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March 8, 2013 at 1:47 PMComments: 2 Faves: 1

Poor Man's Film

By Dayton from SLN More Blogs by This Author

I'm So Excited!

Regardless of what type of film you are trying to make, either a short advertisement or a feature, the same things are involved. You need cameras. You need computers. You need microphones. You need people that don't suck at their job. Unfortunately, all of these things cost copious amounts of money.

For example, take this typical camera setup below:

Your camera: Canon 6D. It's not the best option, it's a DSLR, but it is full frame and is relatively cheap, so we put it on the shopping list. $2,000

Your lenses: wanted LENSES with that camera? Okay, no biggie...we are running a tight ship here, so we won't get the really nice glass, but we still want to look professional, so let's get the Rokinon Cine lenses, they are a pretty good bang for your buck. Awesome. $1,800 (for 3 lenses)

Your camera rig: You need a proper follow focus and matte box if this is a pro shoot. $2,500

Your tripod: Depending on what you are going to use your tripod for will depend on which one you buy and how much it costs, but in our case we will just get a run-of-the-mill fluid head. $330

Yay! We have our camera rig all set and ready! It only cost us only a little over $6500!



Your production budget is only $1,200! What do we do? 

Panic. That is the proper response. Panic and break stuff in your alcohol-fueled filmy fury. 

After you have sufficiently panicked, go to sleep, but don't write the financial backers that you can't do the film just yet (those are the worst emails ever to write). After you wake from your stupor, get on your computer and go to, your life has now been made 1000% better.

What. Just. Happened?


What you have just witnessed is the cycle any typical first time filmmaker may go through when he is trying to use other people's money to make a flick to turn a profit. Luckily, though, you can totally ignore the panicked-rage, shock-and-awe part and skip right to renting your equipment!

Let me break it down, say you need everything for 2 or 3 days and you meticulously plan out a schedule that has those days in sequence. All of your talent, all of your crew, and all your locations are scheduled for Wednesday-Friday. Instead of trying to con your friends into giving you their money, (which may very well be lost to the great depths of Davy Jones locker, and not even the cool little cubby on top, that money will be resting on the bottom right next to the sweaty and stained jockstrap!), you could schedule your equipment to be rented for those 3 days. So instead of spending like $6,500, you have all the SAME equipment for much less.


Canon 6D: $78

Rokinon Cine Lenses: $50

Redrock Cinema Bundle: $150

Manfrotto 028B Tripod and 503HDV head: $45

Which brings us to a grand total of: $323!

So now you have procured the necessary equipment for a fraction of the price of actually buying everything and you can spend the rest of your budget on things like vehicle rental and music licenses! I sincerely hoped this changed your life!

Happy filming! :D

More from Dayton from SLN Others Are Reading


  • That renting gig was something I never knew existed!

  • It's awesome! It makes soo much sense! AHH

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