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30+ Real Gifts for Filmmakers: Something for Every Budget [2023]

Screenshot of the Quixel Bridge interface

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Are you looking for the perfect gift for a filmmaker or creator in your life? Whether they are an aspiring director, a YouTube creator, a seasoned cinematographer, or just love to make movies as a hobby, there are plenty of great gifts that can help them take their film-making skills to the next level.

From basic accessories and tools to more advanced gadgets and equipment, we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for filmmakers on any budget. So whether you’re shopping for someone who’s just getting started or an experienced professional, keep reading to find something special that will bring joy and satisfaction this holiday season!

And don’t miss our selection of gifts for aspiring writers for gifts that are perfect for screenwriters.

9 Quick Gifts for Filmmakers
(Under $50)

Field Notes

PRICE: Starting at $49.95

Every filmmaker in the world can use a good multitool in their pocket, and Leatherman is the original multitool and still the best option. A great lower-budget option is the Gerber line of multitools.

Field Notes

PRICE: around $20

Perhaps there is no more iconic symbol of filmmaking than the camera slate. Useful both as a functional clapboard that can be used in production or simply as a decoration, this unique clapboard is made of high-quality materials and has a solid construction. It features an acrylic clear dry-erase writing surface with sharp lines for clean marking, so you can easily identify shots while keeping track of takes and scenes.

Field Notes

PRICE: around $30

The Amaran AL-M9 is a remarkably compact LED light known for its unmatched versatility. With a credit card size and weighing only 140g, it easily fits in your hand or pocket until you’re ready to use it. It boasts a high color accuracy rating of 95+ in both CRI and TLCI, ensuring natural and pristine colors in photos and videos.

Joby gorillapod product image

PRICE: around $40

The Joby GorillaPod 3K is a versatile tripod that features flexible, wrappable legs that allow you to securely mount DSLR or mirrorless cameras weighing up to 3kg to virtually any surface. The precision 360° panning bed and 90° tilt with built-in bubble level gives you optimal control over camera positioning.

Field Notes

PRICE: around $50

A color chart is an extremely useful piece of equipment for any filmmaker. The SpyderCHECKR 24 features 24 color targets and a grey face target, all within the sRGB gamut for wide device compatibility. Ideal for visual comparisons, custom white balance adjustments, and ensuring accurate, consistent color across different cameras, lenses, and lighting. Optimize RAW processing in-batch for capturing every detail.

Field Notes

PRICE: Starting at $14.95 | $120 for a subscription

Our favorite line of pocket-sized notebooks is Field Notes. Their notebooks come in a variety of colors and themes. They are perfect for filmmakers to journal and/or take notes when on set.

In particular, we’d recommend the Expedition 3-pack notebooks, which are waterproof and virtually indestructible; we love them!

Storyboard notebook cover

PRICE: Starting at $9.99

The Storyboard Notebooks are a great gift for any filmmaker. Available in different aspect ratios to fit any project. It facilitates clear and impactful communication for live-action, animation, and television. Its sturdy hardcover ensures long-lasting quality, safeguarding its contents in a pristine archive. With 180 pages, it is perfect for storyboarding complex projects of any length.

SD card reader and holder

PRICE: about $40

This high-speed card reader and carrying case is designed for content creators who need to transfer photos and videos quickly. With its integrated USB 3.1 chip, it delivers blistering 312MB/s speeds for lightning-fast offloads. Dual SD and microSD slots allow simultaneous transfers from multiple cards, saving you precious time.

SD card reader and holder

PRICE: about $40

These keyboard covers are the perfect solution for accelerating your video editing workflow. They feature instantly accessible shortcuts for your editing application of choice, such as Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Avid, and more. The useful shortcuts are color-coded for quick identification so you can edit videos faster. Plus it protects the keyboard underneath from dust and spills.

Filmmaking Gear

Cameras

We’ll assume that you’re not in the market for an Arri Alexa LF at roughly the price of a high-end sports car. But plenty of other high-end options will delight and impress even the most experienced filmmakers.

Editor’s Choice

Sony A7s III camera

Best Budget Option

Sony A7s III camera

Action Cameras

Best Action Cam

GoPro Hero 12 Black

Best Budget Option

Sony A7s III camera

Drones

Drones are an increasingly popular tool in the filmmaking arsenal. Whether you’re capturing aerial footage or filming a scene from extreme angles, there’s no doubt that drones can offer unique perspectives and shots that aren’t possible with other gear.

Editor’s Choice

DJI Mavic Classic drone

Best Budget Option

DJI Mini 2 SE drone

Gimbals / Stabilizers

A camera stabilizer is an essential tool for all kinds of applications. Whether it’s handheld shots or capturing stable images while mounted on a drone, you can’t go wrong with a camera stabilizer.

Editor’s Choice

DJI Ronin RS 3 camera gimbal

Best Budget Option

DJI Ronin SC camera gimbal

Lenses

For lenses, this will largely depend on the camera of your filmmaker and the lens mount they use. That said, in general, we recommend checking out Sigma’s ART range. Their wide prime lenses are perfect for capturing breathtaking shots in all kinds of conditions, and their standard zoom is also a great choice for flexibility.

Best Anamorphic Lenses

SIRUI 50mm F1.8 1.33X Anamorphic Lens

PRICE: about $470

The Sirui 50mm 1.33X Anamorphic Lens has a fast F1.8 minimum aperture and is available in a wide range of lens mounts. It features a lightweight and compact design with 11 elements in 8 groups. The lens produces oval bokeh and sci-fi-like horizontal lens flares.

NOTE: Be sure to select the lens mount that is appropriate for your camera. There are many options available.

Best Spherical Cine Lens

SIRUI Night Walker 55mm T1.2 Cine Lens

NOTE: Be sure to select the lens mount that is appropriate for your camera. There are many options available.

Lens Filters

Filters can be an affordable and effective way to improve the quality of your footage, whether you’re shooting video or photos. A few good options in this price range include circular polarizers and low-contrast filters from a variety of brands, such as Tiffen and Hoya.

Lights

Good lighting is key to any professional video shoot or photo session. At the higher end of the price spectrum, we recommend checking out offerings from companies like Arri and Aputure. These powerful, affordable, and durable LED lights make them the perfect choice for any filmmaker.

Audio

Bags and Cases

Other Gear

Computer / Laptop

If you want to go the computer route, there are many options here. The best-in-class would be Apple’s new Macbook Pro.

But if the Apple ecosystem isn’t for your filmmaker, there are PC options such as the Alienware Area 51m or the Dell XPS 15.

With their powerful processors, excellent displays, and great build quality, these laptops provide a high-end platform for editing, color grading, and other tasks that filmmakers need to get done.

Filmmaking Subscriptions

Assets / Libraries

Best for VFX

Best for Sound FX

soundly logo

Soundly Sound FX Library

Software

Best for Screenwriting

arc studio logo

Read our detailed review of Arc Studio Pro

Best for Video / Image Enhancement

Topaz Video AI screenshot

Best for Post-production

Adobe Creative Cloud logo

Training & Tutorials

If you’re looking to give your filmmaker friend a gift that will help them improve their skills, then why not consider training or tutorials? There are a wide range of options available, from online video tutorials to paid programs like Skill Share and Lynda.com.

Editor’s Choice

masterclass logo

Stack of books

Books for Filmmakers and Creators

There is a huge variety of great books and guides available that can help filmmakers improve their craft, from beginner-level instruction manuals to more advanced texts on specific topics such as cinematography or lighting.

Screenwriting Books

The cover of the book "Story" by Robert McKee

by Robert McKee

Robert McKee’s book Story is one of the all-time essentials for any aspiring writer. It explores the fundamentals of story structure and provides invaluable insight into creating engaging stories with memorable characters. Spanning over 400 pages and chock full of examples from modern classic films.

The cover of the book "Story" by Robert McKee

Screenplay

by Syd Field

Screenplay by Syd Field is a groundbreaking book in the industry of scriptwriting. It provides a comprehensive look at what it takes to craft an effective screenplay, guiding aspiring screenwriters through the basics of building story and characters, plus the technical aspects of formatting, writing style, and other essentials.

It allows readers to transform their ideas into workable shots and scenes and feel confident with producing a professional script.

The cover of the book "Story" by Robert McKee

by David Trottier

“The Screenwriter’s Bible” by David Trottier is an invaluable resource for aspiring screenwriters. Creating a screenplay takes knowledge of formats, structure, and conventions – all of which are discussed in depth in this book. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned writer, “The Screenwriter’s Bible” is an essential companion and valuable reference for all things relating to formatting.

The cover of the book "Story" by Robert McKee

by Blake Snyder

Save the Cat, written by Blake Snyder, is a popular guide to screenwriting and developing stories. Written in Snyder’s signature down-to-earth style, this book demystifies the screenwriting process by breaking down the core tenants of successful movies. Save the Cat dives into topics such as beats and structure with examples to help readers understand concepts quickly. Readers will come away from this book inspired to keep their stories fresh and captivating for audiences.

The cover of the book "Story" by Robert McKee

by Blake Snyder

Save the Cat Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder is a follow-up in the wake of the success of Save the Cat. This in-depth look at the structures, tropes, and themes found in cinema by examining many of the famous films throughout film history. He provides several examples from each of his previously defined genres to give the reader real-life tangible models to reference and better illustrate the Save the Cat system.

The cover of the book "Story" by Robert McKee

by Linda Seger

“Making a Good Script Great” by Linda Seger is a guide for screenwriters and filmmakers on how to take their script to the next level and make it stand out. The book covers various elements of scriptwriting, including structure, character development, theme, dialogue, and pacing.

Seger offers practical tips and exercises to help writers improve their scripts and make them more engaging and compelling for audiences. She emphasizes the importance of taking a critical and analytical approach to scriptwriting and encourages writers to think beyond the conventions of the genre to create something truly unique and memorable.

Misc. Filmmaker Gifts

Coffee Subscription

What filmmaker doesn’t love coffee?

Driftaway Coffee

PRICE: Starting at $36

KOA Coffee offers award-winning hand-picked Kona Coffee via single purchase or subscription. They have multiple options for grind type, roast, and bean so that your order can be tailored to suit any need. To set up a subscription, just tick the box for “My Daily Aloha” when adding an item to your cart, and you can have deliveries scheduled as frequently as you like.

Headphones

Headphones can be a great gift for filmmakers as they can be useful both in production to monitor audio on set and in post-production as well.

Apple AirPods

PRICE: $129 – $549

Our top pick for wireless headphones would have to be Apple AirPods. Whether you go with the AirPods, the AirPods Pro, or the AirPods Max, they are all solid options that work seamlessly with Apple products.

Bose QuietComfort

PRICE: Starting at about $249

If your screenwriter isn’t an Apple user, you might prefer to go for an equally valid option such as the Bose QuietComfort.

What makes a great gift for a filmmaker?

Gifting something special to a filmmaker or creator in your life is an excellent way to show them how much you appreciate their talent and hard work.

As we mentioned in our gift guide for screenwriters, buying a coffee mug or t-shirt with the image of a clapper board or the words “filmmaker” or “director” printed on it is probably NOT the best idea.

Most artists are fairly sensitive, and buying a novelty gift such as this could be seen as trivializing their passion.

At the high-end and mid-level, there are a few standard categories to consider: a camera and lenses, a computer or laptop, camera stabilizers, drones, and lights.

At the lower price range (under $100), it’s harder to find quality gear for these categories, so we have to be a little more creative in that price range.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re looking for a high-end gift or something on a tight budget, there are plenty of great options out there for filmmakers and creators. Whether you’re looking for a high-end drone, a powerful lighting system, or some great filmmaking books and guides, there’s something out there that will meet your needs and fit into your budget.

What do you think? Have we missed any of the best holiday gifts for filmmakers? If so, reach out to us on social media!

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