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Tips & Tricks

Lighting Hacks: Filmmaking On An IKEA Budget

By Hanssie on August 1st 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 9.29.17 AMThe special effects from the latest Hollywood blockbusters usually takes millions of dollars to create. From the production crew to the actors to the lighting, sound, etc. it takes a village to create the finished product you pay $12 see on the big screen. As an independent filmmaker though, you don’t always have the million dollar budget at your disposal. After pay a few thousand for your gear, you maybe have enough left in your filmmaking budget for a few slices of pizza.


Most filmmakers I know are on a strict budget so they must be creative in the DIY department to create the look and feel they want in their films. In the 2 minute short horror film, Not So Fast, director David Sanburg, after using his money to buy his gear (a Blackmagic Cinema Camera), uses some household products including an IKEA trash can to light his scene. The trash can was rigged to diffuse the light and create an eerie glow on his actress. He explains how it was done in the behind the scenes video below.

Check out Not So Fast:

Via PhoblogapherDavid F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michael Moe

    thanks for sharing!

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  2. Austin Swenson

    Some of the most creative work I have ever made in my life was made using jerry rig equipment. Good on David for producing on a tight budget!

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  3. Andy O’Dowd

    Great article. Just get out there and do it. Even if you don’t have the budget.

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  4. Greg Faulkner

    Ha, the film was pretty good :)

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  5. Phil Bautista

    That was freakin awesome. Tips, film, twist, more.

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for providing us great thoughts on using around the house items to make interesting videos or photography. The creative side is what truly makes people stand out. Thanks!

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