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Top 10 Filmmaking Essentials for Shooting a Short Film

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

You can shoot a short film on almost any camera, including your cell phone. You can even edit the footage on your smartphone. If that's all of the tools you can get your hands on to make your first short film, have at it. It's better to start practicing with the tools you have than never to start at all.

top 10 film essentials for shooting a short film

Start small, so you don't get discouraged and give up. Remember, it is all about consistency.

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PS: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission for recommending the product to you.

If you're now at the point where you're ready to start increasing the production value of your short film projects, then stick with me because I'm about to share with you the top ten essentials that you'll need for your short film production.

One of the best ways to save time, money, and energy is to use the right tools to see the value in your film production increase.

The list I'm providing is for affordable products that won't break the bank. Remember, start small…

Let's take a look at each of these filmmaking essentials in more detail:

canon eos r3

The EOS R3 combines some of the best of both the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras to provide a robust, high-performance camera.* The EOS R3 is the first “3” series camera since the popular EOS-3 film camera launched in 1998.

At the heart of the EOS R3 is a Canon developed 24.1 megapixel back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor which combines with the DIGIC X processor to deliver a higher speed readout, allowing for continuous blackout-free shooting** at up to 30 fps in electronic (silent) shutter mode with minimum rolling distortion.

The combination also increases the high sensitivity light capturing efficiency of a native ISO of 102400 for still images. The improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1,053 AF Points features evolved EOS iTR tracking for subjects such as people, animals, as well as select cars and motorcycles*** down to EV -7.5.

The EOS R3 also allows the user multiple ways of controlling AF using Eye Control AF, Smart Controller with home position and the classic multi-controller. The camera also includes a new multi-function hot shoe which alleviates the need for extra batteries and cables in accessories such as micro phones and flash transmitters.

The EOS R3 also includes flexible connectivity options with built-in wired LAN, GPS, USB, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Canon EOS R3 is designed to satisfy the most demanding expectations in a camera — emphasizing speed, performance, and reliability.

coman heavy duty tripod

The Coman is a heavy-duty tripod, and its max load is 13.2lbs. The 1/4" screw is compatible with most brands of cameras and camcorders.

It offers a fluid head kit with a handle and level bubble to provide pan and tilt drag.

There is a safety button on the mounting platform which prevents the camera from falling.

There's a flip-lock that enables fast setup. The mid-level spreader keeps the legs from collapsing on uneven ground and adds stability with rubber mats.

rokinon lens bundle

The Rokinon 24mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens comes in a Canon EF Mount and features industry-standard geared focus, and iris rings that share a common position with other Rokinon Cine DS lenses.

Designed specifically for film and video production, Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine Lens offers an exclusive photographic experience. Fast T1.5 maximum aperture benefits working in low-light conditions and provides greater control over focus placement for shallow depth of field applications.

The 50mm T1.5 AS UMC Cine DS Lens for Canon EF Mount from Rokinon is a fast manual focus prime lens. It provides a maximum high-speed aperture of T1.5 for effective low light capture and shallow depth of field control and an eight-blade iris for attractive bokeh. Optimized for cinema and video applications, the focus and aperture control rings are outfitted with industry-standard gearing, which provides an interface for working with a traditional follow focus.

The Rokinon 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens answers the challenge of assembling a set of lenses over time. The lens comes in Canon EF Mount, and it features industry standard geared focus and iris rings that share a common position with other Rokinon Cine DS lenses.

Tiffen Variable ND filter

The Tiffen Variable ND filter is a unique, versatile, and flexible tool, affording you the convenience of using several Neutral Density filters all in one. It is primarily used as a photographic tool for controlling the depth of field and exposure.

The Tiffen Variable ND filter operates on the same principle as a Circular Polarizer – rotate until you reach your desired effect and shoot. It allows you to have continuous control over the amount of light coming through your lens in an approximate range of 2 (ND 0.6) to 8 (ND 2.4) stops – while maintaining the integrity of your image.

GVM lighting kit

The GVM lighting kit comes with an LCD digital display, multiple control modes, stability system, and 360° rotating U-bracket to improve your lighting settings (3 Packs Led Light Panel, 3200K-5600K, 8 Kinds of The Scene Lights). The step-less adjustment is used to control the brightness/color temperature, bringing great convenience to your shooting.

Neewer 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector Kit

The reflector comes with silver, gold, black, white, and translucent surfaces, as those are the most popular reflectors in photography; Gold: Warm up the picture; Silver: brighten the picture; White: bounce light into shadows; Black: Block out unwanted light; Translucent: soften the light, often used overhead.

Zoom Portable Recorder

The Zoom H6 is excellent for live recording as well as studio-quality music production. It includes both XY and mid-side microphone modules and records up to six simultaneous channels up to 24-bit/96kHz Audio.

This bundle includes studio headphones for an optimal playback experience and an accessory bundle that contains a 16GB memory card, four AA rechargeable Batteries with a compatible charger, auxiliary cable, and a table tripod.

Sennheiser MKE 600

The Sennheiser MKE 600 is a directional shotgun microphone designed for professional audio capturing in the field or indoors. It comes with a foam and hairy windshield, a zip-on furry cover with deep artificial fur that fits snugly over the Sennheiser microphone. Plus, you get a LyxPro professional boom pole with an internal coiled XLR cable and shock mount. The MKE 600 can also be operated using standard AA batteries.

Pro-Grade SD Card

The Pro-Grade SD Card is lighting fast 130mb/s write speed. You can instantly save high-resolution recordings to your device, all while maintaining super-sharp focus. And you can also stop waiting around for your images/recordings to upload; with Pro Grade's read speed of 250 MB/s even your most robust work can be uploaded in seconds!

There is no need to be worried about dropped frames— even when acquiring data-intensive 4K, Ultra High Definition, and high bit rate MPEG-4.

LaCie Rugged Mini

With capacities of up to 5TB, the LaCie Rugged Mini is a small but mighty USB 3.0 portable hard drive. Perfect for busy creatives, it offers premium protection for photos, footage, and more while delivering Mac and Windows compatibility, fast speeds, and customizable back-up.

LaCie Toolkit offers on-demand, one-click back-up, scheduled automatic back-ups, and folder syncing across multiple devices.

celtx scriptwriting software and pre-production tools

Final thoughts…

It feels terrific when you're finally able to see the quality in your production increase. That's why you'll want to put these tools to work for you because they are the best and fastest ways to see growth in the projects you will be delivering. But don't take my word for it – try them out to see for yourself!

Good luck!

Oh, and let me know in the comments how these tools work out for your project.

Please help us promote this article by hitting the heart❤️ button below! Thank you so much!

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If you’ve been looking for a user-friendly camera that’s specifically designed for beginner video content creators, then the Nikon Z30 delivers. This camera may be an excellent camera for beginners, but it packs a ton of cool features that any videographer, vlogger, or content creator would love. I invite you to accompany me on YouTube where I give a hands-on review of the Nikon Z-30 camera and its most popular features.


Of course, Diversity in Cinema Academy has many other resources that I love to share with you, but I wanted to keep this blog strictly about the top ten filmmaking essentials for shooting a short film.

If I had to pick two resources I couldn't live without for my short film production, it would be these two tools.

Aside from the tools above, I also use many other resources to help me prep for a movie production. Some of them are FREE and some are paid.

You can check out some of the other resources that I love using on Diversity in Cinema Academy's resources page. You can view all of the resources for Filmmakers, Content Creators and Screenwriters from the links provided.

From filmmaking tools, to content creation tools, to screenwriting tools... they all can be found in the tools section of Diversity in Cinema Academy's website. I highly recommend that you check out our tools store! :)

If you like it, please help me to share the resources link with a friend. I would really appreciate it!

Okay, that's all for now. I hope that you have found the information I provided helpful!

Enough information, start shooting!



Diversity in Cinema Academy is an online digital media company that primarily uses web-based applications, such as an interactive website and social media platforms, to offer aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters an entertaining and educational place to interact with each other and professional filmmakers.


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