No Film School’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Filmmakers
Are you having trouble finding the perfect gift to give the filmmaker in your family? We have the perfect gift for you, even if your goal is to pamper yourself.
Imagine this. You’re in the holiday season and you are opening a gift with your name on it. The box feels heavy and you dare not shake it—the contents might be fragile! It’s the camera you have always wanted. Perhaps you’re looking for a DVD set. LOST? Or how about the light-meter Stanley Kubrick used? Barry Lyndon? Could it be?!
Nope. Not even close. It’s just a pair of socks.
It can seem impossible to find the perfect gift for the filmmaker in the family, no matter how much we love keeping our toes warm in winter. Santa Spielberg is our Saint Nick. We can help you find the perfect gift. Be they a cinematographer, screenwriter, or cinephile, these gift ideas will make your gift-getter freak out like they just got a Nintendo 64 in 1996.
To start off this list, we recommend checking out B&H’s Cyber Monday deals! Keep reading if you don’t find the answer you are looking for. You can also send the entire article to your dad or mom looking for gifts. You can trust me.
For Cinematographers, Gear Heads, and Creatives
This section is perfect for anyone who loves cameras or someone who makes a living from it. From cameras to camera accessories, and all the tools you need to work with your footage, these gift ideas are going to knock some socks off—hopefully literally.
- FujiFilm X-H2s (New Release) – The newest camera from Fuji, the X-H2s is a hybrid mirrorless camera that shoots ProRes internally in 6K and does RAW to an external recorder. This camera is perfect for hobbyists and professionals alike.
- Fujifilm GFX 100S ($500 off) – The GFX 100S medium-format camera is among the most affordable on the market. Since its inception, landscape and portrait photographers have been admiring this camera. You also have solid video options. Although it isn’t great for beginners, the GFX can be used by pros who need a larger frame.
- Fujifilm X-T4 ($150 off) – The X-T4 from Fuji is the hobbyist camera everyone had in their pocket, but it also had the features to make it a solid B-cam for pros. It can be used for both photos and videos. The Fujifilm X-T5 is now available in the wild.
- Canon EOS R5 C ($200 off) – Canon wants this hybrid camera to rule all hybrid cameras, and with its feature set, it could do just that. The R5 C comes with fully dedicated modes to photo and video. It has a full frame capable of producing 8K video. 45MP. This kit may be your only option if you are a wedding photographer. You can also use it for film work and docs.
- Sony FX30 (New Release) – Sony’s return in APS-C/Super35-sized sensors is the FX30. It is also one of the most affordable cinema cameras (right next to BMPCC 6K G and 4K C). This camera is a great companion for solo photographers, whether they are digital content creators, videographers, or cinematographers.
- BMPCC 6K (New Release). – Blackmagic Design’s latest release is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2. It is one of the most affordable RAW-capable Cinema Cameras on the Market. The image quality is also superior to cameras that cost a hundred times as much. It’s a great choice for beginners or those who are trying to make movies on a tight budget.
- Canon EOS R5 C ($200 off) – Bridging the best of both worlds, the Canon EOS R5 C is a solid choice for documentary work or other hybrid shooters. The Canon EOS R5 C is also the first Canon camera that can record 8K 60P Cinema RAW Light footage.
- Canon EOS R7 & Canon EOS R10 – Two affordable APS-C options by Canon, the R7 & R10 pack 4K video in a compact package. The R7 also gives you 4K60 10-Bit Video, HDR-PQ & C-Log 3. These cameras are both excellent entry-level cameras that would suit videographers as well as photographers.
- Canon EOS C70 – This is Canon’s small Super 35 cinema camera. But don’t be fooled. The C70 is a powerful camera that has been updated frequently to make it one the most supported on the market.
- Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye 3D VR Lens ($200 off) – If you thought VR was out of your budget, think again. This dual fisheye lens from Canon takes your Canon R5 and makes it into a production machine that can capture stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor.
- Cinema Lenses These tools are the most popular choice for filmmakers. These lenses are built like tanks and have precise focus and aperture control. They also give off a unique character that is not possible with other lenses. These are our top picks for filmmakers who want to have a cinematic edge.
- DZOFilm Pictor Zoom PL-mount Set ($200 off) – This pair of lenses is affordable and delivers as much as more expensive options. You get six lenses for the price of two with the wide focal range. This set is great for anyone who needs quick framing.
- Sirui Mars 1.33x Anamorphic Lens Set — Sirui makes some the most affordable anamorphic lens sets on the market. The MFT-mount set is almost half the price of a single lens from any other manufacturer. While they may not be as beautiful as expensive glass, the images created by them can be spectacular.
- Sirui Venus Anamorphic Lens Set, 1.6x – Same affordability but with a full frame and an RF mount. These lenses would be a great choice if you have spent a lot of money on a RED Komodo. This set won’t break the bank and you will have amazing images to use in your projects.
- IRIX Cine entry set – IRIX has a relatively recent lens line up compared with other brands. Solid glass is extremely affordable, and they produce amazing images. This entry set includes a 21mm (20mm) and 45mm (EF-mount). These lenses are also available in PL-mount, Sony E, Canon RF and Leica L.
- Photography Lenses Although not as precise as cinema lenses, photography glasses can still be a great way of saving money. Some might also include autofocus and optical image stabilization. These are our top picks.
- Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II – A solid choice for Sony shooters, the 24-70mm is light, quick to focus, and covers a favorable focal range.
- Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USM – A rival to the Sony lens above, this RF mount Canon lens has image stabilization and a constant aperture.
- Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM ($400 off) – A counterpart to the previous Canon, the 15-35mm is a bit wider.
- Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2R WR – This is the lens to get if you shoot on Fuji. It’s sharp and fast, and it has a unique character, which may make it more expensive than the two above. We think so.
- Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III ($300 off) – This is one of the fastest lenses on the market, making it a perfect tool for low-light shooting, either for photos or cinema. It is available in Canon RF, Sony E and Nikon Z mounts.
- Venus Optics Laowa Argus 35mm f/0.95 FF Lens ($250 off) – Another crazy-fast lens, the Argus is a bit wider and a bit more expensive, but it’s also available in Canon RF, Sony E, and Nikon Z mounts.
- Accessory – Matte boxes and follow focus units, batteries, and many other items. These are just a few items to help you get your camera ready for any production.
- Tilta Nucleus-M Wireless Follow Focus System – Tilta upended the market with this set, becoming one of the most affordable follow-focus units out there. This kit is still solid and will not break the bank.
- Tilta Nucleus Nano Wireless Following Focus System – Tilta did the same with the Nucleus M. It did the same with the Nucleus Nano. This wireless follow-focus kit, which costs just $300 bucks, can handle any lens that you throw at it.
- SmallRig MagicFIZ Wireless Follow System- SmallRig is a manufacturer of cages for various cameras and wanted to get a piece of Tilta’s pie. They also created a wireless follow-focus system that is affordable.
- Atomos Ninja 5″ 4K Monitor/Recorder. The Atomos Ninja, one of only two external monitors/recorders available on the market, can record ProRes Raw footage. It is also a remarkable monitor.
- Blackmagic Design Video Assist 7″ – If Atomos was the first RAW recorder, then the BMD Video Assist is the competition. Creatives can use BRAW to record on this monitor/recorder. If you prefer a smaller footprint, it is also available in a 5″ model.
- SmallHD 702 touch – This 7 inch monitor from SmallHD can be found on all ARRI cameras. This monitor is not the most affordable, but it will work well for you and your colleagues. It will not record RAW video or any other type of video but it will deliver a clear image that is bright and accurate in color.
Gimbals and Drones, Computers, And More
- DJI Mavic 3 Classic: The Mavic 3 was a great drone back in its day. DJI is now bringing it back with its Mavic 3 classic. It is ideal for digital content, but it can also be used in the cinema.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro: This tiny drone offers pro features and is smaller than the US federal weight limit. You don’t even need a license. This drone is a great starter drone for those who want to explore aerial photography, videography, and cinematography.
- DJI Inspire 2 – Raising the price and feature set, the Inspire 2 was a solid professional drone. Although it is getting old, the Inspire 2 is still an excellent option for professional photographers looking for the perfect aerial shot.
- Sony Airpeak S1 & Gremsy Gimbal T3 Kit – Want to attach your mirrorless Sony camera to a drone? This package is for you. This package will take your Sony Alpha camera to the skies for stunning low-light footage and shallow depth-of field compositions. Your mirrorless camera will fly higher than any other drone camera.
- MacBook Pro M1 Max ($200 off) or MacBook Pro M1 Pro ($300 off) – For creatives editing their own content, these two systems are going to be a killer portable solution. The M1 Pro will give you more than enough power for 6K and 8K footage. The M1 Max takes it to 11.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: Creative Cloud is the standard platform for digital content creators and professional productions. The full ecosystem includes Frame.io, and now Substance 3D upgrade options. Creative Cloud is a must-have if you are looking for a complete suite of tools to help with your production.
- DaVinci Resolve – Blackmagic Design has turned Resolve into a powerhouse that’s not only free but has amazing features if you opt for the Studio Version. It started out as a leading color grading toolkit, but has since evolved into a powerful NLE that includes audio, VFX, quick edit tools, and a lot more.
- Final Cut Pro X – Final Cut Pro X – Final Cut Pro X remains one of the best NLEs for Mac. Final Cut Pro X – Final Cut Pro X might be the best choice for your editing needs if you’re deeply involved in Apple ecosystem.
Magazines, publications, and more
- ASC’s American Cinematographer is $30/year. Or $60 for two years. Cinematographers should stay current with the industry. American Cinematographer is for shooters what Variety is for agents.
- Cinema Scope: $20 for one year or $40 for two years
- Legion M – You can get sweet cinema merchandise from films like Mandy, Jay and Silent Bob RebootAnd ArchenemyYou can help to fund future films through the Legion M investment platform. You can make the filmmaker in your family a producer by making them a bonified producer.!
Swag and Merch
Everyone wants to look great and celebrate their favorite companies and gear. You and the filmmaker in your family might also enjoy some fun items.
- Gift Cards from B&H (when you’re not sure what to get!)
- Filmtools – When you want to look the part, Filmtools has the threads. Apparel includes hats as well as shirts and patches.
- Kino Flo T-Shirt: $13
- American Cinematographer “Sketch” Camera Operator T-Shirt: $15
- Moviola Ball Cap: $15
- Stinger Pin: $15
- 9-Light Pin: $15
- Hoo-Rag Bandana: $20
- 5-Panel Hat (Black): $20
- Camera Head Man Sticker: $4
- Cat Stops Sticker: $4
- Aspect Ratios T-Shirt: $23
- C47 Patent T-Shirt: $23
- Designated Charging Station (DIT) T-Shirt: $23
- Director Evolution T-Shirt: $23
- DTF (Down to Film) T-Shirt: $23
- Fix It On Set T-Shirt: $23
- Mayonaise T-Shirt: $23
- More Room Tone T-Shirt: $23
- Steadicam Patent T-Shirt: $24
- Steadicam Silhouette T-Shirt: $24
- Patti Lapel, “We Come to This Place for Magic”, T-Shirt: $35
If you don’t make movies, you are watching them. It’s an investment in your self, after all. The more sound and image you have at home, the better you will be able to analyze, learn and critique the work that will inspire you for your next project.
You might even consider DIYing your own set. Whatever your requirements, a television is more than a television.
- Samsung 55 inch HDR 4K LED TV $347.99 – This TV is huge and will give you great pictures. Surprisingly Enjoy a holiday discount and get a bargain! You deserve it.
- Samsung 65″ HDR 4K LED TV – $447.99 – Okay. The same as above, but larger because you also deserve it.
- LG C2PUA 55″ 4K ($200 off) – Whether you’re gaming, watching your favorite show, or using these as a virtual backdrop, you can’t go wrong with an LG.
- Yamaha 5.1 Home Theater System $649.95 – The pandemic may be over but streaming at home is still the best option. You know audio is an important part of making a movie great. You can stream this system by purchasing it. Dune immediately. We are here to help.
- Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones – $249 – Get rid of the cords without compromising audio quality. These headphones will be a great addition to any project, no matter how small or large.
Screenwriters, novelists, and playwrights
You’re not a tech guru, but you still make movies like everyone else. This section is for either you or someone you know who fits that description. This section is for you, regardless of whether you are writing for film, television, or the nightstand. Here are some gift ideas that will make the holidays memorable.
- Final Draft – $250 – Many pros use this software. They call themselves the industry standard, but you can get by just fine with other choices—still, many people like the feel of using the program many other people use as well.
- Highland 2 – $50 – give yourself some software designed by A-list screenwriter John August. You wouldn’t want anything that isn’t devoted to your needs.
- Fade In $79 – Another popular option for professional writers. This one looks neat on the page, and it’s also very fun to use.
- Save the Cat – $189 per year – The most popular book and software that you don’t actually use to write screenplays, this can help you structure your story or just drive you crazy when you realize you’re missing specific beats.
- Personalized idea notebook, $23.99 Let them express their genius and make it a page.
- Writer Emergency Survival Guide – Got screenplay problems? This guide will encourage you to think outside the box, and push yourself to create better screenplays.
- Writer Emergency Pack – A deck of cards you can play when you hit writer’s block? Yes! You can get out of any jam as long as you don’t play blackjack.
- These top screenwriting books are a great resource for anyone who is trying to procrastinate.
For Cinephiles, Movie Nerds, and Armchair Critics
This section is dedicated to movie lovers. These gift ideas are for those who love sitcoms or cinema.
Film-watching is a great way to learn. It’s an excellent way to not only learn, but also support the field.
- MUBI: $10.99/mo. – $95.88/year – This curated platform is for streamers who are looking for rare indie films, classic art films, and foreign titles that can’t be found on Netflix.
- Shudder: $5.99/mo. Shudder: $5.99/month or $56.99/year Shudder us if you are a film lover or a person who enjoys the spookiness of the season. There’s more horror, thrillers and supernatural suspense than you can handle.
- The Criterion Channel: $10.99/mo. Or $99.99/year. This is the gold standard in classic cinema, regardless of era, country or genre. Let’s face it, the box/poster art is more than worth the price.
- IFC Films Unlimited: $5.99/mo (must have Amazon Prime) – Devoted to independent film, this is the streamer where you can enjoy and support the indie film community in the purest sense.
- Sundance Now: $6.99/mo (must have Amazon Prime) – Do you miss actual Drama? It’s a huge genre that’s almost impossible to find in a multiplex. Sundance Now saves the day.
Gear to Start Your Own Podcast
Special Edition Gifts
- Box sets for DVD. You can watch the best gifts! You can pick and choose what people like from the wide range of contemporary to classic items. Select your favorite. Your guilty pleasures. Go nuts!
- Exclusive edition action figures Prices can vary. You have many options. They are perfect for your desk, and even to use as toys. These are great fun.
- Movie posters by MONDO, $50-$80 Decorate your office or home with your favorite movies. Have a good conversation with your friends. You can also pick the worst and best movies you love.
- Grogu (Baby Yoda), a life-size version The Mandalorian $375
Ralphie Loves This Stuff Christmas Story
- Red Ryder – But don’t shoot your eye out.
- Leg lamp – Careful, it’s fra-geee-lay.
- Ovaltine – The drink Little Orphan Annie likes to guzzle.
Find the Best Stuff Die Hard This seems like a lot of fun
- Christmas book – Share the holiday classic with your kids.
- Mug – Sip coffee like Roy Rodgers.
- 4K Blu-ray – Own the pristine holiday classic film.
Let us know if you have any questions. Merry Christmas!