It's gift-giving season again and our annual Holiday Gift Guide will give you dozens of ideas on what to get that special filmmaker in your life (even if that filmmaker is you).
We did it! We survived gorging ourselves on turkey and yams and ridiculous amounts of gravy. Now it's time to loosen our belts, grab our wallets, and look for items that will sate our loved ones' ravenous desire for shiny new gifts.
And with the big day only two weeks away, you're most likely getting your Christmas shopping done now to avoid getting stuck in the throngs of Last-Minute Larrys. Luckily, our annual Holiday Gift Guide will give you plenty of ideas for great filmmaking gifts regardless of how big or small your budget is.
So, let's get to it!
Want to give your loved one a gift that keeps on giving all year long? Then you should consider purchasing them a subscription to a streaming service that curates their favorite films or a film magazine that provides insight into their craft.
[Technically, some of these are over $100, but...just roll with it.]
- BFI's Sight & Sound Magazine: $95/yr. for print or $45/yr. for digital (international rates)
- ASC's American Cinematographer: $30/yr. or $60 for 2-yr.
- DGA Quarterly: $32 (4 issues/one year) or $64 (8 issues/two years)
- Masterclass: $180/yr.
- MZed Pro: $299/yr.
- Adobe Premiere Rush: $9.99/mo. or $119.88/yr.
- Crowdfunding: Support a film on IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, or Seed&Spark, and gift your reward to your filmmaking friend. It's a total win-win!
- Software: Help your special filmmaker actually get some work done by getting them some subs to music licensing sites, collaborative/file management platforms, and a host of other things listed here in our Gift Guide for Editors.
Tools and Accessories
Who doesn't like gadgets and tools that are not only handy but also really cheap? Help your screenwriter, director, cinematographer friends get their work done faster with these items.
- Tropic Colour Storyboard Templates: $10
- Ultimate Lens Hood 2.0
- Plot Devices' Storyboard Workbook is a great resource for filmmakers wanting to map out their shots: $25
- PrismLensFX Gear
- Shoulderpod G2 Smartphone Grip/Tripod: $70
- iKan Onyx 15W Dimmable Bi-Color Aluminum On-Camera LED Light: $79
- RØDE Microphones VideoMic Me-L Cardioid Directional Microphone for iOS and Smartphones: $79
- Joby GorillaPod Mobile Rig for Smartphones: $89
- Aputure MC LED Light: $90
- Rosco MIXBOOK Digital Swatchbook: $94
- Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System: $100
- Aputure Lantern 360-Degree Softbox: $89
- SwitchPod Handheld Tripod: $99
- Benro 3XS Lite Handheld Gimbal: $99
- G-Technology 2TB ArmorATD USB 3.1 Gen 1 External Hard Drive: $99.99
- Microfogger: $100
- Blind Spot Gear Crack Light: $59 (with velcro) | $104 (with dimmer)
Apparel and Fun Stuff
What better way to show your cinephilic soulmate that you totally get them than by gifting them some apparel or knickknacks that very boldly and plainly say "YOU LIKE MOVIES, RIGHT?"
- The Filmmaker Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom: $13
- Actual Film Votive Candle: These candles have real film cells glued to them...which is pretty sweet.
- Movies Brand: You know those hates that say "movies" on them? Yeah, these guys make them...and lots of other stuff, too.
- Research Material: Some of your favorite films creatively displayed on plain Ts.
- Cinemetal: What's better than seeing the names of master directors in the style of metal band logos?
- Beyond Continuity: Script Supervision for the Modern Filmmaker: $31
Got a little money to burn on a handy gadget? These tools will definitely make filmmaking a whole lot easier for you...er...your friend or family member who makes movies, while not breaking the bank (entirely).
- Moment Smartphone Lenses
- Benro 3XS Handheld Gimbal: $129
- Feiyu SPG2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphones: $129
- DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Handheld Gimbal Combo: $139
- Beastgrip Pro Smartphone Lens Adapter and Camera Rig System: $139
- Moondog Labs 1.33x Anamorphic Lens (Bayonet Mount): $150
- Sandmarc Anamorphic Smartphone Lens: $160
- Lumin8 LED Light: $179
- Syrp Genie Mini II Panning Motion Controller: $199
- WANDRD DUO Daypack: $219
- RØDE VideoMic NTG Shotgun Microphone: $249
- Zhiyun CRANE M2 Handheld Gimbal: $260
- Beastgrip DOF Adapter MK2: $269
- Wooden Camera VX Skateboard Camera Microphone: $299
- Freefly Movi Cinema Robot Stabilizer for Smartphones: $297
- Insta360 EVO 3D/360 Camera: $349
- WD 500GB My Passport Wireless SSD: $349
- DJI Osmo Action 4K Camera: $379
- DJI Mavic Mini Drone: $399
- Wooden Camera Zip Box Pro: $399 - $499
- GoPro HERO8 Black Action Camera: $399
- GoPro MAX 360 Action Camera: $499
- Wooden Camera Shoulder Rig v3 Base: $499
Okay, Mr. or Mrs. Moneybags...looking to burn a hole in your pocket for some sweet filmmaking gear? These items will definitely do it, but you know what else they'll do? Make your (or your friend's) filmmaking life easier and more exciting.
- GNARBOX 2.0 SSD: $499 (256GB) | $599 (512GB) | $899 (1TB)
- SmallHD FOCUS 7 LCD Monitor: $629
- Sony RXO II Action Camera: $698
- Kessler KillShock Mini: $699
- Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 E-Mount Full Frame Lens: $748
- Z Cam E2C 4K Cinema Camera: $799
- Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D Lens: $849
- Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Zoom Lens: $849
- Nikon Z50 Mirrorless Camera: $857 (body only)
- Nanlite PavoTube 4 Light Kit: $979
- Wooden Camera Shoulder Rig v3 Pro: $995
$1000 and Up (basically, cameras)
If you're buying somebody a brand new camera for Christmas, you're 1.) nuts, and 2.) my new best friend. If you're NOT dropping multiple grands on this stuff, it's at least a good idea to be aware of a few of the relatively affordable cameras, lens kits, and other gear that have grabbed our attention this year.
- Hollyland Cosmo 600 Wireless Video Transmission System: $1249
- iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max 512GB: $749 - $1349
- Sigma fp Mirrorless Camera: $1899 (body only)
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K: $2495 (body only)
- Lensbaby Movie Maker's Kit II: $2500
- Nikon Z7 Mirrorless Camera: $2697
- Sony A7R IV Mirrorless Camera: $3498 (body only)
- Panasonic Lumix S1H Mirrorless Camera: $3998 (body only)
- Leica SL2 Mirrorless Digital Camera: $5995
- Teradek Bolt 4K MAX Transmitter/Receiver Set: Gold Mount | V-Mount ($13,590)
- Insta360 Titan 11K Cinematic 8-Lens VR Camera: $14,999
- RED Ranger Helium: $29,950 (you know...because they're no longer rental-only...and we can all dream...)
What are some other gift ideas for filmmakers? Let us know what you'd like to receive as a gift down in the comments!