Household Items That Could Come in Handy During Film Production

When you’re budgeting for your film, regardless of genre or length, saving money is vital and getting that budget down to as little as possible can make or break the decision to get your film made. So we’ve compiled a list of things you can find around your house that may come in handy if you need that little bit of reassurance and inspiration so you can go out and start shooting your film tomorrow and become a filmmaker! Some of these money-saving techniques are obviously going to be more beneficial than others, but you may one day thank me for letting you know that you can make your shoes shiny with Vegetable Oil, who knows!

steadicamMake your own Steadicam 

You can make your own using items you can find in a garden shed (preferably that of someone you know)! If you want that cinematic feel for your low budget production that you think cannot be achieved with jerky camera movement then building your own steadicam is the way forward. There are a number of how-to videos online, but this how-to video is great for British Filmmakers as unlike its respectable US counterparts, all the parts are actually available in this country and therefore have a chance of being discarded in your garage – and if you can’t find the parts at home, you can get it all for just £9.50.


Wire Organiser

The cardboard tube from a finished toilet/kitchen roll is a brilliantly simple and inventive tool for keeping wires tangle-free.

It keeps them organized and can save a lot of time on set, as well as help keep you structured so if someone asks you for a specific item you can pull it out in seconds instead of fumbling around an old tool box filled with countless wires!

veg oilVegetable Oil for Shoe Shine

Whether you need someone in your film playing a high flying business man and need the shoes to complete the look, or you need to look your best for an important meeting with some showbiz big-timers, using vegetable oil from your kitchen as shoe polish instead of paying for shoe polish will help save those pennies!

poly-boardFree Lighting Kit

Lights are probably one of the most costly pieces of film equipment. There are two ways in which lighting can be done on the cheap if not for free. The first is to shoot in something called the Golden Hour which is the hour just after sunset or before sunrise.  All you need is the Sun (which I think is free to use) and a white reflective surface like polystyrene that you can find in somebody’s house or garage, or bin (with their permission of course) to get rid of any unwanted shadows.

The second is to build your own lights. Now the problem with building your own lighting kit is that you will not get the same high quality level of durability or reliability as you would with a profession kit, but if you’re on a budget then you have to do what you can afford.  Here’s a video which feature items on how to build your own lighting kits from scratch:

See the rest of the list at


About slfinn

Program Director for Winter Film Awards

Posted on June 25, 2013, in Filmmaking Tips & Advice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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