Film Equipment Hacks : Top 5 Dirt Cheap Ideas Worth Sharing

Top 5 Film Equipment Hacks

When ever you are out there shooting its not necessarily you have the budget for all the film equipment to hire. Sometimes you need a specific film equipment for a single shot and your producer says he cannot spend. So what are you going to do? If you cannot hire the film equipment then why not make them at a dirt cheap price? In India we call it “JUGAAD“.

Jugaad means an innovative fix or a simple work-around, used for solutions that bend rules, or a resource that can be used as such, or a person who can solve a complicated issue. It is used as much to describe enterprising street mechanics as for political fixers. This meaning is often used to signify creativity to make existing things work or to create new things with less resources.

In fact India runs on Jugaad as we don’t have much of a resources in every filed. So get back to the point, what if we make some interesting small film equipment at dirt cheap rate and use the limited resources into a plus. Here are the my top 5 dirt cheap film equipment hacks which I have used and are effective.

1. Steady Car Tripod Using Rice Bag/ Sandbag

<img src="Film-Equipment-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="Film Equipment Bhushan Mahadani">

Ever wonder how to reduce the jerky footage while shooting in a moving car. Use rice bag or sandbag (I prefer sandbag) as a tripod if you are shooting through open window. I have used this hack and its very effective. Keep the sandbag on the open window and  mount the camera on it and shoot. You would instantly notice the difference  in the footage which will be minimum jerky. If you are using camera on tripod which is placed in the trunk of the car or on the roof of the care, use individual sandbag under each of the three legs of the tripod and get a stable non jerky picture. 🙂

2. Underwater Housing With Partially Immersed Fish Tank

<img src="Film-Equipment-1-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="Film Equipment 1 Bhushan Mahadani">

Some years back I used this trick while we were shooting my friend’s film in a swimming pool. There was a scene where a girl was drowning. So we used a medium sized plastic aquarium, we placed the camera inside it and shot the whole under water scene without a problem. Then we used a circular glass pot which kind gave us the fish eye effect. And the nest thing was we borrowed both the aquariums from a friend and it costed us nothing 😀

3. Jib or Crane Shot Using Telescoping Painter’s Pole.

This is also a very cheap yet effective film equipment hack. If you cannot afford to hire a jib then just make one using telescope painters pole. Its very effective and give good shots. Have a look at the test footage.


4. Dirt Cheap Camera Slider Using Skateboard Wheels 

Try this camera slider using skateboard wheels. Its pretty cheap easy and effective. Though I haven’t used this personally but but surely gonna try really soon.

5. Use Your Car As Different Film Equipment

Here is an excellent video about how to use your car as a film equipment in various ways.



Any tips you’ve learned and are willing to share? If you have please share in the comment section below. And please don’t forget to  subscribe for the news letter above.

Pic Credit 1,2

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