If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission.
Whether you’re a professional or amateur filmmaker (or just shopping for one), today’s smartphones make it incredibly easy to create your own big-screen-worthy content. Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow said at the iPhone 13 reveal last year that its cinematic cameras “could spark a new genre,” and Apple showed off the new iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 48MP camera at the Toronto International Film Festival — but still, it doesn’t. It doesn’t hurt to brush up on technical knowledge or play with some new toys.
From fancy cameras and precision microphones to sound engineer-approved headphones, there’s no shortage of accessories for future directors and cinematographers. And it’s really a question of personal preference; Filmmakers rely on the perfect combination of tools to produce the look and feel they desire. For that reason, buying a good gift for the aspiring filmmaker in your life can be very difficult. After all, they probably already have what they want.
Related: The best gifts for digital nomads range from smart office gear to tech-must-haves
Still, there are some practical and personal gifts that might be an excellent fit for any filmmaker you know. Tripods can simplify the content creation experience, while posters and books make great gifts for your recent film school grad. A new camera is always one of the best gifts for film students on a budget, along with laptop-friendly backpacks that let them work from anywhere.
So, whether your recipient is just starting out or has a wealth of experience (or maybe you’re treating yourself to some new gear), here’s an eclectic selection of great gifts for filmmakers.
2. Storyboard notebook
They need plenty of space to write down their future script and visual ideas and this storyboard notebook has 170 pages for them.
3. Masterclass subscription
Nothing beats learning from the best. What exactly is that a Masterclass subscription Presents — A series of video lessons from the most accomplished professionals in the field of filmmaking. Whether your giftee is inspired by Shonda Rhimes’ many hit TV series, Ken Burns’ documentaries, or Aaron Sorkin’s quick writing, the ideal category will be found.
4. Logitech Craft Advanced Wireless Keyboard
Logitech’s Craft Advanced Wireless Keyboard features a convenient input dial that gives users complete control over a range of applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and InDesign; and Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word. Gifters will also appreciate backlit keys that automatically adjust to the lighting conditions in their space, and responsive, quiet keys that are optimized for efficiency and accuracy.
More purchase options: Logitech | Amazon
Logitech Craft Advanced Wireless Keyboard
5. Joby Gorilla Pod
Joby’s original Gorilla Pod offers the ultimate in versatility when shooting. Able to function as a regular tripod, it’s an excellent complement to any camera (even smartphones) and great for curved, uneven surfaces. Whether they’re creating content for livestreaming or social, the company’s PodZilla and Beamo LED lights are some of the best gifts for online content creators.
Joby Gorilla Pod 3K Kit
6. Reproduction: Black Cinema, 1898 to 1971 By Doris Berger and Rhea L. Combs
Available on October 18, Reproduction: Black Cinema Explores the overlooked history of Lena Horne, Burt Williams, Oscar Michaux, Dorothy Dandridge, Herb Jeffries and many other black filmmakers, performers and producers. Spanning 288 pages and covering the period between 1898 and 1971, the coffee table book features a foreword by Whoopi Goldberg and insightful interviews with award-winning contemporary filmmakers Ava DuVernay, Barry Jenkins, Julie Dash, Charles Burnett and Don.
‘Reproduction: Black Cinema, 1898-1971’
7.100 Film Set Rules Poster
For movie lovers and filmmakers of all ages, this is Movie Rules Poster Helping them increase their set knowledge – or help them learn something new.
8. GoPro Hero11 Waterproof Action Camera
Filmmakers must be prepared to adapt to different climates and conditions, especially if they want to make a documentary. GoPro’s new Hero11 waterproof action camera shoots 5.3K Ultra HD video at up to 240 fps, features a 27MP camera, 2x digital zoom, HyperSmooth 5.0 video stabilization and a HyperView digital lens that offers 8:7 and 9:16 aspect ratios. Content creators will dig the webcam mode for livestreaming and vlogging, and the camera has a rechargeable, long-lasting battery. Of course, GoPro is known for being able to withstand the elements, so users can shoot underwater up to 33 feet deep.
9. Graphic Props Design for Film Production By Anne Atkins
If she’s dedicated to creating the most realistic visuals on her film sets, Dublin-based designer Annie Atkins explains how to do it in her 208-page book, Graphic Props Design for Film Production. From invitations, love letters, coffee shop receipts and more ephemera, this book offers endless inspiration.
‘Designing Graphic Props for Film Production’ by Anne Atkins
10. In the blink of an eye By Francis Ford Coppola
If your giftee still has a lot to learn about editing, In the blink of an eyeE is a good choice if they want to soak up tips and tricks from acclaimed industry veterans. Film editor, director, writer and sound designer Walter Murch’s award-winning book is the blueprint for film editing, as Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (who often works with the author) can attest.
‘In the Blink of an Eye’ by Walter Murch
11. Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones
A favorite of Oscar-nominated sound editor Julian Slater, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth headphones are our go-to gear for long flights. They boast an Auto NC optimizer that adjusts noise cancellation based on your environment, and wearers get 30 hours of battery life (so they can enjoy uninterrupted time while editing or listening to music).
Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones
12. SD card holder
It is a common part of filmmakers to have several memory cards going at once. And a sneaky good gift can be something to keep it all together. The Kiorafoto card holder can store up to 12 SD cards and is fully waterproof.
Kiorafoto SD card holder
13. DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer
Smartphone cameras are a more viable option for filmmaking. But having a top camera is no good if you can’t stabilize your phone. DJI’s three-axis OM 5 gimbal stabilizer does just that, enhancing the filmmaking experience for content creators and aspiring directors on the go.
DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer
14. Travel backpack pact
Designed in collaboration with gear reviewers Chase Reeves And with input from over 300 travelers, Pact’s Travel Backpack has over 20 features that filmmakers want to stay organized wherever they go. Made of water-resistant fabric from recycled single-use plastics, this carry-on-sized pack features a cool dual-compartment clamshell design with mesh divider, room for cameras and lenses, separate laptop compartment, waterproof compartment for toiletries (or spillables), external water bottle compartment , a hidden back pocket for important documents, a luggage pass-through and adjustable straps that are easy enough to make the wearer comfortable.
Travel Backpack Pact
This book by filmmaker and writer Ricky Bird is a great choice for low-budget enthusiasts getting into the filmmaking business. This 288-page guide teaches readers how to shoot “any film project as a work of art.” The Walking Dead Actor Vincent M. Ward asserts. After all, sometimes it only takes one good movie to launch a career.
‘Cheap Movie Tricks’ by Ricky Bird
16. Master & Dynamic MW65 Headphones
Film editing is impossible if you can’t adequately hear every little sound your microphone picks up. Master and Dynamic lead the industry in sound quality, and the brand’s MW65 headphones feature active noise cancellation.
Master & Dynamic MW65 Headphones
17. Lenovo ThinkVision Monitor
There are tons of great monitors out there, but versatility is key. Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is one of the best portable monitors for video editing, playback, online browsing and movie watching on the go – a perfect combination for filmmakers. And as monitors go, this is a relatively affordable gift.
Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Monitor
18. Billingham Hadley Pro Camera Bag
The right camera bag is essential for any on-the-go filmmaking enthusiast. One of the best compact camera carries for busy shutterbugs is the Hadley Pro Bag from Billingham, made of khaki canvas and leather (available in other colorways). It combines style and substance at a great price, and it fits tons of gear.
Billingham Camera Bag