November 28, 2018

The Best (and Most Affordable) Holiday Gifts for Video Editors

christmas gifts for video editors
With the holidays in full swing, the season for gifts is on. Here are some gift ideas for filmmakers and editors.

Obviously, the craft of filmmaking is NOT about the tools and the gear, but some of them can be essential for efficiency and results. Also, thanks to them, we enjoy the process more.

Let's have a look at the tools and resources that can be great gift ideas for video editors and filmmakers. Perhaps you want to buy them for yourself or for someone close to you. 

Part 1: Software

Kyno

Kyno is a great piece of software designed for everything you may want to do with the footage between the camera and your editing software. It's very good for file management, transcoding, reviewing, logging, and much more.

Frame.io

A very well-known platform for video collaboration. Frame.io is a great tool if you review your edits within a team on a daily basis.

Creative Cloud subscription

For someone in Adobe, the Creative Cloud ecosystem having a yearly subscription will be always a proper gift.

Final Cut

I’m very curious how convenient Final Cut Pro is and how it compares to the Adobe ecosystem (also how the whole magnetic timeline can be utilized in daily work). I don't have a Mac but if I did, I’d like to try it out.  

Music licenses

Subscription-based music services are the way to go if you don't want to pay $50 for one music track. There are many services to choose from like Artlist, Music Bed, Epidemic Sound, SoundStripe, or Filmstro. It'd make a very good gift for any filmmaker.

Soundly

Soundly is an all-in-one sound effects platform. I use a free version and I love it. I know I’ll be paying for it once I have a project that requires a lot of sound effects. Seriously, try out the free version and I’m almost sure you’ll fall in love with it.

soundly sound effects

StudioBinder

StudioBinder is a film production managing software. Also, the company has really good content on its YouTube channel. The company provides a great deal of value there.

Part 2: Hardwear and gear

To be clear, I’ll not mention any cameras, lights or editing workstations, here cause I want to focus on more affordable stuff that solo filmmakers and video editors would really like.

Standing Desk

We sit a lot (probably a little bit too much)  and having a standing desk as an option would be great. There are many companies out there, but well-established ones in alphabetical order are Evodesk, Updesk, and UPLIFT Desk.

SSD

There is no such a term as too much storage. Buying a good SSD or a disc station can never harm you. There are many brands out there. I’ll just mention two that caught my attention: Angelbird SSDs and Samsung T5 series. As you may know, it’s advisable to keep cache files folder on separate storage and buying small SSD for that purpose may significantly improve efficiency.

Palette Gear or dedicated controller

I already wrote about Palette Gear in this article, and for someone who works a lot with Adobe programs, it's a great fit. But if you use Resolve, it's better to go with its dedicated panels.

palette gear

Moleskine notebook

A notebook is, in my opinion, a universal gift. Moleskine notebooks are both of great quality and a beautiful design.

Good 4K display

I think this is also a universal gift for anyone in the filmmaking space. An additional workspace area is always appreciated by someone who edits videos. Displays are quite expensive, but once you buy it, it usually works for a decade.

Rode Mic

Need to record a voiceover in your edit bay? Need to chat remotely with a director or producer? Rode mics probably have the best price/quality ratio. 

Professional Headphones

A very important asset for all editors is comfortable and good quality headphones. Actually, I need to buy one of these myself, and I’ve narrowed down the options to Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro and Sony MDR-7506. Both are industry standards and are great for monitoring audio.

Backlit Keyboard

I use Logickeyboard and my favorite feature is the backlight. It just looks pretty cool! If you’re just starting with using shortcuts, it would be useful as well.

Part 3: Online Classes

Masterclass

Masterclass is my favorite resource of the year. For the money, having a master level instructor is just insane. You can learn about filmmaking, writing, design, and many more. Even poker! For a yearly subscription, you are given access to each of the classes.

masterclass.com

MZed

These classes are really great. Cinema Sound class is most compelling to me because I need to up my sound editing game. The funny thing is that it’s actually cheaper in a yearly MZed subscription with other classes than as a standalone course (although in this case, you own it forever).

Film Simplified

Probably the best courses for DaVinci Resolve users. Alex from Film Simplified has a great teaching style. Check out a free class on the basics of Resolve to test it. 

Lynda.com

Lynda is a very good resource to learn the essentials of using all sorts of programs including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and Final Cut, and the price is quite affordable.

Inside The Edit

Inside The Edit is probably the best online editing course for documentary-style videos. Not only is the knowledge high-end, but the production quality of these videos is also extraordinary.

Part 4: Filmmaking Books

Lets talk books. I think it’s very valuable to read and books are probably the cheapest high-quality education you can get.

In the Blink of an Eye

A must read for any filmmaker (and not only film editors). It’s a quick read but every page is soaked with knowledge and experience.

Making Movies

A very good book from one of the greatest directors of all time, Sidney Lumet. It covers everything about the Hollywood filmmaking process (from the perspective of a film director).

Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors

I haven't read this one yet but it’s on my wishlist and I’ve heard so many good opinions about it that I decided to put it on this list.

Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player

A very inspiring book. After the lecture, you’ll probably feel like there’s nothing that could stop you from making a feature film.

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

Great screenwriting book. I really enjoyed reading it and so far it was the last book I’ve read about screenwriting, so it seems legit.

save the cat book

On Directing Film

I’ve heard some pretty good stuff about it and I’ll probably post a short review of the book on my Instagram profile when I finish reading.

The whole point of gifts is to make someone happy. Obviously, this is just "stuff" and it will not replace what’s really important in life, but sometimes it makes someone smile.

Which one of the above is most interesting to you? Let us know down in the comments!     

Your Comment

1 Comment

“Rode mics probably have the best price/quality ratio.”

In my experience, Rode is typically more pricey than better audio gear (not that Rode doesn’t make nice stuff). I think filmmakers just tend to be less familiar with audio brands/products.

That aside, I enjoyed the article. You had some nice suggestions in there.

November 29, 2018 at 2:04PM

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