Sometimes you find the most useful things in unexpected places. I made a video awhile ago about a tripod mount I found for my phone, which was actually just part of a selfie stick from The Dollar Tree. Here's the video:
I've been using two of these for test shoots for what I hope will become my first music video. Nothing fancy, just me singing on camera, but I need to make sure I have enough light, a background that's not too distracting, and a way to record decent sound.
But back to The Dollar Tree. While I was there just a few days ago buying snacks for my family, I did what I always do: browse the electronic aisle looking for cheap charging cables. And my eyes locked onto something unexpected. A remote trigger cable for a cell phone camera.
It said it worked on iPhone, and for only a buck it was sure worth a try. I took it home, plugged it in, and sure enough, it works like a charm. As with the tripod mount, it's not very well made, and so I don't know how long it will hold out. Because of that, I'll buy at least one more if they have them the next time I go back (I live in the sticks, and so I don't make trips to the store for just one thing).
What did I want it for? Well, when you have a phone clamped to a tripod mount that only cost a dollar, there's a good chance that tapping the screen to take a photo or start a video might move the camera. Now I don't have to worry about that.
There are bargains to be had, even for filmmakers, if you just keep your eyes open.