All indie filmmakers want to shoot their content in low budget, therefore, we’ll list out cheaper gears and filmmaking techniques so that you can perform Low Budget Filmmaking.
If you have story to tell you don’t need hollywood cameras, You have it in your pocket.Wise Filmmaker Quote this.
Let us see how we can do low budget filmmaking which is affordable to indie guys and me of course 😀.
What is the most important thing to shoot video? A Camera.
Low Budget Video Camera for Filmmaking
Let’s see what options are available for use in this expensive world.
- Cinema Camera like Red Spic, Arri Alexa, Canon Cinema EOS, Panavision Genesis: Cinema cameras are a very powerful tool for filmmaking but these thousands of dollars camera is out of budget for us to film. Out of Choice in Low Budget Filmmaking ❌
- Professional DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras: We have lots of options for DSLR and Mirrorless cameras like Canon EOS R, Sony a9, Sony a7R III, Nikon z7 etc. Similarly, these are expensive cameras to film video content for indie filmmakers(If you do not have thousands of dollars 😃). Out of Choice in Low Budget Filmmaking ❌
- iPhone Camera, Android Camera or Cheap DSLR or Mirrorless camera: As indie guys, you should always think of a cheap solution to a problem. First, check your pocket it might have some amazing 4K shooting capability. If you don’t have money to spend on a cheap camera then definitely go with your Mobile phone camera. If you can spend $300 to $500 on a good camera then go following cameras. These are the best value for the price camera. ✅
We are not going to review each camera but these the best choice in our list of the low budget film camera. Cheap DSLR and Mirrorless Camera Systems:
- Nikon D3200
- Sony Alpha a5000
- Canon EOS Rebel T5
- Panasonic Lumix G7 4K
- Panasonic Lumix GX80 / 85
- Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
- Panasonic Lumix LX100
What we need second to capture a good piece of video content.
Audio is Important in Film
Audio is as important as video, and you won’t get great audio with the microphone in your camera or phone. Even if you are on a tight budget please go for an external mic. Watch this video on how important is audio in film.
We’ll not talk about various kind of microphone available in the market with expensive tags. How you to choose the right audio when we have various options are available like Lavalier microphones, Directional microphones, Wireless microphones. Do not worry about these high-end terms for audio. We are going to list some the low budget filmmaking audio equipment that is good with its price.
- Boya BY-M1 – Lavalier Microphone (long lead and strong output, works with camera and phones too.)
- Rode smartLav+ – The Best microphone to work with iPhone from Rode.
- Rode VideoMicro – Small and On-Camera Microphone.
One most important thing when shooting video is to listen to audio that is been recording. So choose external recorder if possible cause most cameras don’t have a headphone jack so Indie filmmakers take this as a challenge and come up with a solution and comment.
So now we come to the stability of shots.
Budget Stabilizer For Steady Shot
In addition, to stabilize video some Camera has inbuilt stabilization and some lenses are also capable of image stabilization technique. We are on a tight budget so either we have a camera with stabilization or expensive lens.
We have to move for some cheaper options to stabilize our shot. First, let’s see what the market has.
- Handheld Video stabilizer (Mechanical)
- Electronic Gimbal
- Tripod (With Fluid Head)
The electronic gimbals are expensive but easy to configure. Mechanical video stabilizers are good options but take too much time to configure. Tripod can be expensive or cheap according to choice. Mechanical Video Stabilizer’s configuration is time taken process but once done it’s very easy to take shots. Some times they feel heavy. Fluid head tripods are good for video shots. We are listing cheap tripod and mechanical stabilizers for the low budget filmmaking process.
- Velbon Videomate 638
- Magnus VT-300
- Neewer 24″/60cm Handheld Stabilizer
- Flycam HD-3000 24″/60cm
What we need next that is budget-friendly and as important as other things? Lights, Reflector may be.
Light, Reflector & Diffusers
I think we should not cover Light and Reflectors/Diffusers cause we already have Natural light, CFL bulbs for lights. For Reflectors/Diffusers, we can use clothing pieces.
You have some bucks to spend on some good equipment then go for Five in One Reflectors. These reflectors contain Diffuser (to soften light); Gold, White and Silver reflectors (to lighten shadows); Black (to block out light).
For lighting, we’ll recommend low budget options like:
- LED Light Kits
- CFL kits
- Chinese balls
Let’s cover some extra pre and post productions gears needed.
Low Budget Film Editing?
I love working on editing scenes. Editing is a place where the real magic happens. What we required to edit a video? A Computer and Video Editing Software. We all know these two-term pretty well but we wanted to cover some free video editing software that is good for indie film editing.
Some software work on Mac and Others on Windows systems. So choose your software respectively. We have tested some of this editing software on Macbook Pro 2015 and all work pretty well.
- Apple iMovie (Mac)
- LightWorks (Mac, Windows and Linux)
- DaVinci Resolve (Mac, Windows and Linux) (OUR CHOICE ✅)
- OpenShot Video Editor (Mac, Windows and Linux)
These Softwares are free and work well. DaVinci also has paid version. As an indie, you don’t require paid version cause DaVinci Resolve offer much more features in the free version than any other software in the market.
Bouns Tips for iPhone Filmmakers
iPhone camera is pretty good to shoot video and 4K video quality is also good but as a cinematographer, you always require manually control on your camera.
AppStore has some awesome manual camera apps. We really like the Filmic Pro app. It has the complete manual function to control moreover camera functions like ISO, exposure, image quality. It offers some purchase like cinematographer kit which contains a flat profile and some log profiles for colour correction.
Thanks. Comment if we have missed some important aspect of filmmaking which is a must in low budget filmmaking.
We have listed the cheapest options available in the market for low budget filmmaking. These all are just gears which are helpful to create content but the real power to create is in you.
Don’t make your self dependent on gears. Go and find a DIY solution to your filmmaking problems.
In the end, we always want a nice piece of content which audience love. They don’t know what gears and techniques used. Keep them entertained with your story is important.
You may find some good Youtube Channels to learn filmmaking. We have listed out some Top Filmmaking Youtube Channels. Check and let us know if you liked it.
Check our awesome post on Stages of Film Production.