December 14, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Filmmakers

From the super kitschy to the very useful, here are the gifts you'll want to get your special filmmaker this year. (Even if that special filmmaker is yourself.)

It's that time of year again when we all collectively slip into a stress-induced panic over what to get our loved ones for the holidays. If you've got a filmmaker on your list, though, that's one box that's pretty easy to check off, but to make it even easier, we've put together a gift guide that is sure to make any filmmaker happy, regardless of your budget.

One evergreen win-win suggestion is to scan film projects on crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGoKickstarter, and Seed&Spark to see if there are any with cool perks that your person will love. That way, you can support a filmmaker and get your gift shopping done at the same time!

Under $100

Subscriptions

Yeah, we all have Netflix and Hulu, but there are so many awesome streaming services out there that cater to cinephiles, like Filmstruck, Fandor, and MUBI. Also, Moviepass is a great option for those who still like to go to the theater and consume copious amounts of buttery popcorn!

  • FilmStruck: $99 for 12-month passes that includes a free Roku Express) or $10.99/mo. subscription that includes the Criterion Channel
  • Fandor: $25-$90 for 3, 6, 12 month subscriptions
  • Moviepass: $29.85-$119.40 for 3, 6, and 12-month passes
  • MUBI: $47.88 for 12-month passes

Tools and accessories

Be you (or your friend) a screenwriter, director, or cinematographer, there are plenty of cool gadgets and tools out there that are not only super handy, but also super cheap.

  • Storyclock Notebook is a great resource for screenwriters trying to work out their ideas: $15
  • These Wolf Cub memory card holder keychains from Fangs are cute and useful: $23
  • Tenikle's camera mount is the weirdest gift you'll ever give, but it works: $30
  • 300-episode Scriptnotes USB Flash Drive is a must for any John August fan: $30
  • Platypod Ultra tripod base/mount looks like a bottle opener, but it's a super versatile camera tool: $60
  • Aputure Messenger Bags are fashionable and waterproof: $70

Apparel and film fashion

  • Filmmaker Pins from Plot Devices, because who doesn't like pins?: $7
  • Cinema Camera Enamel Pin from Digital Bolex, because, again, who doesn't like 'em?: $10
  • Girls on Tops T-shirts let you rep your favorite female filmmakers: $20
  • Or celebrate the films of indie faves like Gus Van Sant or Godard with these stylish totes: $20
  • Apparel from Film Leader is my new favorite clothing store! Here are some favs.
    • Film Leader Mug: $18
    • 35mm Heads & Tails Bandana: $29
    • CineStripe Crew Neck: $45
    • IMAX 15/70mm Countdown Sweatshirt: $48
    • B&W 35mm Countdown Backpack: $65

$100-$499

  • TriLens lens holster lets you carry three lenses at once right on your hip: $117
  • Steadicam Volt smartphone stabilizer is a great, low-cost option: $139
  • MasterClass offers online courses from some of the best directors, actors, and screenwriters in the business: $180 for all-access 12-month passes
  • olloclip Filmer's Kit comes its quality smartphone lenses and its Pivot stabilizer: $200
  • RØDE VideoMic Pro+ is great for recording high-quality audio on a budget: $300
  • GNARBOX lets you backup, edit, and share your media without a computer: $300 (128GB), $400 (256GB)
  • Timelapse+ VIEW intervalometer, for time-lapse lovers: $400
  • edelkrone Wing rail-less slider is as useful as it is adorable: $400
GNARBOX

$500-$999

  • GoPro HERO6 black action cam because of course: $500
  • Rylo 360-degree camera provides 4K VR without breaking the bank: $500
  • SmallHD FOCUS touchscreen monitor is a great, affordable option: $500
  • Spekular Light kit lets you make any shape you want...with lights: $650
  • Ikan DS2-A gimbal, for those not hopping on the Osmo train: $700
  • DJI's Mavic Pro is a drone with a 4K camera that folds into the size of a soda can: $899
GoPro HERO6

$1000 and Up (basically, cameras)

Okay, we know you're not likely to buy your filmmaking pals a brand new URSA Mini, but damn, we can all dream that someone, somewhere loves us that much. Here are just a few relatively affordable cameras and cinematic tools that have garnered a lot of attention over the last year. Except you, URSA Mini Pro, you're still expensive AF, but we love you, so you're in.

Dave: Hey, buddy! Thanks for my brand new URSA Mini Pro! John: You're welcome, friend. I love you so much. Dave: I love you so much, too.

What are some other gift ideas for filmmakers? Let us know what you'd like to receive as a gift down in the comments!      

Additional reporting by Liz Nord.

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4 Comments

December 15, 2017 at 4:41AM

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peter56
86

The Film Leader has some very nice clothes, though the T-Shirt is far too bright and colorful for my liking.

Also, if I could get a gift from everything you showed above Renee, I'd choose the white car :D

December 15, 2017 at 6:25AM

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ElizabethLee
Content Creator / Photographer
74

How about a Lynda.com subscription? $240 for a year, with unlimited use of the video courses. (You can pay more to get the media used by the teachers, but you really don't need it--I just use my own footage and photos as I follow along).

The courses that I've taken are mostly about motion graphics, Photoshop, and animation, but they have a really wide range of courses, and not only post production topics either. The ability to skim the transcript and click on a line to jump that moment in the video (à la ScriptSync) is so handy (plus you can watch the videos at faster speeds if you prefer).

The only challenges are motivating yourself and finding the time to take the courses, which are problems with any kind of self-directed learning.

December 16, 2017 at 11:14PM

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Benjamin Reichman
Post Supervisor/AE/Editor
329

Great suggestion!!

December 19, 2017 at 12:03AM

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Liz Nord
Editor-in-Chief & Lead Producer
Documentary Filmmaker/Multi-platform Producer