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12 Essential Filmmaking Tools Under $20

Caleb Ward

When going on-set, you can’t afford NOT to get these 12 cheap essential filmmaking tools!

Filmmaking can be a really expensive craft. Between buying a nice camera, lenses, audio equipment, rigs, and accessories, you are looking at thousands of dollars in equipment. However, some of the most useful equipment you can have on can have on-set won’t break the bank.

Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter has shared 12 essential pieces of filmmaking equipment that you can pick up for less than $20.

1. Travel Bags

Travel bags really help in staying organized on set. Most have a spot where you can label them according to your needs. They come in a variety of sizes making them a must-have on set.

Price: $18 for pack of 7

2. Sandbags

An improperly anchored light can be a real safety hazard on set. Even if it doesn’t hit anyone the light still is probably going to break. It’s a silly mistake that can fixed by simply placing a sandbag on the light stand.

Price: $20 for 4

3. Clamps

Clamps have an innumerable number of uses on a set. From holding back cables to quick set-fixes, you need to have clamps close by.

Price: $5 for 4

4. Rope

Besides simply tying things off, rope allows you to organize things that are easily lost like gaff tape and clamps.

Price: $8

5. Gaff Tape

Gaff tape is probably the most useful tool you can have on set. Gaff tape allows you to tape down cables, place actor marks, label stuff, and make giant dodge balls once production is done!

Price: $16 for 30 yards

6. HDMI Cables

HDMI Cables


Whether you’re outputting for recording or simply monitoring, HDMI cables are great to have on set. Instead of using a 6ft cable for your camera rig try using a thin and extra short cable to prevent clutter.

Price: $7

7. Cable Bag

Instead of having your cables loose on set, try using a cable bag. Cable bags have dividers that help keep cables organized and easy to find.

Price: $17

8. Clapboard

A clapboard is probably one of the most easily recognized tools on a film set. If you are recording audio and video separately having a clapboard will save you a lot of frustration in post.

Price: $20

9. Split Power Strip

A power strip with split ends allows you to plug in multiple “boxy” AC plugs into the same power strip. No more filling up an entire strip with just 3 things plugged in.

Price: $15

10. Extension cords

Extension cords are a must have on any set. You will always need 1 more than what you currently have…

Price: $7

11. Allen Keys

Allen keys are great for tightening down tripod legs, rigs, or any other equipment that might need regular maintenance.

Price: $12 for 2

12. Field Notebooks

You never know when you will need to take a quick note. You can use field notebooks to write down script notes, editing notes, or autographs for when your fans see you.

Price: $10

The following video created by Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter shows us his list of essential filmmaking tools:

This video was first shared on the DSLR Video Shooter YouTube Channel. Thanks for sharing, Caleb!

As Caleb Pike recommends in the video, an Amazon Prime account will most assuredly save you a lot of money on shipping. I use this service very frequently to buy cheap filmmaking gear and it has paid for itself over and over again.

Know of any other cheap filmmaking gear under $20? Share in the comments below.