Episode 6: Frugal Filmmaking Purchases under $20

Episode 6: Frugal Filmmaking Purchases under $20

Starting with their 2010 gear list, Griffin and Nick share their cheapest filmmaking purchases—many under $20. From great value to total crap. Plus, your questions about audio drift, neutral density filters, and which camera features actually matter.

The original budgeting spreadsheet that Nick and Griffin used to purchase their first high-definition video equipment in March 2010.

My current gear list is at http://griffinhammond.com/gear

Our most frugal purchases:

  • $20 Kopul XLR to ⅛” adapter—good for using my battery-powered shotgun mic directly into the camera

  • $19 Auray pop filter—the filter is fine, but the arm and clamp “are just garbage.”

  • $17 Pedco Ultra Clamp—by far my favorite camera accessory. I have three, and even made a whole video about it.

  • $30 Giottos M621 quick release—I bought a bunch of these to standardize camera mounts across my gear.

  • $27 Cowboy Studio shoulder mount—”total garbage,” according to Nick, but can you find a cheaper shoulder rig?

  • $129 Manfrotto leveling column—NOT FRUGAL, but wow has it saved me hours of leveling my camera! Worth it.

  • (found on eBay for $160) Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lens—Lenses hold onto value well, so consider buying used, and selling later. You may get all your money back!

  • $400 education discount on Final Cut Pro X—students/teachers/staff (with school e-mail address) get FCPX, Compressor, Motion and Logic Pro for only $199. I paid $299 for FCPX in 2011—with all the free revision upgrades, it’s only cost me $4.50/month.

  • $149 Azden wireless lav mics—Even expensive wireless mics can run into interference issues, but I wouldn’t recommend wireless mics this cheap.

  • $6 Sensei step-up rings—Instead of buying neutral density filters for every lens size I own, I have several step-up ring adapters to use one ND filter across multiple lenses.

Hey Indie Filmmakers is brought to you by Tongal—a creative network connecting filmmakers with brands. Visit Tongal.com/Projects

Special thank you to Sam for sending me his Azden shock mount! Check out his YouTube channel, Sun Pixel Video, where he shares filmmaking techniques he’s learned.

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Griffin Hammond