We’re making a gift list and checking it twice. What do all budding filmmakers want this Christmas? There are still a few shopping days left, the streets of Birmingham, Brighton and Manchester are humming with the footsteps of hurried retail activity.
Before it’s too late, maybe consider some of the following gifts from our top 6 ideas when family and friends ask: ‘So, have you thought of anything you actually want?’ Of course, all you want for Christmas is…film!
Get Out: The Complete Annotated Screenplay
For the readers out there, what better gift than a thrilling insight into one of the most innovative and original films of the past decade? This paperback edition of Writer and Director Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning screenplay, also includes supplementary material such as annotations by the man himself, as well as stills and an in-depth analysis of the production. This seems like the perfect blend of entertainment whilst always keeping one eye on the craft of filmmaking over the Christmas break. It’s available online for just over £10, which also makes it applicable for a late-in-the-day Secret Santa gift idea.
If you haven’t heard of MUBI, here’s the lowdown: the snappy name isn’t an acronym for anything in particular, and it’s just a happy coincidence that it rhymes with the word ‘movie.’ Movies is what the company are all about though: the online service collects titles from the world’s most interesting independent, left-field films and delivers them to us, the audience. Such films are typically made by ‘auteur’ directors; directors whose vision and influence is so complete, they are effectively ‘authors’ of their films. The streaming service offers gift vouchers with ‘MUBI GO,’ which is only £39.99 for three months or £99 for a year. Recent unmissable titles include Norwegian Wood, based on the novel of the same name by Haruki Murakami and with music by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, and French production The New Kid, a charming coming-of-age film, featuring mostly unknown young actors, whose spontaneity adds a fresh coat of paint to a familiar genre.
A personalised retro tape print
Plenty of options for these perfectly printed stocking fillers. Think Betamax, think the 1990s and you’re halfway there! This may be one for students to gift to their parents, or their ever so slightly older siblings. Exploring Etsy will throw up lots of fan favourites; we’ve landed here on a rattle bag which includes The Lion King, Inception, Drop Dead Fred and Deadpool. There is something for all tastes.
Portable mini projector
Another stocking filler here, but this one is a real touch of filmmaking class. There are different variations of portable projectors out there, but this particular one on geargeek.co.uk is sleek, affordable and high-spec. Impressively, it has an LED lamp that can run for over 30,000 hours. This is the perfect product for a Screen and Film School student to not only screen blockbuster films, but also to preview their own productions on too.
Hollywood: Her Story, An Illustrated History of Women and the Movies
This book will serve as an inspiration to all Screen and Film School students, as it takes a deep dive into the long and illustrious history of the endless number of talented women who have helped to make film and cinema what it is today. Dating back to the very earliest female directors from the 19th century, author Jill Tietjen explores movie legends but also the actresses, directors, stuntwomen, screenwriters, composers, animators, editors, producers and cinematographers who may not be household names but are nevertheless icons of cinema.
We’re wrapping up our list with the most affordable of gifts: at just under £6 this story board notebook is ready to go and should be used immediately on productions when the semester continues in January. It’s as professional as it gets for that price, and with 100 pages of storyboard templates with 8 story frames per page, can be used by every member of the production team. Time to make those ideas you come up with across the festive period a reality in the New Year!
So, our filmmakers gift list comes to an end. We hope that like opening the doors of an advent calendar, by reading through our recommendations we have handed you some festive surprises. There’s still time to grab one of these film-related gifts before the weekend, or even better to request one from a loved one. We look forward to seeing them in action when we see you all again in 2022 in the studio.