.
5: Batteries - price May Vary
Another self explanatory one. Stuff needs batteries, Amazon has them cheap. I try to stay stocked on AAs and 9vs, with the occasional refill on AAAs as well.
Welp, those 5 things went really fast.. Maybe I have to make this a series of posts of my favorite cheap tools and where to get them haha. Congratulations to the Patreon winners of the Amazon gift cards, and maybe next month they'll be YOU!
What are your favorite cheap tools?