25 Perfect Gift Ideas For Filmmakers and Videographers
A thoughtful, helpful filmmaker gift can ignite creativity, open up new possibilities, and even help birth the next Coppola, Kubrick, or Hitchcock.
We have curated the ultimate list of 25 gifts for filmmakers, podcasters, and videographers. You’re guaranteed to find just the thing in this article. No matter if it’s for Christmas, a birthday, or simply to show an emerging filmmaker your support.
Great Gifts For Any Filmmaker Regardless of Experience
Any filmmaker needs ample storage, as digital video footage takes up space—especially if it’s 4K or 8K raw.
The highly appraised, portable SSD like Samsung T7 2 TB reads and writes like a beast. And yet, it fits in the palm of a hand and weighs very little.
The dust, water- and shockproof SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2T is another drive that filmmakers are raving about. Its ruggedness permits hassle-free video recording and storage in extreme environments.
There are two kinds of videographers and photographers in this world; those who have established sizable SD-card collections and those still working on them.
Whatever the ‘case’ may be, there are elegant ways to store the cards. For the minimalist, we recommend a Kiorafoto KHD-MSD10. It’s the size of a credit card, super inexpensive, and stores up to 10 Micro-SD cards.
Suppose the need calls for something more substantial. In that case, the water-resistant JJC SD Card Holder is a better fit, accommodating for up to 36 memory cards spread across three form factors.
The sound is half the story in a film, and a good microphone can make or break a scene.
The Rode VideoMicro is a staple in emerging filmmaker circles. It is available in mobile versions and complete vlogging kits.
Rode Microphones is a well-established brand with thoughtfully designed and well-constructed products.
Most crucially, they produce detailed, clear sound, even with their entry-level offerings like the VideoMicro.
Panasonic LUMIX GH5M2 Mirrorless Camera
Let’s face it; the camera is central to any film. And although it doesn’t need to be this ridiculously powerful, the GH5M2 is an absolute video monster.
The series has earned its excellent reputation with filmmakers, thanks to pro features like 4:2:2 10-bit recording and superior In Body Image Stabilization.
Even older versions like GH4 and GH3 are capable cameras for video. You’d be surprised how many feature films, ads, and popular YouTube videos they have- and are shooting to this day.
As any filmmaker will tell you, music and audio editing, and mixing are crucial for any film. Neutral-sounding cans or active studio monitors will provide a trustworthy reference.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 is a famous pair of monitoring headphones, thanks to the neutral frequency response, excellent comfort, and sturdy build.
At a significantly lower price point, we can warmly recommend the open-backed Samson SR850 at a measly 50 bucks. It plays way above its price.
Portable Audio Recorder
Videographers often need to record clean audio on the set. This is where a Zoom H6 would come in handy. It has excellent X-Y mics, 4 XLR inputs, and a large LCD display.
It’s even possible to connect an external microphone. Thanks to accepting standard-size SD cards, the storage capacity can meet any filmmaking needs.
Other worthy audio recorders to consider are the Tascam DR-40X and the Zoom H1 on the lower end of the price scale.
Film Clapperboard aka Production Slate
We’ve all seen it. The black square closes with a clapping noise in front of the camera. The clapperboard, also called filmstick, is invaluable on set.
Its loud, transient noise provides a reference point for audio sync with other footage. Slates come in various forms and often have space to write info about the shot—again, to make the editor’s life easier.
This utterly indispensable item needn’t cost more than 10-20 bucks. Still, it can ultimately save hours or days of editing time (and cost associated).
Video Lighting Kit
Proper lighting is not only a must in photography. It’s even more crucial in filmmaking—from YouTube video to blockbuster and everything in between.
Any kit from GVM meets professional requirements, and some can be controlled via a smartphone app. Those kits have adjustable color temperature and can be collapsed to fit in the included case.
Raleno, EMART, and Neewer offer more affordable options that users love.
Best Inexpensive, Useful Gifts For Beginner Videographers
This next filmmaker gift idea will get used. Frequently. We guarantee it, regardless of the size and budget of the project.
Gaffer tape, also known as gaffers tape or gaff, was originally made specifically for photographers and filmmakers. Its uses on set are practically unlimited, thanks to properties like ridiculous adhesion, non-reflective surface, and heat resistance.
That’s what makes it one of the best 25 gifts for filmmakers. The only problem with gaffer tape is running out, so make sure that you get a few roles at a time.
Sometimes, a massive lighting set is overkill. A high-quality compact light can save the day, especially in tight spaces.
It’s typically rechargeable, comes with gels/filters and diffusers, and can sit on a hot shoe or GorillaPod (not to be confused with Guerilla).
Best of all, it won’t break the bank but can drastically improve the video quality. Lastly, it can serve as a catchlight or keylight in a pinch.
Any filmmaker and YouTuber should undoubtedly own a few compact lights, as they can help control the lighting in subtle yet noticeable ways.
Anyone interested in filmmaking at any level needs a GorillaPod sooner or later.
While it can serve as a small, flexible tripod in a pinch, it also lets you attach any camera, light, or mic to nearly anything.
Yes, even places considered unsafe or outright impossible for humans to be. Best of all, the Gorilla Pod is relatively inexpensive yet serves multiple functions, making it an essential piece of kit in any filmmaker’s arsenal.
Gray Card and Color Charts
Although they might seem obsolete, gray cards and color charts can significantly reduce the time needed in post-production.
They allow for matching white balance and colors to perfection before hitting the record button. Also, they provide an accurate, analog visual reference for comparison.
Smartphone Video Creator Kit
Every prominent filmmaker was once a complete beginner. That’s why we include the smartphone kit for video creators and YouTubers as one of the best 25 gifts for filmmakers.
What better way to gently encourage creativity with all the bare basics needed to shoot a high-quality video? Once the budding filmmaker gets sucked in for good and develops their skills further, they can always upgrade the gear, step by step.
A storyboard is a critical tool for planning, visualizing, and presenting how the story unfolds in any film production.
Although this is a much-overlooked gift item, it’s invaluable in any serious filmmaker’s toolbox. After all, a film is all about telling a story. Using it well is a different topic altogether.
Still, we felt that the storyboard notebook was too essential not to mention as one of the 25 best gifts for filmmakers.
Video Camera Bag
You might be thinking that the regular camera bag for just one body and the lens is enough.
But consider that a filmmaker shouldn’t go through the hassle of setting up the rig on set, let alone have all of the essentials scattered around their car or tossed around in a hold-all.
A proper video camera bag conveniently stores and carries the camera, lenses, filters, and much more. It protects against the elements and safely holds the equipment, minimizing the risk of damage.
Valuable, Relevant Books for Filmmakers
How could we list 25 gifts for filmmakers without mentioning books?
In our digital age, it’s easy to overlook the printed medium entirely. But having an actual, physical book at hand has many benefits. It’s distraction-free, convenient to pick up and read, and has accurate colors (unlike most digital screens). Some notable suggestions would be:
- The Filmmaker’s Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition
- Cheap Movie Tricks: How To Shoot A Short Film For Under $2,000
- The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers
- Lessons from the Set: A DIY Guide to Your First Feature Film, from Script to Theaters
Suppose you wish to show your support toward an aspiring filmmaker but have no clue which gift would create the most value (and joy). In that case, a gift card is a great choice.
This way, the recipient gets to pick precisely the bit of kit they need. Or even add a little extra on top and finally pull the trigger on that gorgeous new cinematic lens they’ve been saving up for.
An obvious drawback of a gift card is the lack of personality—but it makes up for it in terms of flexibility while requiring less time on your part as a buyer.
Top Exclusive Gifts For Dedicated Filmmakers
Lastly, let’s discuss the creme de la creme in filmmaker gifts.
These are in the medium to high price bracket but are all game-changing pieces, especially in the right hands.
Aside from household names like Arri and Red, Blackmagic has gained serious traction as a professional cinema camera brand.
In terms of sheer hardcore performance and mad specs for the money, it’s hands down the best value camera brand for filmmakers out there.
For more in-depth information, check out our cameras for filmmakers article.
Some videographers and filmmakers swear by hand-held, full manual shooting. That said, a good gimbal can produce utterly face-melting shots that are impossible to achieve by other means.
That’s because they not only stabilize the camera to the extent desired but can also be programmed to behave in interesting ways, providing natural-looking yet outrageously cool movement.
Great for anything from b-roll to ads and insane movie scenes, gimbals come in various shapes and sizes.
Some of the most popular ones to consider for a gift are:
- DJI OM 4 – Handheld Smartphone Stabilizer
- Zhiyun Weebill S Compact Gimbal
- DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Combo – 3-Axis Handheld Stabilizer for iPhone Android
- Zhiyun Smooth 4 Professional Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone
Camera Cage (Rig)
Truthfully, you don’t necessarily need a Red or a Blackmagic to create an impactful film (although it certainly doesn’t help). Talent and skills far outweigh gear.
But a seasoned film producer or even a film snob can spot a cheap-looking production a mile away.
A proper camera rig is a fantastic gift for a filmmaker who doesn’t have one. Introducing a good amount of weight creates an expensive, cinematic hand-held look.
Also, it allows for mounting all sorts of helpful appendages like mikes, lights, and screens. Video camera cages are available in various sizes and prices—fixed or highly moddable.
We would recommend the latter for a cinematographer gift – due to its flexibility in use.
Helicopter shots are a thing of the past. Nowadays, a drone for a few hundred bucks can confidently shoot 4K footage or even carry an external body, enabling previously unattainable footage to anyone.
That’s why a decent drone is one of the most desirable gifts for the filmmaker who has (almost) everything. We recommend learning the basics on a cheaper model to minimize the risk of wrecking a sizeable investment.
It’s even possible to build your own drone. It is technically challenging and nerdy but much cheaper and more fun. Here are some of the most popular pre-built drones within the filmmaker crowd:
As any proficient drone pilot will tell you, a reliable, high-quality pair of VR goggles with good range and high resolution is, eventually, a must.
However, that’s not the only use case. With a nice VR set, it’s also possible to edit and grade footage without external light leaking in.
Not to mention watching favorite Netflix movies or even playing VR games.
Fluid Head Video Tripod
While many feature films use entirely hand-held footage throughout, a proper tripod is essential in most film production sets.
A solid fluid head video tripod proves its usefulness all day long, especially in scenes where the camera pans smoothly back and forth between subjects.
Notably, even more so, if it involves a massive, kitted-out, cinematic camera rig.
Wireless Audio System
There are scenes where boom mics are simply not an option, yet clean audio is necessary. That’s when a professional wireless audio system like Movo WMX-20-DUO 48-Channel UHF comes into play.
It is fully compatible with smartphones to DSLRs and provides wireless HQ audio in even the most challenging scenes.
Color-Calibrated, Professional Monitor
Massive movie hits like The Lord of The Rings undergo careful color grading in a specifically designed, dark room with calibrated monitors.
We mortals can achieve a similar degree of sophistication using purpose-built systems. For example, BenQ SW271 27 Inch 4K HDR Professional IPS Monitor comes with a detachable shading hood.
At the lower end of the spectrum, an ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) Monitor might suffice, too.
Lastly, we must mention a handful of items that didn’t quite ‘make the cut.’ Still, they would also make for fabulous gifts for filmmakers, videographers, and podcasters out there.
- Filmmaking or Storytelling Course (Masterclass, Udemy)
- Keyboard Shortcuts Layover for Davinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere
- Podcaster Kit incl. Audio Interface
- Apple box
- Lavalier microphone
- Batteries and power-banks
- Peak Design Slide Lite Camera Strap Black (SLL-BK-3)
Aaaand it’s a wrap—this was our take on the best 25 gifts for videographers, spread across three categories and including a few bonus ideas.
In the end, it comes down to understanding the unique situation and aspirations of the creator. But with this list, you should be well-prepared to pick the perfect gift for any occasion.