May 21, 2019

These Are the Tools Every DIY Filmmaker Should Have

All DIY filmmakers should think about adding these important (and usually affordable) tools to their kits.

There are some basic tools that every filmmaker needs, whether you're working on a big Hollywood production or a small indie film. And in most cases, you'll be able to find them in a basic hardware store at a cheap price.

Indy Mogul interviewed their site co-founder and famous do-it-yourselfer Erik Beck to get his top recommendation for tools every filmmaker needs. Watch the video below.

Basic hardware tools

A quick trip to Lowe's or Home Depot will get you squared away with a set of hex keys, an adjustable wrench, and a screwdriver with both flathead and Phillips-head options.

Beck also suggests keeping something like a Leatherman Skeletool on your person for a compact, multitool option. In your car, you can keep items like a moving blanket available.

Production tools

Along with tools you'll be utilizing on set, there are items you'll need for the production as a whole, like your basic tables, chairs, and dollies/hand trucks.

Indy Mogul focuses specifically on tools for lighting, which include spring clamps, trigger clamps, extension cords, and hand dimmers.

Some production supply companies will sell or rent these items at an extremely high markup, but it would be easier and cheaper for you to get some simple, cheap tables for crafting by yourself.

Beck recommends the Husky X-Workhorse Workbench for a foldable, compact table option. Cheap furniture pads and blankets can be used in lighting or to dampen sound. He also pointed out that headlamps are an easy way to increase visibility on set.

DIY lighting tools

With the advent of LED, DIY lighting has become easier and more affordable. In the video, Beck shows a couple of lighting set-ups he made with LED strip lighting which he diffuses with a shower curtain.

China balls (or paper lanterns) are a great option for soft, diffused light too. They're easy to use, and the lantern is usually cheap.

Bead board remains an industry standard for reflecting light, and you can make your own for just a few bucks.

We've got even more options on cheap LED lighting.

Credit: Indy Mogul

3D printers?

The video goes a bit off the rails to talk about the possibility of 3D printing filmmaking equipment, but the long story short is...it's not practical. You could theoretically get a plan to print something like a shoulder rig, but the time needed to print it then prep it would be significant. You also shouldn't print anything that's load-bearing.

If you're super inventive and know what you're doing, there is an opportunity to invent whole new tools with 3D printing. For instance, Beck made a rig to use a GoPro with an Osmo Mobile 2. He also built a motion control rig similar to the Bolt.

If you're ready to take the plunge, a 3D printer will set you back a few hundred dollars.

What's next? Check out our other gear recommendations.

We've got you covered on options for tools under $10, gadgets under $50, and other essentials for your gear bag. If you're working with a lot of mounting screws, you'll probably want a rabbit key    

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2 Comments

Best Filmmaker DIY tool: a loving spouse with a well paying job that has full health benefits to support your expensive hobby

May 22, 2019 at 2:58PM

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Reply
Zeb Tao
94

Blackwrap Cinefoil. You can use it to black out windows, flag practical lights, shape light.

May 22, 2019 at 8:25PM, Edited May 22, 8:24PM

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Batutta
251