When you have a filmmaker as a friend, professional, or aspiring, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to find him a gift that will add value to his career. That is, of course, if you are not from a filmmaking background yourself. This dilemma of what to give them as a gift can be very confusing, and sometimes, frustrating even. And seeing how that might trouble you, we have come up with 30 curated gifts for filmmakers that you can surprise them with.
Perhaps some of the greatest insights on filmmaking are shared by this book – Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective. There is no denying that Martin Scorsese is some of the greats when it comes to filmmaking. And filmmaking gifts like these are meant to be shared. Scorsese has delivered so many spectacular films over the years that any book written on him is a treasure of resources for any true aspiring filmmaker.
In this book, renowned movie critic Tom Shone shares insights on 23 of Martin Scorsese’s greatest movies which include movies like The Wolf of the wall street, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, The Departed, Raging Bull and so on. Along with the insights and commentaries, the book also shares behind the scenes, photos, and posters. This is one of the best gifts for filmmakers.
This puzzle/game will be a very very fun and cool gift for your friend or loved one who is into filmmaking. I personally feel this is one of the best under $50 gifts for filmmakers. This Vitascope projector is made entirely of wood and it is an actual playing projector once you are done building it. A fun and memorable gift for every filmmaker.
For any filmmaker, script supervision is one of the most important aspects of filmmaking. It is very important to do it right. That is why organized workflow plays the most crucial part of this process for more productivity in less time. Here is a book that teaches exactly that.
A filmmaker or director is responsible for almost everything in a set. He is also a manager that ensures if people are working harmoniously. This is one of the most crucial aspects of filmmaking. This filmmaking gift teaches exactly that.
Apart from script supervision, lighting is also one of the most important aspects of quality filmmaking. Lighting can make or break your film. If you have a good understanding of how to light a sequence, your film will look good even if it is a low budget.
So if your friend doesn’t have a good enough lighting source, you can gift him the Apurture MC RGBWW LED Light. This is a good lighting source that can give almost any color. And the best thing about this compact light is it is portable and doesn’t need a whole crew to carry it around. So any sequence such as a chase, fight, or more can easily be done with this.
Camera cage can be really helpful for a filmmaker as it helps you to easily configure your camera for videos. There are many attachment points and threads in a camera cage for a number of different camera sizes. This exoskeleton also takes a bulk of load of the camera off your shoulders and in turn, you can make movies freely and without any strain. This is a perfect gift that will work as a stepping stone for someone who wants to go into making movies.
A major part of filmmaking is lighting. Everyone at any point in time needs a table lamp. And a miniature vintage tripod table lamp that looks just like a studio light from Hollywood’s golden era will definitely take the show.
This table lamp is height adjustable. You can adjust lamp shades for light effect and also left and right 180 degrees and up and down. If your friend doesn’t have one, surprise them with this vintage table lamp.
Remember Tangerine film that came in 2015. A movie that was made on an iPhone from start to finish. Or perhaps the short film Snow Steam Iron(2017) made by Zack Snyder that was fully shot using an iPhone.
Well, Smartphone Filmmaking Rig can help you with that. It is an impressive rig that can help you make movies with a phone. It feels well balanced between your fingers and avoids shaky videos. You get multiple mounts on which you can mount anything from a microphone to a tripod. A great tool for any filmmaker who wants to use a phone as a source for his videos.
A director’s chair is a lightweight chair made of campus and wood. The legacy of Hollywood and director’s have made this chair an iconic symbol in filmmaking. This chair also symbolizes that it is a Director’s chair and only he should use it. As a director has little to no time to sit down on his set, when he must, he shouldn’t be looking for one around.
As with every filmmaker, your friend’s personalized director’s chair with his name on it will hold value to him. So go ahead and gift him one. This can be a fantastic gift for a director. He will not be able to forget this one.
A tripod is every filmmaker’s old and trusted best friend when it comes to filming a video. The main function of a tripod is to stabilize the video making equipment and for lower shutter speeds. It is also used for the shallow depth field and also for adding a strong neutral density filter. All in all a very important equipment. While tripods come in various sizes, here are some honorable mentions that will melt your friend’s heart.
- Velbon Videomate 638 See On Amazon
- Manfrotto MVK502AM See On Amazon
- Benro Aero 4 Travel Angel See On Amazon
When making a film, a production slate is quite useful as it tells the post-production team when a camera is started. It is another matter that if the product is small, a production slate makes it feel more executive and professional. You can also take notes on a slate according to a specific scene or take that helps you in execution and editing. So help your friend getting hands on one of these as having these are really cool and valuable.
Here are some of the production slate you can gift a filmmaker friend:
A filmmaker often relies on dual-system audio rather than a camera’s because having the best audio quality is one of the things that a professional filmmaker goes for. And you can’t have that without using any external form of an audio recording system. Zoom H1 is a high-grade audio gear that records crisp audio. It is an all in one audio recording system – a pocket-size recorder with a wired mic, or a standalone microphone, or a USB microphone.
An external audio recorder gives you added functionality and quality that a built-in one doesn’t. If you want a highly professional one, then check out Zoom H4n or Tascam DR-10L.
Having a tripod cannot always help you in making a good professional movie. But there are certain sequences or clips where you have to move rapidly from one place to another. A tripod in that situation is counterproductive as it is mostly bulky and moving it from one place to another can be a problem for some filmmakers. A Gimbal Stabilizer can help here.
A Gimbal stabilizer uses motors and sensors to keep a camera at a fixed level and compensates for your movement. This in turn provides smooth video captures without shaking. This tool is becoming increasingly popular for filmmakers these days as it is very easy to use in motion sequences. Might as well for your friend.
Making aerial videos are fun and exciting. Nowadays, drones are becoming increasingly popular amongst filmmakers for shooting professional aerial videos. Before drones, you had to use all kinds of massive camera moves that were big and expensive. Some large Hollywood production movies still use it but the majority of them are now shifting to drone video capture. For making movies, using a drone does a very fine job.
We recommend DJI Mavic Air 2 as it gives you 60fps true cinematic 4k videos. It has 31 minutes of flight time and a 5-mile range. Also, it can go up to 44mph and has ActiveTrack. If you want something a bit more on the lighter side, we recommend Parrot Anafi(4k) or DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This gift will surely bring your friend an early Christmas!
The decor and design of the house tell a lot about the people who live in it. In a filmmaker’s house, you may see many decors related to cinema and filmmaking. Maybe you want to add something to it? If you do, take these Cinematic Pillow Covers with you as a gift to make their house look more cinematic.
A far-reaching gift for any filmmaker can be Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. This 4k pocket camera applies color science and image quality on a whole another level. And guess what? It comes with free Da Vinci Resolve Studio(Pro Video Editing Software) that separately comes with a price tag of $299. But with this camera, it is free for a lifetime. At this price tag, this is a steal and one of the best gifts for filmmakers.
There is a very very small tiny chance that a filmmaker doesn’t know what GoPro action camera is. If you ask any filmmaker what a GoPro camera is, they will be able to tell you all about it. At the core what GoPro does is it takes the professional quality 4k point-and-shoots and videos and brings it down to a much smaller size, waterproof. This camera is quite affordable than other professional cameras out in the market.
This camera is literally indestructible and you can shoot almost anything with it. It uses an ultrawide-angle lens through which you can capture wider shots and sequences. This can be a perfect gift to give away to your loved ones irrespective of if they are in filmmaking business or not.
If a filmmaker is a somewhat artistic type and loves paintings and illustrations, you should give them a Filmmaking Canvas Art that will compliment their home with their personality and their career both. A canvas art like above will make quite a good choice to give away as a gift.
There are numerous small microphones that can mount on your camera or camcorder and make your videos sound more professional. Rode VideoMic is one such powerful microphone that can enhance any DSLR or camera’s sound quality. It can also mount on any camcorder or camera and comes with a 100 hr battery life. It can be a great gift for a budget filmmaker or someone who is starting out into filmmaking.
Written by one of the many famous film critics – Steven Jay Schneider and editor of Curzon and BFI Filmmakers Ian – Haydn Smith, this recommendation book is a true gem for indie filmmakers who want to know in-depth how movies are made. Every blockbuster movie that has ever made is recommended in the book.
As a filmmaker, half of your time is spent watching other movies for techniques and inspiration or editing your own movies. This book can be a good gift for a serious filmmaker as he will not have to search for good films anymore.
My First Movie is a book that features twenty celebrated Directors like The Coen Brothers, Pedro Almodovar, Kevin Smith, Oliver Stone, Allisson Anders, and so on, that talks in extraordinary detail about their experience making their debut movie.
Every aspect of the filmmaking industry is explored from raising finance, assembling crew, promotion, shooting, editing, casting actors, and releasing the movie. A must-read for every serious filmmaker and get insights on how the industry works. This is a good director gift if this is what your friend is going for in the filmmaking industry.
A gift that reminds him/her of their passion and creativity, even while sipping coffee. This cool camera lens coffee mug will keep you on their minds wherever they go. This mug has a push open feature that makes it good one-handed use. It also comes with a travel bag.
An artist needs ways to be creative. And sometimes this gap is filled by technology. GorillaPod is such a thing. A filmmaker can take their creativity to heights with this GorillaPod as you can wrap it around objects, make it stand or grip it, it will remain sturdy and durable. Also, it can hold any camera or DSLR up to 3 kg (6.6lbs). One of the best gifts for filmmakers under $50.
When in editing mode, a pair of headphones can be a filmmaker’s greatest friend. During editing or shoot, the filmmaker has to keep a close watch at the sound quality as it can make or break their films. So, in order to listen to the audio quality, many filmmakers always have a pair of headphones with them to check the sound of their film.
These Sony Professional headphones are equally loved by all filmmakers as it gives you powerful, crisp, and detailed sound quality. It also has a noise cancellation feature and can be folded for easy travel.
A good filmmaker should have all sorts of filmmaking technology at his disposal. And that also includes a smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer. If your filmmaker friend or loved one likes to shoot their videos using a smartphone sometimes, you should take a Gimbal Stabilizer as a gift for them. And for this purpose, we recommend none other than DJI Osmo Mobile 3.
This Gimbal stabilizer uses brushless motors to provide you with smoother videos and eliminates unwanted camera movements. It features gesture control, Panoramas, Slow motion Dolly Zoom, Timelapse, Hyperlapse, Sport Mode, Story Mode, and Handy convenience. If your friend doesn’t have one, you should definitely consider taking this as a gift for him.
Usually, a filmmaking drone comes at a price tag far too outreaching. And a professional one is even more expensive. As a beginner in the filmmaking industry, you cannot afford to have such type of equipment at your disposal. Except one.
DJI saw this and brought out a more compact version of their drone – DJI Mavic Mini. What they have done is made the drone so compact as to fit it easily inside your pocket. The drone also has stunning HD video quality and many features. And at what price you say? A mere $399.
Does your friend have a tripod for shooting films? What about a mini tripod for smartphones? This little piece of equipment may come in handy for your friend and is easily portable and is lightweight. It features a 360-degree pan and will lock your shoot at any angle. One better feature is that it can cross converted from tripod into a stabilizer grip. A small but handy gift for filmmakers.
Many filmmakers like to have movie souvenirs. You can give them one by gifting this movie quotes mug. It features more than 24 movie quotes from different Hollywood blockbusters.
Almost every filmmaker has a studio monitor in his studio sound quality and editing purposes. If your friend doesn’t have one, you might want to gift them one. We recommend JBL Professional 305P Studio Monitor. These speakers give accurate sounds and have advanced features for professional work.
This Monitor features MkII next-generation JBL transducers with new Boundary EQ and sleek design. The Boundary EQ feature gives neutral low-frequency response when placed on the work surface adjacent to walls. This is a piece of tech that any movie maker will love to have in their editing room.
Almost every filmmaker’s dream is to have an Oscar in his hands one day. Now you can’t give them a real Oscar, but you can definitely show some appreciation to their craft in a fun way. Take this Oscar replica for example, with their name engraved beneath. You hope this may drive their passion in some way or the other whenever they look at it. Your friend will definitely love this and keep it close forever.
For any filmmaker who has a knack for going into technical details with everything, this set of 6 Cinema Art Posters will be a good fit for them. This will be a good gift for any filmmaker nonetheless. These sets include Cinema Patent Illustrations from various angles, showing a true masterpiece and how cinema came into being. The history of filmmaking will look beautiful on their wall.