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Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

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Film production consists of non-linear methods and processes, using various technologies like CGI, animation, etc. 

It comprises several complex processes, including the scripting, casting, screening, recording of sound, pre-production, and editing, and filming the finished product before a public that can lead to the release of a film and production of a certain amount, including an initial plot, concept, or a commission. 

Filming is done using a range of technology and filmmaking tools and techniques, and carried out in several locations around the world, to ensure the creation of a film that reaches out to the audience.

A film is produced to convey or depict a story or an idea. It is not always necessary that filmmaking has to be expensive, for it to be good. Awesome films, including short films, can be produced with budget filmmaking equipment. All you need are good, basic filmmaking tools and gears which fit right into your budget.

Apart from a couple of filmmaking courses on Udemy here are some noteworthy YouTube Channels which aspiring filmmakers should follow. They have interviews of writers, directors, producers, and techniques along with some wonderful tips on filmmaking.

Filmmaking Equipment and Filmmaking Gears to help you shoot an independent film on a tight budget

One of the most interesting and exciting aspects of filmmaking for a filmmaker is the filmmaking gears and the filmmaking tools that enable the filmmaker to shoot and produce an awesome film.

After reading this article, I hope I hope you can start your filmmaking process using the right tools and equipment or make an independent short film ready for distribution.

so, the type of equipment needed to make a film would be:

1. Screenwriting Software

2. Camera

3. Lenses

4. Tripods or Camera Support

5. Microphone

6. Lighting Equipment

7. Video Editor

8. Audio Editor

9. External Monitor

10. Storage

Choosing the right kind of equipment is very important to make sure of the best experience during the production of a film.

1. Screenwriting software

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

Being a filmmaker, you should have thorough knowledge about screenwriting, and a screenwriting software can help you in the process of writing a screenplay. 

Celtx and Final Draft are the most preferred by screenwriters. However, I have also used Kit Scenarist and it has all the features you need to start writing and formatting your screenplay.

Screenwriting software is designed to concentrate on words, characters, and stories, which is the actual creative writing part of screenwriting. 

If you haven’t got a screenwriting degree from a university, no worries, learning from courses online and applying to competitions to get feedback from experts is a good way to start. If you have unique storytelling skills, it won’t be much hard for you to learn the art of screenwriting. It’s getting into the industry that is most difficult and requires a lot of patience.

2. Camera

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

Choosing the right kind of Camera is the first step in making your film. The camera you choose to use to film depends on your budget as well as the kind of films you want to make. Different cameras are good for different kinds of filming.

When budget filmmaking is concerned, three basic and main types of camera are there which can be chosen as per your requirement and preference in filmmaking tool. These include the mirrorless camera, or DSLRs, camcorders, and cinema cameras.

For starting, the best choice for most people has been seen to be the mirrorless camera or the DSLR. You can start by using the Panasonic G85.  


  • Mid-range as a filmmaking and video tool
  • Has a 12-60 lens
  • Shoots both 4K and 1080p video
  • Is equipped with image stabilization. 
  • Shoots videos in slow motion. 

Price: $698 

Buy the Panasonic G85

3. Lenses

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

Buying the right kind of lens for your camera can make all the difference to your filmmaking process. 

Provided you are buying a camera with an interchangeable lens, you can either buy the camera body and the lenses separately, or they can be bought as a kit along with the camera. 

It is recommended to add a budget and affordable 50m lens that allows taking shots in low light makes creative shallow focus. The Panasonic Lumix G lens is a good suggestion due to its features.


  • Lightweight 
  • Compact 
  • Has hybrid photography enabled 
  • Easy and smooth HD recording.

Price: $200

Buy the Panasonic Lumix G Lens

4. Tripods or Camera Support

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

To keep your camera steady, even without its image stabilization feature, it is important for you as a filmmaker to own an important filmmaking gear, which is the Tripod or the Camera support. 

Even though some cameras do have an inbuilt stabilization feature, most film and video makers use camera support or a tripod sometimes or the other. 

Tripods help you to pan your camera and tilt it smoothly while shooting for your film. A fluid head tripod helps you with that, while filmmaking gears like sliders help you to take smooth tracking shots, gimbal stabilizers useful to take continuous fluid shots as well as jibs that catch vertical movements of the camera. 

To start with though, you can give the Davis & Sanford TR553-P228 a try.


  • Lightweight
  • Easily carryable for outdoor use
  • Has Arca-Swiss compatible release plate that enables you to efficiently attach and remove your camera from the tripod. 

Price: $100

Buy the Davis & Sanford TR553-P228

5. Microphones ($200 – 700)

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

The process of filmmaking is incomplete without sound. The selection of what sounds are to be a part of the films and which ones are to be not, need careful consideration.

And the best way to capture and incorporate these sounds into the film is to use a separate microphone

Separate microphones help to capture sounds right from near the source of the sounds. There are also different kinds of microphones depending on the kind of sounds you want to capture and incorporate in your filming. 

These microphones are:

  1. The Lavalier Microphones – ($20)

These are worn on clothes. These can also be a set of a wireless mic and a separate recorder that can be attached to the person’s clothes to record voices better. 

The BOYA BY-M1 is an easily affordable clip-on Lavalier mic, has low handling noise as well as is suitable for DSLRs, separate audio recorders, camcorders, and smartphones.

  1. Wireless Microphones – ($400)

Even though radio or wireless microphones tend to be a bit on the expensive side, wireless microphones are an important filmmaking gear, if considered in your budget. 

Microphones like the Rode Wireless Go are not only an affordable option under $400 but are also compact. Moreover, the transmitter clip-on already has an inbuilt microphone.

3. Directional Microphones ($300 – $700)

Directional microphones can also be called super-cardioid microphones as they focus on picking up the sound from the front, cutting out the sound coming from different other directions, and are generally used to film a drama scene. 

The Rode NTG-3, priced at $700, can be considered a good example of a directional microphone used as a filmmaking tool, as it does not only have less handling noise but is also more durable, with better sound quality. 

However, this gear requires a separate preamp and has its use limited to professional cameras.

Compared to this, the Rode VideoMic Pro is less priced under $300, has its own inbuilt suspension system to cut down the handling noise, does not need a preamp, and can easily be mounted or attached to the camera. 

4. Audio Recorders  ($200)

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

Audio recorders can be used when you want to capture the audio sounds using a different audio recording system and then editing and compiling those sounds into your films through editing software. 

These audio recorders play a vital role in providing the proper sound effects to the shot, especially, where the cameras have only the basic options for recording sounds like the many still cameras.

The Zoom H1n Digital recorder priced under $200, is such an audio recorder that is easy to operate, is a budget filmmaking gear, and can even be connected to external microphones, apart from the great inbuilt stereo headphones.

Buy The Zoom H1n

6. Lighting Equipment ($50-$100)

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

High-Quality videos and films can be filmed only when the lighting of the shot is controlled and the right amount. 

Such high-quality lighting tools make a fundamental part of the filmmaking tools and equipment, as it is a very basic requirement to create the right visual mood, the aesthetic, the atmosphere of the shot as well as its appeal to the audience.

The CFL softbox lights are a good option, priced under $100, to start and set up a budget film studio. 

Moreover, to enhance the natural lighting, you can also get the 5 in 1 reflector, priced under $50, which is foldable and affordable, to either help reflect or diffuse the lighting, as per the filmmaking requirement.

7. Video Editors

After the film has been produced and shot, editing the audio and the video is the fundamental part of the filmmaking process. It is very much important and can be learned easily as well. 

You can edit videos on phones and tablets these days. Some editors are made for Macs and some work on Windows, Linux, and Mac. I have listed 3 below

  1. Final Cut Pro X 
  2. iMovie
  3. Filmora

There are many other similar software tools available for free and at a premium price. If you are just starting out in the industry, I recommend starting out with an OpenShot, which is free and nice tutorials on YouTube about it.  

Masterclass has a beautiful article on video editing. Here’s another one on audio editing too. 

8. Audio Editors

There are a variety of audio editors out in the market right now. Some are audio editors for editing podcasts, recordings, webinars, background noise, and a hell lot of other applications. 

  1. Adobe Audition CC
  2. Acoustica
  3. Hindenberg Journalist

For editing a film on a budget, the most recommended by other independent filmmakers is Audacity and Ocenaudio. Both are completely free and they have many tutorials on YouTube about it. I prefer Audacity.

9. External Monitor

Filmmaking Tools & Gears to make an Independent Film on a Budget

For you to decide on getting an external monitor, you need to consider the requirement of the monitor.

Whether you want it for just displaying the image, or it has both displays and records the image or, whether you want it to display and transmit it simultaneously and wirelessly – this determines the kind of monitor you should get. 

External monitors can help produce external output that offers a higher depth or sub-sampled chroma than solely the internal recording features of the cameras. Feelworld FW568 is a nice option.


  • Video input or output in 4K HDMI format, without delay
  • Can be attached to any camera.

Price: $150

Buy the Feelworld FW568 for $130.

10. Storage ($80-200)

An important filmmaking tool a filmmaker needs is external storage spaces. If you are doing small projects like music videos or short films and alike, all the video files can be stored on the main drive of your system. 

However, if the projects are large, and their videos are of a bigger size, that’s when external drives are required to not only store those video files but also back them up. These external drives can either be SSD (Solid State Drives) or Hard Drives.

While SSDs are a bit on the expensive side with prices starting from $200, if the films are to be shot within a budget, a hard drive is then preferable, with prices starting from about $80.

So even if you have a tight budget and still want to make an awesome film, you can do so, using all these affordable and budget filmmaking tools and gears. 

You can also check out some screenwriting websites or filmmaking YouTube channels on the side while experimenting with independent filmmaking.

Go and check these tools and gears now and kick start your film! Let me know in the comments below if you have more recommendations and your filmmaking process.

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