July 11, 2018

35 Filmmaking Items That You Can Get from the Dollar Store

Gear and supplies don't have to cost an arm and a leg. A dollar will do.

Amassing gear is really difficult sometimes, mostly because, damn it, it cost so much money. But, if you're a fan of DIY filmmaking and don't mind repurposing cheap stuff for your cinematic aspirations, then you should check out this video in which Dave Knop (a.k.a. knoptop) takes you through the Dollar Store (or the Dollar Tree, whatever) to show you just how many filmmaking items you can get for just a $1. Check it out below:

I have to admit, I love a good deal and I love cruising the friggin Dollar Store (and not just for movie candy). If you've got a clever eye, you can find tons of great supplies hidden in its aisles that will make your filmmaking process a hell of a lot easier and won't cost you more than a dollar. 

Here's a list of all of the things knoptop mensions in the video:

  • Earbuds: so you always have an emergency pair
  • Color duct tape: For focus pulling and marks
  • Batteries: Can never have too many
  • Extension cords: Again, can never have too many
  • Rubber bands: Useful in so many ways: wrapping cables and other gear, getting a smooth pan
  • Dry-erase board: For writing stuff, obviously, but also for white balancing
  • Index cards: Great for pre-production planning
  • Nasal aspirator: A potential DIY lens blower
  • Felt pads: To deaden the sound of props
  • Clothespins: Super cheap C-47s
  • Self-adhesive hooks: For hanging your cables and gear
  • Paracord: A DIY wriststrap for your camera
  • Eyeglass cleaning cloths: Lens cloth alternative
  • Shower curtain liner: A DIY diffuser
  • Mesh bag: Can be used as a gear bag
  • Aluminum foil: For lighting
  • White garbage bags: DIY lens diffusion
  • Lint roller: Duh, for getting any type of debris off of your talent's clothes
  • See-through color dividers: Boom! $1 color gels
  • LED bulbs: Great for clamp lights
  • Random LED lights: You can never have too many little LEDs
  • Clipboards: For production documents
  • Notebooks: For taking notes...in a book
  • Highlighters: Always come in handy
  • Clip-on wide angle lens: For a buck, it's worth a shot (pun intended)
  • Doorstop:  So many great uses for these things
  • Poster tack: Good for mounting little things to other things
  • Foam boards: For bouncing and flagging light
  • Paintbrush:  For dusting stuff off
  • Fake candlelight light: A potentially cool practical light or prop
  • Fake flowers: Good for set dressing
  • Silver plastic silverware: They look real enough to dress your set with them
  • Paper tape: Good for labeling or mounting lavs
  • Earplugs:  If you're filming a concert or something loud like that
  • Mini mesh strainer: A DIY windscreen

What is your greatest filmmaking find from the Dollar Store? What are some other dirt cheap ($1 or less) items that turned out to be really useful on set? Let us know in the comments below.     

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2 Comments

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July 13, 2018 at 9:34AM

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prashnat
seo
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Do not use duct tape for marks or on camera equipment. It leaves an adhesive residue that can be hard to remove. You shouldn't even use gaffer tape for camera and marks. There's a reason why camera tape is specific. It's also not that expensive.

August 12, 2018 at 6:47AM

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