Can't find the perfect gift for the filmmaker in your life? We got you covered, even if you just want to treat yourself.
Picture this. It's the holiday season, and you're opening a gift that's got your name on it. The box feels heavy and you dare not shake it—the contents might be fragile! Is it the new camera you've always wanted? Maybe you're hoping for a DVD box set of LOST? Or what about the light-meter Stanley Kubrick used on Barry Lyndon? Could it be?!
Nope. Not even close. It's a pair of socks.
As much as we love to keep our toes warm during the winter, finding the perfect gift for the filmmaker in your life (even if that person is you) can feel like an impossible task. That's why we called our very own Saint Nick, Santa Spielberg, to help you find the perfect gift. Be they a cinematographer, screenwriter, or cinephile, these gift ideas will make your gift-getter freak out like they just got a Nintendo 64 in 1996.
To start off this list, we recommend checking out B&H's Cyber Monday deals! If you can't find what you're looking for, keep on reading. Or send this whole article to your mom, dad, or anyone looking for gifts for you. Trust me, they need it.
For the Cinematographers, Gear Heads, and Creatives
Whether you know someone who adores cameras, or you're a creative making a living with one, this section is for you. From cameras to camera accessories, and all the tools you need to work with your footage, these gift ideas are going to knock some socks off—hopefully literally.
- FujiFilm X-H2s (New Release) - The newest camera from Fuji, the X-H2s is a hybrid mirrorless camera that shoots ProRes internally in 6K and does RAW to an external recorder. It's perfect for professionals and hobbyists alike.
- Fujifilm GFX 100S ($500 off) - The GFX 100S is one of the cheapest medium-format cameras on the market. Portrait and landscape photographers have been fawning over this camera ever since it came out. It also has some solid video options to boot. While it's not great for beginners, the GFX is a solid choice for pros that need a bigger frame.
- Fujifilm X-T4 ($150 off) - The X-T4 from Fuji is the hobbyist camera everyone had in their pocket, but it also had the features to make it a solid B-cam for pros. It's both for photos and video. Now with the Fujifilm X-T5 out in the wild, the X-T4 can be found for a bargain.
- Canon EOS R5 C ($200 off) - Canon wants this hybrid camera to rule all hybrid cameras, and with its feature set, it could do just that. With fully dedicated modes for photo and video, the R5 C has a full frame that pumps out 8K video and 45MP. For example, if you're a wedding photographer, this may be the only kit you'd need. It'll also kick ass for docs and cinema work.
- Sony FX30 (New Release) - The FX30 is Sony's return to APS-C/Super 35-sized sensors and is one of the cheapest cinema cameras on the market (right next to the BMPCC 4K and 6K G2). Brilliant autofocus and stabilizing make this camera a perfect companion for solo shooters, be they digital content creators, cinematographers, or videographers.
- BMPCC 6K G2 (New Release) - The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2 is the most recent release from Blackmagic Design. It's not only one of the cheapest RAW-capable cinema cameras on the market, but it also has an image that rivals cameras a hundred times its cost. If you're making movies on a budget or just starting to learn, this should be one of your top choices.
- Canon EOS R5 C ($200 off) - Bridging the best of both worlds, the Canon EOS R5 C is a solid choice for documentary work or other hybrid shooters. It's also the first Canon camera to provide internal 8K 60P Cinema RAW Light recording.
- Canon EOS R7 and Canon EOS R10 - Two very affordable APS-C options from Canon, the R7 and R10 pack 4K video into a small package. The R7 also gives you 4K60 10-Bit Video, HDR-PQ & C-Log 3. Either of these would be solid entry-level cameras for photographers and videographers alike.
- Canon EOS C70 - This is one of Canon's smallest Super 35 cinema cameras, but don't let that fool you. The C70 packs a punch and has seen constant updates that make it one of the most supported cameras on the market.
- Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye 3D VR Lens ($200 off) - If you thought VR was out of your budget, think again. This dual fisheye lens from Canon takes your Canon R5 and makes it into a production machine that can capture stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor.
- Cinema Lenses - These tools are the go-to choice for filmmakers. They're built like tanks, have precise control over focus and aperture, and usually impart character that other lenses fail to deliver. Here are some of our favorite picks (that won't break the bank) for creatives looking to get a cinematic edge.
- DZOFilm Pictor Zoom PL-mount Set ($200 off) - This pair of lenses is affordable and delivers as much as more expensive options. With the focal range it covers, you get the power of six lenses with just two. If you're a doc shooter and need a lens package for quick framing, this is a great set to get.
- Sirui Mars 1.33x Anamorphic Lens Set - Sirui makes some of the most affordable anamorphic lenses on the market. This MFT-mount set costs almost half of what a single lens from other manufacturers would. They're definitely not as good as more expensive glass, but the images that they create can be breathtaking.
- Sirui Venus 1.6x Anamorphic Lens Set - The same affordability, but for full frame and with an RF mount. If you spent all your money on a RED Komodo, these would be a perfect lens set to get. It won't cost you an arm and a leg, and the anamorphic images will be an amazing tool for your projects.
- IRIX Cine Entry Set - IRIX is fairly new to the lens game when compared to the other makers in the market. But they have solid glass that is not only extremely affordable but also produces an amazing image. This entry set comes in EF-mount and contains a 21mm, 20mm, and 45mm. However, these lenses also come in Sony E, Canon RF, Leica L, MFT, and PL-mount.
- Photography Lenses - While not as finely machined as cinema lenses, photography glass can be a great way to save money. Some may also come with optical image stabilization and autofocus! Here are some of our picks.
- Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II - A solid choice for Sony shooters, the 24-70mm is light, quick to focus, and covers a favorable focal range.
- Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM - A rival to the Sony lens above, this RF mount Canon lens has image stabilization and a constant aperture.
- Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM ($400 off) - A counterpart to the previous Canon, the 15-35mm is a bit wider.
- Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R WR - If you're shooting on Fuji, this is the first lens you should get. It's fast, sharp, and has a unique character that the above two may lack. At least in our opinion.
- Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III ($300 off) - This is one of the fastest lenses on the market, making it a perfect tool for low-light shooting, either for photos or cinema. It also comes in Canon RF, Sony E, and Nikon Z mounts and will cover full frame.
- Venus Optics Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Lens ($250 off) - Another crazy-fast lens, the Argus is a bit wider and a bit more expensive, but it's also available in Canon RF, Sony E, and Nikon Z mounts.
- Accessories - Matte boxes, follow focus unit, batteries, and more. Here are a few things to get your camera kitted out for any production you may have.
- Tilta Nucleus-M Wireless Follow Focus System - Tilta upended the market with this set, becoming one of the most affordable follow-focus units out there. It's still a solid piece of kit that won't break your budget.
- Tilta Nucleus-Nano Wireless Follow Focus System - What Tilta did with the Nucleus-M, it once again did with the Nucleus-Nano. At just under $300 bucks, this wireless follow-focus kit can take on any lens you throw at it.
- SmallRig MagicFIZ Wireless Follow System - SmallRig, creator of cages for all sorts of cameras, also wanted a piece of Tilta's pie. Which is why they also released an affordable wireless follow-focus system.
- Atomos Ninja V 5" 4K Monitor/Recorder - The Atomos Ninja is one of two external monitor/recorders on the market that can give you cameras the ability to record ProRes RAW. It's also an amazing monitor.
- Blackmagic Design Video Assist 7" - If Atomos was the first RAW recorder, then the BMD Video Assist is the competition. This monitor/recorder allows creatives to utilize BRAW with their cameras. It also comes in a 5" version if you want a smaller footprint.
- SmallHD 702 Touch - This 7" monitor from SmallHD is what you'll find on most ARRI cameras on set. It's not the cheapest, but it'll be a solid workhorse for you and your team. It won't record RAW video, or any video at all, but it'll deliver a clean image that's bright and color accurate.
Gimbals, Drones, Computers, and More
- DJI Mavic 3 Classic - The Mavic 3 was a killer drone when it came out. Now, DJI is bringing it back with the Mavic 3 classic. It's great for digital content, but can also hold its own in the cinema space.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro - This little drone packs pro features in a small package that falls under the US federal weight limit, so you won't need a license. It's a perfect started drone for creatives looking to get into aerial cinematography, photography, and videography.
- DJI Inspire 2 - Raising the price and feature set, the Inspire 2 was a solid professional drone. While it's getting up there in age, it's still a great option for professionals looking for that perfect aerial shot.
- Sony Airpeak S1 & Gremsy Gimbal T3 Kit - Want to attach your mirrorless Sony camera to a drone? This is the package for you. It'll get your Sony Alpha camera into the sky for either amazing low-light footage or shallow depth-of-field compositions. With your mirrorless camera in the sky, it'll outperform any drone camera on the market.
- MacBook Pro M1 Max ($200 off) or MacBook Pro M1 Pro ($300 off) - For creatives editing their own content, these two systems are going to be a killer portable solution. Starting with the M1 Pro, you'll get more than enough power to chew through 6K and 8K footage. The M1 Max just turns it up to 11.
- Adobe Creative Cloud - Creative Cloud is the standard for most professional productions and digital content creators. It's a full ecosystem that includes Frame.io and now has upgrade options for Substance 3D. If you need a full-fledged suite for your production, Creative Cloud has to be on your shortlist.
- DaVinci Resolve - Blackmagic Design has turned Resolve into a powerhouse that's not only free but has amazing features if you opt for the Studio Version. It started as an industry-leading color grading toolset but has turned into one of the best NLEs on the market that offers audio, VFX, and quick edit tools.
- Final Cut Pro X - Say what you will about Final Cut Pro X, it's still one of the most optimized NLEs for Mac. If you're deep in the Apple ecosystem, Final Cut Pro X may be the best option for your editing needs.
Magazines, Publications, and More
- ASC's American Cinematographer: $30/yr. or $60 for 2 years. Every cinematographer should keep up with the industry. American Cinematographer does for shooters what Variety does for agents.
- Cinema Scope: $20 (one year) or $40 (two years)
- Legion M - Not only can you get some sweet cinema merch from films like Mandy, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and Archenemy, but you can also help fund future films using the Legion M investment platform. What better gift than making the filmmaker in your life a bonified producer?!
Swag and Merch
Everyone wants to look the part or celebrate their favorite gear and companies. There is also plenty of fun little items that you or the filmmaker in your life might enjoy!
- Gift Cards from B&H (when you’re not sure what to get!)
- Filmtools - When you want to look the part, Filmtools has the threads. Apparel includes hats, shirts, and patches.
- Kino Flo T-Shirt: $13
- American Cinematographer "Sketch" Camera Operator T-Shirt: $15
- Moviola Ball Cap: $15
- Stinger Pin: $15
- 9-Light Pin: $15
- Hoo-Rag Bandana: $20
- 5-Panel Hat (Black): $20
- Camera Head Man Sticker: $4
- Cat Stops Sticker: $4
- Aspect Ratios T-Shirt: $23
- C47 Patent T-Shirt: $23
- Designated Charging Station (DIT) T-Shirt: $23
- Director Evolution T-Shirt: $23
- DTF (Down to Film) T-Shirt: $23
- Fix It On Set T-Shirt: $23
- Mayonaise T-Shirt: $23
- More Room Tone T-Shirt: $23
- Steadicam Patent T-Shirt: $24
- Steadicam Silhouette T-Shirt: $24
- "We Come to This Place for Magic" T-Shirt by Patti Lapel: $35
When you aren't making movies, you're watching them, right? And it's an investment in yourself, after all. The better sound and picture you can get at home, the more you can analyze, learn, and critique the work that will inspire your next project.
Or... maybe you're trying DIYing your very own virtual set? Whatever your needs, a TV isn't just a TV anymore.
- Samsung 55" HDR 4K LED TV - $347.99 - It's a huge TV, it's gonna give you a great picture, and it's surprisingly cheap with the holiday discount. You deserve it.
- Samsung 65" HDR 4K LED TV - $447.99 - Okay. Same thing as above, but huger, because you deserve that, too.
- LG C2PUA 55" 4K ($200 off) - Whether you're gaming, watching your favorite show, or using these as a virtual backdrop, you can't go wrong with an LG.
- Yamaha 5.1 Home Theater System - $649.95 - Yeah, the pandemic is over, but streaming at home is where it's at, and you know that audio is an undervalued and absolutely critical aspect of what makes a movie great. Buy this, and stream Dune immediately. Trust us.
- Bose Noise-Canceling Wireless Headphones - $249 - Ditch the cords and don't lose anything in audio quality. Whether it's something you're watching, or cutting, or just giving notes on, you'll be glad to have a pair of these.
For the Screenwriters, Novelists, and Playwrights
So you're not a tech head, but you make movies just like the rest of us. Well, this section is for you or for those you know that fit that description. It doesn't matter if you're writing for film, the stage, or for the nightstand, here are some gift ideas to write away the holidays.
- Final Draft - $250 - Many pros use this software. They call themselves the industry standard, but you can get by just fine with other choices—still, many people like the feel of using the program many other people use as well.
- Highland 2 - $50 - give yourself some software designed by A-list screenwriter John August. Wouldn't you want something dedicated to fulfilling your needs?
- Fade In - $79 - Another option that's popular with pro writers, this one looks clean o the page and is fun to use as well.
- Save the Cat - $189 per year - The most popular book and software that you don't actually use to write screenplays, this can help you structure your story or just drive you crazy when you realize you're missing specific beats.
Goodies for Writers
- Personalized idea notebook: $23.99 - Get your favorite filmmaker a journal they can put their ideas in and jot down their musings. Let them be genius and put it on the page.
- Writer Emergency Survival Guide - Got screenplay problems? This guide will help you think outside the box and challenge yourself to write better screenplays.
- Writer Emergency Pack - A deck of cards you can play when you hit writer's block? Oh, heck yes! Get yourself out of any jam, just don't try to play blackjack.
- These best screenwriting books offer a plethora of things you can read, especially if you're trying to procrastinate writing.
For Movie Nerds, Cinephiles, and Armchair Critics
This section is for movie lovers, whether you make them or not. If you love the cinema or the sitcom world, here are some gift ideas for you and yours.
So many great filmmakers learn from watching or just love film-watching, period. It's a great way to learn and get inspired, but also to support the field.
- MUBI: $10.99/mo. or $95.88/yr. - A curated platform for the streamer who wants harder-to-find indie movies, art film classics, and foreign titles you won't find on Netflix.
- Shudder: $5.99/mo. or $56.99/yr. - Spooky season may be over for some, but if it's a year-round passion for you or the film lover in your life, Shudder us the sub you need. More horror, thrillers, and supernatural suspense than anyone can handle.
- The Criterion Channel: $10.99/mo. or $99.99/yr. - The gold standard when it comes to classic cinema, from any era, country, or genre. And the box/poster art alone is worth the price, let's be honest.
- IFC Films Unlimited: $5.99/mo (must have Amazon Prime) - Devoted to independent film, this is the streamer where you can enjoy and support the indie film community in the purest sense.
- Sundance Now: $6.99/mo (must have Amazon Prime) - Do you miss actual drama? It's a massive genre that almost doesn't exist in the multiplex anymore. That's where Sundance Now comes in and saves the day.
Gear to Start Your Own Movie Podcast
- RØDE Pod Mic: $89.95 - You have a lot to say, and you think people should hear you say it! Get gabbing with your friends. Make a horror podcast or another narrative format. Go get crazy in the comfort of your own home.
- RØDE RODECaster Pro II 4-person Kit - And if you're needing a full kit, this will get you casting right out of the box.
Special Edition Gifts
- DVD box sets. The best gifts are the ones you can watch, duh! Pick and choose from things people may like in the range of classics to contemporary. Pick your favorites. Share your guilty pleasures. Go nuts!
- Special edition action figures. Prices may vary. Whether it's Todd McFarlane or just a bust you paint yourself, there are so many choices out there. There are great for your desk and to play with. These are very fun.
- Movie posters from MONDO: $50-$80. Decorate your home or office with your favorite movies. Start a conversation with friends. And pick the best and worst movies you love.
- A life-sized version of Grogu (Baby Yoda) from The Mandalorian: $375
The Stuff Ralphie Wants from A Christmas Story
- Red Ryder - But don't shoot your eye out.
- Leg lamp - Careful, it's fra-geee-lay.
- Ovaltine - The drink Little Orphan Annie likes to guzzle.
Stuff from Die Hard That Seems Really Fun
- Christmas book - Share the holiday classic with your kids.
- Mug - Sip coffee like Roy Rodgers.
- 4K Blu-ray - Own the pristine holiday classic film.
If there's anything we left out, tell us in the comments! Happy holidays!