Films are the most influential medium there are today. Millions of people are affected by them. They have the potential to change and even save lives. But such power doesn’t come cheap. It requires efforts of a whole group of talented people for a film to come to life. Not to mention it can be expensive.
So, indie filmmakers who dream to make a film on their own need all the help they can get. Therefore I’ve listed some gadgets that will most definitely be useful for them.
For others, more successful filmmakers who don’t need them, there are lots of amazing and charming gifts in this list.
Blackmagic Design Production Camera
Just a couple decades ago if you wanted to make a film you had to consider the cost of 35mm or 16mm film and editing costs, which are expensive. Forget practising and learning by trial and error, you had to save the film which made the filmmaker's job hard.
Today, DSLRs are the most popular cameras to shoot videos. They have huge sensors which work great in low light.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera is essentially an upgrade to DSLR video technology. It allows 4K resolution shooting.
At this price, this is the best camera a filmmaker can buy. T This will make a incredibly useful gift for a filmmaker.
BlackMagic Cinema Camera Complete Kit
If your filmmaker already has a Blackmagic camera, you can gift him this kit that comes with everything needed for film shooting.
The camera itself is very lightweight which can be a problem during handheld shots. The footage seems too shaky and wobbly, which can be annoying.
The mount helps add weight. Also, things like focus rings, monitors, barn doors, make the shooting experience pleasurable.
Keychains make likeable gifts. There's a lot of variety out there. Google for keychain designs and you'll find endless creative and fun designs.
While you might think of giving them a video camera shaped keychain, that's unoriginal. It takes a little more effort to impress a creative person.
This keychain is amusing and funny. I came, I saw, I shot. Sounds something out of a novel.
The simplest things can make great presents if given to the right person. It's the thought that counts.
Filmmaker Wire Sculpture
Filmmakers are artists. And they appreciate creativity in everything. You don't have to buy them an overpriced painting from an art gallery to impress them. A small but creative, and attractive thing like this will do.
They'll love it. And they'll love your thoughtfulness and respect for their craft.Usually I would recommend you give something practical and useful rather than something that's just for show, but things like these are not just for show, they represent a person's love for an art form. And they represent their dreams.
GoPro HERO4 BLACK
Technology keeps giving wonderful gifts to filmmakers. After the invention of digital video recording, which revolutionized independent filmmaking, the progress has never been so fast. New gadgets are introduced every day that make lives of filmmakers a lot easier.
GoPro is a popular choice among indie filmmakers. It's tough, water resistant, small enough to be mounted on a helmet, shoots 4k videos, and is surprisingly affordable.
Shots you can take with a Go Pro is limited to your creativity.
No filmmaker wouldn't want a Go Pro for a gift. Even if they have one already. More the better. It's the perfect gift.
This is the age of indie filmmakers. Just a few years ago, you'd need to rent a helicopter to get an aerial shot, which was a little to costly for a independent filmmaker with low or no budget.
They would have to do without these shots. But now, thanks to the inventors of this amazing gadget, for much much less cost you can buy a drone camera and shoot aerial shots all day (Hopefully not overdoing these shots in their films).
Not just for aerial shots though, you can fly it close to the ground and follow your subject. The limit is your imagination. This video is a montage of spectacular drone cinema from the works of 32 filmmakers.
There is nothing more impressive as a gift for an aspiring filmmaker.
Camera Patent Poster
This is not just a poster. It's a time travel machine. You look at it and it takes you back to the time when the inventor was scratching his head while trying to figure out a perfect design for his invention.
You can imagine the excitement and the joy while rushing to the patent office.
Presents like these are memorable. They're never going to take it off the wall. They think of you every time they look at it.
Put it in a nice, attractive frame if you want.
Portable Digital Recorder
Any filmmaker will tell you how important audio quality is to a film. Even more important than video quality.
If the film is interesting, the audience will likely ignore a less than great image quality, but if the audio fails to live up to the standard, they will walk away. And you can't blame them. Bad audio is unbearably annoying.
A newbie indie filmmaker with a DSLR can use a decent sound recorder like this (Audio recording on DSLRs is awful). This recorder is the choice of professions.
Remember, practical gifts are the best.
Quentin Tarantino Collection
I don't know if you know who Quentin Tarantino is, you likely do, but any movie buff or filmmaker has heard of him.
His first film, The Reservoir Dogs (An independent film) is considered one of the best films ever made.
Tarantino didn't go to film school. All he learned about filmmaking is by watching films. He watched and learned and than tried making his own. A method of learning people have used for centuries to master their crafts.
Watching films is what a filmmaker must do to learn. Gift this set to them or works of some other directors they like. They'll love it, and enjoy the films.
Camera Lens Kit for iPhone
Apple is not shy of boasting about Iphone's camera. It's good enough to shoot videos that can be screened in the cinema. Great for shooting short films.
They even have their own film festival dedicated to short films shot on the Iphone 6.
If your receiver owns an Iphone, this kit will be a great addition to the collection. Getting specific shots using different lenses is an important part of cinematographer's and director's work. Stanley Kubrick was creative with his use of lenses.
Shooting with just the iphone's default lens limits its visual storytelling applications. This kit comes with lenses of different focal lengths, allowing variety.
Which makes it very useful and a very likeable gift.
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Book
As a lover of films, I'm always asking people to suggest me good films to watch. The hunger for more films never ends. The problem is, not all films are worth the time.
Thankfully, someone wrote this book. While there is no way to rank films for quality, this is mostly a matter of opinion, the author has done enough research to make sure that the films on this list deserve to be there.
Anyway, filmmakers are naturally passionate about films. Watching them and making them. Usually it's a great film that makes us aspire to be a filmmaker.
I can't imagine a real filmmaker who doesn't love this book as a gift. They'll be grateful to you for this present.
Cinematography: Theory and Practice Book
A substantial part of a director's job is to work with the director of photography to make use of the visual storytelling techniques to tell a story the best way possible.
Without a good understanding of cinematography techniques, a filmmaker cannot reach his potential. Visual storytelling techniques help affect the audience's emotions. Texture, mood, color, balance all play part in how we perceive a scene.
This book has everything you need to know about cinematography techniques. Useful for any filmmaker. Which makes it a great gift. Knowledge is precious.
Vintage Cinema Chairs
What to gift someone who has everything? Well, take them back to the time that was lost with these beautiful vintage cinema chairs.
The experience of watching old classic sitting on these early 20th century cinema chairs is precious. It's the perfect setting for a home theatre. Especially for a filmmaker who admires the old classics.
People tend to prefer the past. They think it's beautiful and they were born a little too late. The past was perfect. Things like these make them reminiscent about the old days. A charming gift.
Cinema Lights Vinyl Wall Decal
Everyone has an artist in them. Some paint on the canvas, some graffiti the walls, some sketch comics, and some turn their homes into their art.
Home is our temple, it's where we spend a significant portion of our lives. The more alive it looks the better we feel.
Our homes also reflect our personality, our tastes, style, dreams, and the love for our crafts. Whatever that may be.
This will be a perfect one for a filmmaker.
If you love to read, you carry a book around, or may be a kindle (And save some trees). Which is great. Reading is very important, but what if you love watching films and have an urge to watch one.
Sure, you can watch a movie on you cellphone, but the small screens are no fun. At least not for a filmmaker who constantly like to notice the details and visual storytelling. We don't want to miss out on those.
Fortunately, technology has done us justice. This tiny projector is the best thing you can gift a lover of films. It's capable of projecting 120 inch display. Your own personal portable theatre
I mentioned Quentin Tarantino before in this post. He's a role model of thousands of aspiring filmmakers. They love his films, Pulp Fiction being among the most iconic ones.
For a fan of this film, this Pulp Fiction Vinyl Clock with Jules and Vincent carved out, will make a loveable gift.
Also, the uniqueness and creativity of the design makes it special.
Cinema Lens Kit
When it comes to cinematography, one of the most important decisions the cinematographer has to make is the choice of lens for a particular shot.
That's why film-makers are obsessed with lenses. It allows creative visual style and experimentation. Choice of lens makes a significant difference. You can use them to apply various visual storytelling techniques that affects mood and the interpretation of the subject's importance on screen.
The professional cinema lens kit is what a filmmaker needs to create memorable scenes. Of course you can rent these when filming but owning them will help practice different techniques. Practice makes perfect, right?
If you're looking for a gift for someone close who dreams of becoming the next Spielberg, this will be the best thing to help them advance in their career.
Making Movies by Sidney Lumet
The late legendary filmmaker of the films like 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict, wrote this book about making films. And it's a must read for anyone who wants to learn the craft.
What I really like about this book is that, without getting too technical, it takes you through every aspect of filmmaking you need to know. From directing actors, cinematography to editing. A filmmaker must have a strong understanding of these to effectively work with the professionals and get the best results.
Lumet wrote the book in a casual, entertaining style with anecdotes and more, which makes it an enjoyable read.
It will make a fine gift for a aspiring director, and even for a more experienced one who keeps an open mind for learning.