When a film becomes a hit, it’s the director who mostly gets the credit. And to be fair, they deserve it. They lead the team of creatives through unforeseen obstacles, tight schedules and make order out of the chaos on the set to turn an idea into a film.
But the writers, who create the story world out of their imagination, essentially the first ones to see the film, don’t get as recognized.
Try naming a few screenwriters working today out of the top of your head. May be a few big names like Aaron Sorkin and Charlie Kaufman will pop into your head, but the rest of them mostly go on living without the fame that befalls of filmstars and bigshot directors.
So to honor those not-as-sung heroes that write our favourite films, here’s a list of the best gifts for screenwriters.
There’s something about watching a writer character in a period film typing frantically at the typewriter that makes you want to write the same way.
Us humans are wired to use our hands to create things. The kinetic energy helps encourage a flow of ideas.
Keyboards are fine, but they don’t give the same feeling and typewriters are just not practical today. So this typewriter style keyboard is a writer’s best shot at getting that creative flow. It will make an awesome gift for a screenwriter.
Aaron Sorkin's Screenwriting Masterclass
Aaron Sorkin is perhaps the most famous screenwriter today. He is known for writing films such as A Few Good Men, The Social Network, Steve Jobs, Moneyball and the TV show The West Wing.
In this Masterclass he shares some great lessons on the art of writing screenplays. You can gift this course to your recipient.
It’s easy for a writer to get carried away while working. You never know when the day ends and the night begins. The writing continues.
A study lamp is a companion for those nights when the words don’t stop flowing. And most writers, or at least the old fashioned ones, love something that looks vintage.
This is an ideal study lamp to gift a writer.
The Anatomy of Story
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend that you gift a screenwriting book to a scriptwriter. It’s likely they have those books already, and besides, some people just take it the wrong way.
I included this book in the list because it’s an essential for any writer serious about learning the craft, and if you are certain that they don’t own a copy they’ll appreciate getting one.
If they’re the humble and willing to learn types then go ahead, give them this book.
Magnetic Notebook For Writers
Creativity is messy. Ideas don’t follow a schedule. And that can be difficult to manage those ideas on paper if you’re trying to shuffle between a bunch of them.
This notebook solves this problem. The pages can be detached and put back in any order so you don’t have to worry about a proper order to follow when noting them down.
A very useful tool for writers.
Dalton Trumbo was a controversial screenwriter in the 1940s. He was accused by the government to be a member of the communist party and boycotted from writing any films.
He continued to write with an alias and won and ended up winning an oscar.
This is a must watch film for any screenwriter. It teaches us to keep writing despite the obstacles that face us, no matter how tough they are. They’ll enjoy the film and thank you for the present.
Digital Voice Recorder
Sometimes ideas can come so quickly that it can be too overwhelming to write them down and other times they’re just so random that it’s inconvenient to take out a book to write them down.
A digital voice recorder can come in handy in these situations. A useful gadget for a writer. A practical gift they’ll appreciate.
Anyone in the business of making movies is there because of their love for cinema. We all love stories, but some just love it so much that they feel a need to create something of their own.
This cinema lightbox is an ideal gift for filmmakers, film buffs and anyone who loves films.
The Rewrite (Film)
As a filmmaker I love watching films and TV shows about filmmakers.
We, humans, learn by watching and observing, and these films offer a good source of knowledge. After all stories are lessons on life.
The rewrite is a story of a washed up screenwriter who takes up a job as a writing professor while still trying to make it back in the business.
It’s a good film and your recipient will enjoy it and may be learn a few things from it.
Future Oscar Winner T-shirt
Sometimes all you need when you’re trying to chase a dream is someone to believe in you. Even if you are confident about yourself self doubt can slip in from time to time.
This t-shirt is more than just a t-shirt. It’s your way of saying to your recipient that you believe in them. This will make a charming gift for aspiring screenwriters. Maybe they’ll even include you in their Academy Awards speech.
Screenwriter Coffee Mug
This is hilarious. I admit. Screenwriting is much harder than it looks. Everyone thinks they can write until they try. And that’s the reason most people don’t try. Self-handicapping helps us preserve our self image.
A writer is a miracle worker indeed, creating an entire story world by himself, dicating their every move, their destiny. This isn’t the best gift on the list, but it’s a good way to let them know you get how hard it is.
A typewriter used to be an essential tool for any writer just a few decades ago. Before that it was pen and paper, but typewriters made the process more efficient.
Now, laptops have replaced them and they’re almost extinct, so owning a typewriter is rare thing. That doesn’t mean writers don’t want to, they do. Even if it’s just to write once in a while for fun and change of pace.
This will make an exciting present.
The Filmmaker Says Book
The people who master their crafts learn unique bites of wisdom that the students can benefit from.
This book is a collection of some insightful quotations from the best filmmakers in the industry.
A filmmaker, whatever his level of skill, will be interested in reading this. It’ll make a fine gift.
Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective
Making a film is not a solo act. Even though screenwriters write alone, they have to collaborate with the director to get the best version of the script that can be turned into a film.
This book by Martin Scorsese, one of the best filmmakers we have today, is a must read for writers, directors and anyone working in the film industry.
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Book
Finding out about a good film that I haven’t watched is always a pleasant surprise. In a way it’s like getting a gift. And you’ll only understand this if you love films.
A screenwriter will absolutely love this book. A thousand new film suggestions may be too much for some people but for those who love cinema, it’s like a goldmine.
Those who love to read can carry a book and use it whenever they feel like reading. They can even carry thousands with a kindle or just use their phones. Those who love music can listen to any song anywhere, all they need is a set of earphones and a smartphone.
It’s not the same for those who love films though. Well, sure, you can carry a laptop or watch on your phone but watching a film on a small screen is no fun.
This mobile projector solves that problem. You can carry it and watch a film anywhere you can find a clear wall. Your screenwriter friend will love this.
Movie Food Reference Cookbook
Have you ever wondered what a dish that you heard mentioned in a film but never had a chance to eat would taste like? I mean, those delicious sounding recipes aren’t just there to tease us. They should be available.
Well, now you can, this book has recipes from some great films. They have recipes like Giant timpano from Big Night, Deli Fare from When Harry Met Sally, and more.
A fun and useful gift for your film loving writer friend.
Midnight in Paris (Film)
Like I said before, I like to watch films about writers and filmmakers. This one is about a screenwriter who goes to Paris with his fiance before his wedding.
Out for a walk at midnight he ends up time travelling to the 1920’s.
This Woody Allen film is a great watch for any writer.
Cinema Light Styled Lamp
After they’re done writing a script and it’s time to shoot the film, screenwriters spend a lot of time on the set. And it feels great to be on a set.
This light stand gives you the feeling of being on a set. And it looks great. A cool gift no screenwriter will not like.
Typewriter Coaster Set
Writers like typewriters. They’re part of the history of our art. Anything inspired by typewriters, like these coasters, is always wanted.
And you can bet that that coffee addicted screenwriter recipient of yours will need cool coasters. Not a bad idea for a gift.
Writer Emergency Pack
No writer is unfamiliar with the writer’s block. It haunts us and tries to make us miserable.
This writer emergency pack is a fine tool for writers to get some creative juices flowing and get the push they need to come up with a great story.
Gift them this and they’ll use it and when it helps them get over their block they’ll call and thank you.
Write Dazzling Dialogue - Book
I stand by what I said. You shouldn’t gift writers books about writing. But this is an exception because, first, it’s not a how to be a screenwriter book and, second, it’s very likely that they haven’t heard of it because it’s meant for novelists.
Still, dialogue is dialogue. And there are some great lessons here that they can use to write their next blockbuster script.
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield
This is not a writing manual. This is a book meant for artists to help them fight the creative battle they have to face everyday while they confront the blank page.
This book by Steven Pressfield is a must read for artists. You can gift it not just to a screenwriter but anyone involved in any form of a creative endeavour.
Brain Pickings Poster
Learning from the masters from the past is how we improve and may be if we’re good enough, add to that compendium of knowledge. Brain pickings is a website which shares lessons from the great artists in history.
They designed this poster which summarizes seven years of those lessons. This qualifies as a thoughtful gift for any writer.
If you’re looking for a gift for a spouse, this writing desk is a perfect one. Writer’s need a place to write, which makes this practical.
And a gift like this acts as a gesture of encouragement and support for their work. Nothing can be more thoughtful.
They’ll always remember a present like this. It will have emotional value for them.