Every Christmas I’m told that I’m difficult to buy for (usually by the missus) and that I’m fussy and/or everything I want is expensive. Well, yes the A7S mk ii is expensive, I explain, but it really is such good value for money because..*rambles on about techie stuff again*
Filmmaking and video production, whether just a hobby or your career can be an expensive thing to get sucked into, however there are so many smaller, less expensive items that are so incredibly useful that might not necessarily be at the top of our shopping lists, yet when we get them we wonder how we ever survived without them. So to all the partners and families of the filmmakers and techies out there, here are some big hints for stocking filler ideas – 12 to be exact – one for each day of Christmas. Some are practical, some are a bit more fun. Now you’ll never be stuck for prezzie ideas ever again!
- Step up and step down rings
Nothing is more annoying as a camera operator than being out on location setting up the perfect shot when you decide you need to use a filter but it doesn’t fit the lens you’re using. Step up and step down rings allow camera ops and photographers to adapt their filters for use on other lenses with a different thread size. It’s a much cheaper option to buy these little rings than buying the filters a second time. The trick to this though is knowing what size filters and lenses the person you’re buying for has, so a bit of investigative work is needed here!
2. Camera cleaning accessories
Inexpensive yet invaluable, having the means to clean a lens out in the field is essential, no matter if it’s a camcorder or DSLR. Rain, dust and fingerprints all provide unwanted artifacts and blemishes in images and every shooter should be prepared.
There are several options here for the buyer including lens pens, lens tissues and cleaning fluid and blowers. Essential items for your film making friend that won’t break the bank.
3. The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook
If the person in mind is serious about film making and hasn’t already got this book then let’s just say you’ll be doing them a big favour. Packed full of interviews and information about pretty much every role in the film industry from pre production to exhibition, this book is a goldmine for tips and invaluable advice for those looking to make independent film.
4. Love Film or Amazon Prime Instant Video gift subscription
With probably the biggest selection of films out there to rent, treat your loved one to a bit of film catch up. If they’re planning their next film then believe it or not, this would actually help them do some work and with options of 3 month, 6 month as well as 12 month subscriptions it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Where to find it: Amazon
5. Multi tool
Not just useful at home but invaluable on a film set. Whether they need to cut their gels or change camera plates a multi tool is so useful that it doesn’t just make your loved ones’ job easier but makes them look more professional too (plus if you live with them, they might help out with DIY more often!). A perfect practical stocking filler.
Where to find it: DIY stores, Amazon
6. Film posters
Everybody loves a poster of their favourite film and your loved one is no exception. Just hope that their tastes aren’t too obscure! If you’re feeling extra nice you could always get it framed too. A perfect present for home or office.
Where to find it: Online, HMV
Intervalometers or remote switches can open up a DSLR to the wonders of timelapse photography. By being able to set intervals between shots and not shake the camera when taking stills you’ll be giving them a whole new range of creative opportunities. Branded ones can be expensive but there are a host of third party offerings online at much friendlier prices.
Where to find it: Camera stores, Amazon
8. Roll of film
Yes, some of us still shoot on film. Not because we’re not up to date with technology, but because we love the aesthetics and the grain that film gives us. It’s pretty expensive to shoot everything on film nowadays in this digital landscape, but a role of 35mm film only actually costs a few pounds and can usually allow for 24-36 photos. Save them a few quid, and if you’re feeling extra generous look out for online deals where processing is included.
Enough to show you care, not too much to make you poor, but if your loved one shoots analogue they’ll be forever grateful.
Where to find it: Camera stores, Boots
9. Subscription to a magazine
Whether it be a trade journal or an amateur film making publication there are a host of magazines out there that would make a creative very happy indeed. Which one would suit your loved one best?
- American Cinematographer (print & digital)
- Sight and Sound
- Total Film
(These are just a few examples)
Where to find it: A good old Google search (as with everything else really)
10. Multi hot shoe adapter
One hot shoe just isn’t enough. What’s a hot shoe I hear you ask? It’s a little slot on top of a camera where you attach accessories for your camera. The thing is, there are many incidents where a videographer or photographer might want to put on more than one item. A flash and a transmitter, or a light and a radio mic. I have no idea how I ever survived without this. Now, go help a brother out!
Where to find it: Amazon, camera stores
11. Grey/white balance card
Getting an exact exposure and perfect white balance should be the highest priority for any aspiring DOP or photographer. These cards are inexpensive, portable and scream professionalism. Buy these to brush up their skills and make them look good. A perfect little stocking filler.
Where to find it: Amazon, camera stores
12. Thermos flask
Film making often involves getting up at the crack of dawn, hanging around on location for hours on end and battling the elements. If your loved one loves their hot drinks then this is probably one of the best items you could buy them. Keep them going through those dark winter months and they’ll never forget how awesome you are!
Where to find it: Supermarkets, Google!
So there you have it, now that you have a few hints for stocking fillers go and get that Christmas shopping done!