Work in style and with the right tools and you’re halfway there. Here is a handy list of the tools we think are essential if you want to make it as a filmmaker.

Not everything on this list needs loadsa cash. I splashed out on my Apple laptop (see number 3) and cut corners on everything else. I consider my laptop my axe and a really important tool in felling obstacles. You might feel differently.

See what you think of this list:

1. A good mobile telephone


A good telephone will become your mobile film production office.

Get the best phone you can, one that can allow you to surf and accept and write emails, and take location pictures.

An invaluable tool that lets you stay connected even when you are on the fly.

A good website to find the best deals

2. A good email address and website


Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail might be free and easy to access, but getting your own domain name means you can have an individual and bespoke email address.

Register a domain at, and get a basic package that allows you to create your own email address, like, and join the professionals!

To build a website, use a programme like Apple’s iWeb and DIY. Doesn’t need to be fancy, include a section About You, Contact Details, Current Projects and your Showreel.

Read: 5 Tips On Building A Filmmaker’s Website 

3. A good laptop with a good battery


Load it up with a useful editing programme like Final Cut Pro, an office admin programme, like Word, and something you can make good presentations with. It is also really useful to have a software package that will let you resize and optimise pictures for the web.

Of course you will need some cool software.
Here is the Zero Budget Software Guide – over £14k worth of software – legal and free.

4. GoPro Camera

GoPro is a great camera that is cheap and really easy to use.

How one blogger got over $20,000 of free publicity using a cheap camera like the Go Pro

You can get your GoPro Camera on Amazon for jsut over £200.00 – thats a 30% saving.

Perfect for getting those spur-of-the moment interviews to add to your DVD extras.

5. Building your social networking groups


Get tooled up.

Creating Facebook and Twitter groups that are interested in your projects will pay dividends when your movie gets out there.

Get in the habit of spending 15-20 minutes every day.

Join the Raindance Twitter group
Free article: Web A-Z for Filmmakers
10 Twitter Tips For Filmmakers

6. Business Cards


Who said a business card needs to be made of paper? Make one out of sacking cloth.

One thing to be very sure of is that your details can be easily read. If printed on paper, make sure the back of the card is clear and has a matt finish so details can easily be written on the back.

Some other ideas for alternative business cards.

Presentation is everything too.

Here are some great ideas on how to present yourself.

7. Pitching Skills


Tongue tied? Many filmmakers avoid pitching – likening it to snake-oil-salesmanship.

Most movies start with a pitch, and if the gift of the gab evades you, chances are you won’t get the money, the crew or the talent to participate in your film.

Here’s a free article: Pitching Essentials
Check out our Live!Ammunition! Pitching Competition

8. Fig Rig or other stabilisation tool

Our good friend Mike Figgis developed a camera stabilization device called the “Fig Rig” for holding a lightweight camera. He first used it for making “Timecode” the digital feature made with 4 cameras running at the same time.

Watch Mike Figgis do a Fig Rig tutorial.

There are loads of other stabilisation devices which start as little as £10.00.

9. Get Networking


A successful filmmaker will budget part of their time to attend networking events. Join filmmaking groups and associations where you live. London is spoiled for choice.

Online groups where you can meet people and exchange ideas include Talent Circle, and Shooting

Raindance has several monthly events aimed at networking, including Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin, our Open House, 99 Minute Film School and Live!Ammunition! events.

We also have regular networking events scheduled in London, Toronto, New York, Brussels, Berlin, Los Angeles and Budapest.

Free article: Networking Faux Pas

10. Training


Decision number one is: Do you want to learn filmmaking? Or do you want to become a filmmaker?

The best way to learn how to make a film is by doing it. Getting advice from someone who has made films and made mistakes will save you time and energy duplicating those mistakes.

Two people will approach the same project in very different ways. Raindance film training courses will help you to discover different ways to approach the challenges of filmmaking and give you the tools to succeed.

Here is a Raindance must when it comes to film training:
Unless tutors have practical experience in their field they won’t be able to show how the industry really works or how they solved problems in their own projects.

The Raindance way to learn is always through people who have first hand experience of working in the industry. At Raindance we don’t teach filmmaking. We make filmmakers.

Here’s a list of fim traindance programmes world wide.

Raindance Film Festival is the only film festival with a training programme in writing, directing and producing in the world. Have a browse through our catalogue of mouth watering courses. Compare them with other trainers in Britain, Europe and the world.

With literally dozens of postgraduate film degrees popping up around the world, we thought it was about time we bang the drum and tell you why we think  our Postgraduate Film Degree is so good.

11. Bonus

Lots of times you might need some expert advice.
– draft cast and crew contracts
– sample business plans
– a short seminar on film finance
– script registration

Maybe not everyday, but enough times to make it essential. Join Raindance Premium Membership and for just £50 you can get all of these benefits plus 700+ original screenplays, 40+ draft legal contracts, free events and more.

Call Rory on 0207 930 3412 or Join Online Today.

Happy Filmmaking,

Elliot Grove


Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over hundreds of short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

He has produced over 700 shorts and 6 features including the new action film AMBER.

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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