These days DSLRs are used both for videography and photography and it has blurred the lines for the two fields. Filmmakers are not the easiest people to shop for because of the simple fact that it requires some level of tech knowledge to tell a 1080p from 1080i. Besides, this field also needs a lot of skills, passion, and understanding.
Another reason why it’s a tricky business to find gifts for student filmmakers or professionals is that technical gadgets do not come cheap. This article will make your job easier by offering gift ideas for that filmmaker in your life. Whether the recipient is a film student, film producer, director, or someone who is in film majors, you will still find the one that suits them.
Wooden 3D Movie Projector Puzzle
What better gift to give your filmmaker friend than the world’s first-ever wood assembled battery-free 3D model projector! This one-of-a-kind gift idea is a breath of fresh air from the usual techie gifts that filmmakers receive on a daily.
It comes in 183 pieces of laser-cut wooden parts and takes 4 to 6 continuous hours of work to piece it together. But there’s more to this rare vintage gift. It is also an actual film projector. You can turn the handle in a dark room and watch the old classic stories play.
Decorative Film Vintage Wall Coat Hooks
Any aspiring or professional filmmaker would love to keep decorative pieces in their home that reminds them of their profession. These coat hooks will not only serve a purpose in their home but will also add to the decor of the house.
Your filmmaker can use them to hang not only coats but also clothing articles, purses, keys, towels, and more. They are easy to install and are also removable, which means it can be taken wherever you go. If your filmmaker is always on the move shooting, it will help them keep their space organized wherever they go.
Movie Theatre Pillow Covers
It’s not very often that an aspiring or professional filmmaker would get movie theatre themed pillow covers as gifts. Be the first in their list and gift them these rare and fun pillow covers. Besides being a cool gift, these covers are also affordable and will not burn a hole in your pocket.
These cinema-style pillowcases are made of 100% cotton blended with linen fabric for breathability and durability. You can use these vivid color cases to decorate the home, office, or just any place you want.
Marquee Cinema Light-Box with Letters
Gift your filmmaker friend something that will allow them to show off their unique message. This fun cinema lightbox comes with 352 different black letters and emojis to light up any place with dimmable light. It has 16 different color options besides the classic all-white. Also, this gift set comes complete with a USB cable, remote control, and all packaged inside an attractive box.
Personalized Oscar Style Trophy
Giving this customized dummy Oscar-style trophy is a great way to encourage a friend or loved one who is in the filmmaking business. This gift will not only celebrate a special occasion but also push them towards a higher goal. Who works in this field without ever wishing to win an Oscar statuette?
This trophy comes in gold, giving it an elegant and classy touch. Furthermore, you can have a message written on the plate for a more personal touch.
Filmmaker Custom Cartoon Portrait
This custom portrait is a unique gift that will make any filmmaker remember you forever because of the thoughtfulness. The famous Simpsons family inspired the creation of these characters. And what better way to show your love to a filmmaker friend or a loved one by having their face in yellow cartoon characters. This will make them feel like they are a part of it!
You will receive this as a digital file online and you are free to print the file on anything like a t-shirt, a poster, mug, beer glass, or just about anything!
Funny Evolution of Cameraman T-Shirt
If you are under a budget yet want to gift something useful to them, then you really can’t go wrong with a t-shirt. It is a known fact that filmmakers live in t-shirts. Find something humor to add a bit of laughter to their long hours of work. This is also an excellent way to expand any film student or aspiring filmmaker’s wardrobe.
This funny t-shirt is 100% cotton so that it is comfortable to wear even under harsh weather conditions. It comes in heather grey, a classic color that goes with pretty much any color so they won’t have a hard time pairing it up.
This Is How I Roll Coffee Mug
Everybody loves coffee, and your filmmaker is no exception. Make him/her feel special every time they take a coffee break with this fun coffee mug. This is a high-quality coffee mug, and the print will not come off irrespective of how many times you wash it. It is also microwave and dishwasher safe, so your friend will simply throw it in the wash after a relaxing coffee break.
Canvas Wall Art Filmmaking Concept Scene
Canvas art has become a staple of modern living. Gift this filmmaking concept scene art to any filmmaker or director to help them liven up their personal space with the things they love.
This great piece of art will give that much needed temporary escape during a stressful day. This is a high-quality canvas art that has been stretched and then stapled to durable frames that are shrink resistant.
Vintage Style Camera Bookends
Is your filmmaker friend a book lover as well? Gifting a bookend will make their eyes light up in delight! Even better, get them these vintage video camera bookends to merge their love for filmmaking and books. That would make for a memorable gift that they will cherish forever.
This will be a great addition to their home library or office. The piece is made of fine resin and comes in vintage style, just perfect for a collector’s item.
Color Calibration Chart
Color calibration charts are stuff that people usually don’t realize they are missing until they own it. The X-Rite passport video ColorChecker is an indispensable tool during post-production. With this tool, you will be able to achieve a worry-free base color grade that is ideally exposed and consistently neutral.
If your favorite filmmaker does not own one, they will definitely appreciate you for getting one for them. Just remember to get one that is pocket-sized like this X-Rite ColorChecker so that they can easily carry it around wherever they need.
This one comes in 6 chromatic color chips, 6 shadow and highlight chips, 6 gray and skin tone ships each.
Portable External SSD
Videos require a lot of storage space and brand new camera models with higher frame rates, and resolutions only add to their (filmmakers’) woes. Furthermore, one of the biggest nightmares of a filmmaker is losing hard-earned footage because of a defective hard drive.
So a portable external drive makes for an excellent handy device, and the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is probably one of the best bets to keep those precious videos secure. This one comes with a 3-year warranty and works with both Windows, Mac OS, and Android. It has a rapid read/write speed of 540 MB/s and comes in a wide variety of cool colors and sizes, making it perfect for a fun gift!
A lot of videos these days are recorded through handheld devices. This has become a hot trend, and a lot of filmmakers are eager to incorporate this distinct look in their footage. Also, it is quite natural because there are no heavy-duty tripods involved.
This visceral touch is amazing, but it can also be distracting sometimes. A gimbal stabilizer is a solution to this dreaded woe. This DJI Ronin-SC is quite easy to understand. It makes use of motors and sensors to recompense movement and gives steady handheld footage. Gimbal stabilizers can single-handedly give a major facelift to an otherwise blah video.
Nothing is dearer to a filmmaker than their expensive gear. Giving them this waterproof backpack is sure to impress them like no other! This one from TARION is extremely waterproof and is officially passed the IPX5 waterproof grading, which means it will protect your gear from all kinds of water attacks from beaches to downpours.
This impressive backpack can carry up to 17L of stuff and has an expandable drawstring to give an extra 10% of storage space in case you need it. Another great feature that makes it secure enough to carry expensive gear is the EPE shock-proof protective padding in the inner lining.
External Audio Recorder
Here’s the good news, external audio recorders have become a lot cheaper in recent times because of the advancement in technology. And guess what a filmmaker would love more than an on-camera mic? An external audio recorder!
The compact VideoMic Pro+ from Rode is a top gear for run-and-gun shooting, and it automatically turns off the microphone when you unplug it from the camera. You can use this one with camcorders, portable audio recorders, and DSLR cameras as a source of reference and primary audio.
JOBY 5K Kit GorillaPod Compact Tripod
Your aspiring filmmaker will thank you for this flexible compact tripod. You can grip, wrap, and stand this versatile stand on any kind of terrain that lets you secure expensive professional camera gear to any sort of surface.
Do not underestimate this device by its appearance. This little piece of equipment has over 24 leg joints supported by foot grips and rubberized rings, letting you bend and even rotate it 360 degrees for high-level stability. Moreover, it can mount devices up to 11 lbs.
Help your film student transform their adventures into extraordinary quick stories right in their phones. This HERO6 GoPro action camera will automatically send all footage to your mobile phone via after both are linked. Here, the QuikStories app will transform it into an impressive edited video.
With 1080p240 and 4K60 video, this action camera will provide an immensely improved image. It has an advanced video stabilization feature that captures smooth video footage even when you hold it in your hand or mount it to your gear. Besides, it stays waterproof up to 10m (33ft) without the need for any ancillary equipment.
If you have a limited budget, go for these cheaper ones.
What filmmaker doesn’t want a drone? Cool camera moves and aerial videos are everything these days to punch up footage, and the way to get them done is through drones!
DJI is currently one of the biggest players in the consumer drone domain, and the Mavic Pro 4K quadcopter is a wise choice for a cool gift. This one has a fully-stabilized 4K/12MP camera and comes with approximately 4.3 miles of transmission range. You can fly this bad boy for up to 27 minutes or 40 mph. If you want to help your filmmaker get smooth, high-quality videos in difficult-to-reach shooting locations, look no further than this drone.
New Laptop for Film Students
We all have laptops, but for filmmakers in general and film students in particular, the more powerful they have, the more efficient they can be at work. With the 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor, the Acer Predator Helios 300 will never fail to impress a filmmaker.
Besides the strong CPU, it comes with the GTX 1660 Ti GTX 1660 Ti that has 6 GB GDDR6 VRAM. This is a full HD laptop with IPS displays LED-backlit widescreen. Any filmmaker will love the super fast overdrive response time of 3ms and the refresh rate of 144Hz.
This Acer laptop boasts of an impressive 16 GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory. It also has a slot open for quick upgrades along with 1 hard drive bay. Not only these, but the sound technology in this laptop is also Waves MaxxAudio, featuring maxxDialog, MaxxVolume, MaxxBass, along with a hyper-realistic 3D audio that makes use of true harmony technology. With that much technology, users will have the best audio experience when using.
Headphones are a must-have for any filmmaker. As a matter of fact, you will find a whole bunch of them in their gear. However, each one often has different tasks. If you are familiar with the filmmaking business, you will already be aware of the fact that production depends heavily on audio.
A pair of studio monitor professional headphones will be the perfect gift for your filmmaker friend. The ATH-M50x headphones by Audio-Technica is a critically acclaimed piece with high praise from pro audio reviewers and leading audio engineers. Your friend will thank you forever for the exceptional clarity and accurate, deep bass response that these headphones bring.
A Filmmaker’s Handbook
The Filmmaker’s Handbook is widely considered as the “bible” for film and video production. So any filmmaker (working or aspiring) would be ecstatic to add it to their library collection. This is currently the fifth edition, giving professionals and students the right guidance to directing, producing, editing, distribution, and shooting of a film or video of any capacity. You can either choose to present as a hardcover copy or an ebook.
The reason why this makes for a versatile gift is that it benefits a wide range of people like teachers and students, novices, and professionals. Whether you are looking to learn how to make documentaries, broadcast, corporate, and experimental films and videos, you will get something of substance from this book. Besides the technical aspect, it also covers the business aspect of producing and funding your future project.
Masterclass – Filmmaking Courses
If you love your filmmaker or film director and respect what they do, give them something that will help break barriers in the movie-making business.
Online masterclass courses are both for entry-level filmmakers and professionals who are looking to brush up on their existing skills. Currently, there are so many fantastic online courses available from internationally successful directors like Werner Herzog, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and many more.
Werner Herzog’s masterclass teaches people how to make feature filmmaking and documentaries. His film class teaches things like storytelling, location scouting, cinematography, interview techniques for documentaries, self-financing. In addition, it will help bring personal ideas to life so that people can make uncompromising movies.
Director Spike Lee’s masterclass includes teaching students how to write, self-produce, work with actors, and overall just make movies that can break barriers.
As for Martin Scorsese, his film class is ever-online, something that is more suited to busy people. This Oscar winner shares all of his secret approaches to successful filmmaking, from storytelling to working with actors to editing.