Five Tools That Run-and-Gun Filmmakers Need

5 Must Have Filmmaking Tools
Credit: Film Riot
These tools are affordable and will take your production to another level.

Everyone is trying to build out their kits and assemble the best tools possible to make their projects stand out. If you're a low-budget indie filmmaker, you might feel behind the game sometimes, or priced out of that high-end gear.

But the best tools don't always have to be expensive. Sometimes, you can even make them yourself. Heck, we've got a whole slew of DIY filmmaking articles. But if you're ready for a slight upgrade, or just looking for affordable and reliable tools, then check this out.

Film Riot put together this awesome list of must-have gear for run-and-gun indie filmmakers. Check out their video, then get into the main takeaways.

1. Aputure MC

The MC is an affordable and portable little light that includes hue, saturation, and intensity color control. It's bright, able to fit in your pocket, and comes with a magnetized back, so you can stick it almost anywhere. What more could you ask for as an indie filmmaker? And with the RGB color control, you can get the light to cast any color you can dream of.

You can also buy several at your own pace, and create your own kit. Multiple units can be synced and controlled through Aputure's Sidus Link app.

You can buy the light here.

Credit: Film Riot

2. FX lenses

You can achieve cool effects and image manipulation in real-time by adding an easy FX lens filter to your build.

We've written over the years about the cool prisms and kaleidoscope lenses you can use from PrismLensFX. They're highlighted again here! These filters and prisms are an easy way to achieve dreamlike effects in-camera. For example, I just rewatched Alex Garland's Annihilation, and you could probably achieve similar rainbow refractions by using one of this company's prisms.

Or what about our old friend the split diopter? PrismLensFX makes a lens-mounted split diopter filter and a handheld filter.

These are simple tools that can do a lot to set you apart.

3. Haze

Few effects work harder than haze or fog. Add a bit of haze to your scene, and suddenly the atmosphere is vaulted to an eleven. A plain set suddenly becomes sexy or mysterious. Your lighting changes in interesting ways. And it's so easy to achieve.

Film Riot recommends Atmosphere Aerosol for a quick fix on haze. Here's another "haze in a can" for an easy, cheap option.

Haze is a thin, smoky diffusion that hangs in the air. The benefit of haze (rather than fog) is that it is a thinner, lighter effect that works quickly and stays in the air for long periods. This is great for long shoots.

Another option would be to rent or find a lower-cost hazer like the ones made by CHAUVET.

Credit: Film Riot

4. Boom Pole Holder

Who needs another set of hands? Just get the Auray Boom Pole Holder for $25!

This is a perfect tool for static shots and small crews. If you have one person camera operating and the other appearing as talent, you don't need another crew member to hold the boom.

No more worrying about tired arms, and the mic won't drop into your shot unless your C-stand decides to peace out.

5. Sound effects

One area you do not want to skimp on is sound. Bad sound can make or break your project, so it's worth it to shell out a few bucks if you have to.

Film Riot here highlights a service called Soundly. Soundly is a cloud-based sound effects app with a free version, although they use the paid tier at $15 per month. This gets you 10 gigabytes of cloud storage.

Here are some additional options for music and sound effects:

What are some of your must-have tools for your indie film projects? Leave your tips in the comments!

For more tools...

Check out these free editing transitions. Here's another free download for DaVinci Resolve LUTs. And if you're looking for DIY hacks, we've put together an easy, cheap list for you    

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