Films are the most influential medium there are today. They affect millions of people around the world. Art is shaped by culture and culture is shaped by art. A great film has 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. Thus 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.
Martin Scorsese Filmmaking Masterclass
Martin Scorsese is one of the most decorated filmmakers we have today. He is the guy who made gangster films popular. He is considered to be a master of the craft.
His masterclass can be an great source of valuable knowledge for any filmmaker. Which is why this makes a great gift for any director willing to improve his craft.
Masterclass provides a gift option for their courses. You can gift this course to the filmmaker in your life.
Filmmaking Definition T-shirt
A cool t-shirt with a message that tries to define what filmmaking is about. “The art of visualizing dreams” it says.
And in a way it can’t be any more true. The source of creative vision comes from the ability to play the film in your mind long before the shoot begins.
A witty take on filmmaking printed on a cool looking t-shirt. I see no reason a filmmaker wouldn’t love this.
The Filmmaker Says Book
In any form of craft the masters of it, the most skilled and insightful practitioners of the field, keep adding to the ever growing compendium of knowledge. That is how that craft evolves.
Every bit of this wisdom is precious for a filmmaker aiming to improve their own knowledge and skill. This is true for both aspiring as well as established ones.
This book is a collection of the most insightful quotes and saying about making films. Anyone who loves learning about filmmaking will love this book as a gift.
Classic Film Posters Collection
Most filmmakers love the classics. Ask any aspiring filmmaker or your average film buff their favorite films and classics such as The Godfather or Citizen Kane will likely be on the list.
Classics represent the times of true innovation and the beginning of something that will forever change the way cinema was made.
This is a collection of 20 posters reprints of classic films. Your recipient will love it the moment they see it.
Written & Directed by Tote Bag
Sometimes the simplest gifts make the most impressive ones.
A director love their identity as a filmmaker as much as they love their job. A gift like this does an effective job of letting them know that recognize that love.
This writer & director bag does this perfectly. They will appreciate your choice.
The Art of Seductive Gift Giving
Gifts are important in seduction. A well thought out & planned gift can make a great impression on your tar...
Customized Filmmaker Clapboard Pillow
Personalized things can make very impressive gifts. If you can be witty and original you can really delight your recipient.
For a director watching and making movies is their passion and anything that reminds them of it brings them pride.
You change the text on this pillow and get the text you want printed on it. Don’t write anything too cheesy though. No one wants those.
Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective
Martin Scorsese is a veteran filmmaker. This book has many insights on the art of making movies and valuable advice for aspiring filmmakers.
In this book Scorsese shares his experiences and his take on cinema. It’s a great read.
For a filmmaker who is passionate about their job, filmmaking is an important part of their identity. It becomes a badge of pride for them. They love their craft and the job title is something they cherish.
Practical, useful gifts are awesome, but a less feasible gift that tells them you understand them well are build relationships.
Recipients prefer general gifts that reflect their interests. This cap fits that criteria.
Godparents Wine Glass Set
The Godfather is one of the most appreciated films among aspiring filmmakers all over the world. It has a special place in the hearts of all film lovers.
This wine glass set by paramount pictures is a fun gift for any aspiring director or even a fan of the film. A must have in a true film buffs home.
Film Reel Wall Clock
I recommend feasible gifts over what generally givers see as creative or desirable gifts. Recipients like practical things they can put to use and derive ownership value out of. Although you can pick something that is creative and related to your recipient’s interests it has to be somewhat useful and add value to them.
A classy, vintage looking wall clock may not be the most practical gift in the world, but is still something they’ll be glad to receive.
A film reel is associated with filmmaking more than anything else. This will make a charming gift for any filmmaker with class.
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 than this. They’ll see this and instantly imagine the things they can do with this. Also it’s so much fun. This will also make a cool gift for a Youtuber.
Smartphone Filmmaking Rig
When people realized that one of the breakout hits at the Sundance Film Festival, Tangerine by director Sean Baker was shot on an iPhone, the smartphone filmmaking revolution got kickstarted.
It was the time people knew that not owning a professional film camera was no excuse not to make a film.
This smartphone video rig is a great tool for filmmakers experimenting with smartphone filmmaking and will make a fine gift.
Book on Scriptwriting
This is one of the best screenwriting books available today. The author John Truby spent years studying the greatest films to understand the workings of a great story.
We can now learn from the lessons he laids out in this book. From developing a premise to scene reconstruction. This book has it all and more.
The Anatomy of Story is truly a useful gift for any filmmaker or writer.
People try to find unique items to gift to their recipients believing that the uniqueness itself makes their gift more desirable, but recipients don’t care much about it.
Given a choice recipients would prefer general gifts that reflect their personal interests over very specific and unique gifts.
This pendant is a creative idea but since it reflects something they’re passionate about and is also very stylish. A cool gift from a giver with good taste.
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Book
As a lover of cinema, 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 my time.
There is no way to rank films for quality objectively. It is mostly a matter of opinion. The author of this book has done enough research to make sure that the films on this list deserve to be there.
This book will expose you to great films you might have not known about. Your recipient will appreciate all the new suggestions they got from this.
Cinematography: Theory and Practice Book
A substantial part of a director’s job is to work with the director of photography. Together they 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.
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.
Artists tend to prefer the ways of the glorious past over the boring present. 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
Creativity is born out of a mess of ideas floating around in your head unchecked, but if that chaos left unchecked, those ideas never come to fruition.
The fine line between chaos and order is where good things come to life. That is why a little organisation is important for an artist to become productive and create great art.
This notebook is designed for directors to organize their ideas and plan their films. It’s a great tool to have for any filmmaker and makes a fine gift.
Movie Food Reference Cookbook
What if you could try out recipes you see in your favorite films? Fortunately for us we can find out. Someone had this great idea of putting together the recipes from a great collection of films. From giant timpano from Big Night to deli fare from When Harry Met Sally this book has it all.
This cookbook for movie lovers makes a fun and lovable gift.
Director's Megaphone Prop
Practical gifts are always good, but sometimes a fun gift makes someones day. We grow up and become too practical but we still miss the old fun and carefreeness from our childhoods.
This Director’s megaphone prop is a cool present for any filmmaker. They’ll love it.
Rebel Without a Crew - Robert Rodriguez
We can be too practical in life and let excuses and obstacles let us stop from going after the things we really want. Robert Rodriguez didn’t let the fact that he didn’t have a massive budget or even a camera let his stop from making a film.
With $7000 he saved up from participating in medical trials and his creative problem solving skills, he made a film that was screened at Sundance Film Festival and launched his hollywood career.
In this book he tells the story of the making of El Mariachi. An inspiring read for any aspiring filmmaker.
This is a pleasant reminiscence of the age of cinema when the audience awaited eagerly outside a theater with the film titles lit up a huge lightbox outside.
In the age of netflix and a gigantic number of new films coming out everyday filmmakers feel they don’t get the appreciation and respect that they deserve for their efforts.
Well, you can show your appreciation for their craft by gifting them this mini lightbox.
My First Movie (Book)
Reading, listening and watching stories is how we learn. Our brains are hardwired to crave them. And it’s the best way to gain knowledge about anything.
The tales about their first films by twenty different filmmakers have a lots of lessons any filmmaker can benefit from. They’ll thank you for this.
Film Equipment Themed Wall Hooks
Our homes and our walls reflect who we are because we like to surround ourselves with the things that represent our personalities.
A filmmaker proud of their craft will love to have things like these film related wall hooks remind them about the love for their art.
Cinema Room Sign
A fun gift for a filmmaker to hang outside their doors to let people know that they’re always working and creating. Their minds always on a task to come up with creative ideas.
Essentially their bedrooms are where filmmakers sit in solitude watching the films they will be making in their mind’s eye.
Downton Abbey Official Cocktail Book
Cocktail recipe books are always great to have. You can show off your mixing skills at a party and leave people awed.
A cocktail recipe book based on a classic film is a genius idea. They probably don’t know it exists yet, but when they get it, they’ll know they always wanted it.
They’ll thank you for your great mind reading skills.
Movie Quotes For All Occasions
Filmmakers and film buffs are known for annoying people with movie quotes all the time. Well, films are our passion and we can recite movie quotes all day.
A filmmaker will be glad to add more quotes to his collection. This book has movie quotes for all occasions so that they’ll never be out of a quote.
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 Vinyl Clock with Jules and Vincent carved out, will make a loveable gift. You can find more Pulp Fiction Themed Gifts here.
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.
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 HERO9 Camera
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.
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.
This cup makes me wonder if making a film is like living a new life. You live sometimes in your imagination, sometimes on set making that story & its characters come to life.
When you gift this to a filmmaker, every time they use this mug it will evoke some great memories.
This quality makes mug much more than just a mug. This makes machine that brings back precious memories. They will love it.
Portable Digital Audio 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.
Beyond Continuity Book
Organization is crucial in any job. Creative Arts are not an exception. Effective management and organized workflow leads to less unnecessary stress and hence more productivity. Which is very important.
As a director you have to act as the manager who takes command of all things happening on the set. Not an easy job. If you don’t do it properly script supervision is a task that can make a lot of complications during the shooting process.
The techniques that this book offers will help them be more efficient at script supervising, making their job easier and giving them time to be more productive Gifts that make our lives easier are the most liked.