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Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Bad Santa 2

Look, every blog in the world is doing a gift guide at this time of year, and it’d be remiss of me not to pitch in. After all, someone might gift one of these to me!

No sponsorships were received in the writing of this, this isn’t an advertorial, this is merely a list of things I love that I think over people might also enjoy.

  • Picturehouse Membership – You don’t need to buy me this, I already have it. But it is amazing, not just because Picturehouse is great little cinema chain. But picture this: A member’s club in central London with reduced price drinks, a rooftop view of Picadilly, filled with film lovers, plentiful power-points and decent wifi. The Picturehouse Central membership is worth it for that alone.
  • Masterclass – There are so many great classes on this website. I’ve principally used the Aaron Sorkin class, but I’d love to try the Shonda Rhimes class in TV writing, I’ve heard great things about Ron Howard’s class in directing, and I’d love to have a look at Diane von Furstenberg’s class in Building a Fashion Brand, and David Mamet’s class in storytelling. 
  • Pact Coffee – I love Pact coffee, and any lover of coffee is going to love their selections. It’s premium coffee, delivered to you at your own schedule. And if you don’t have an Aeropress yet, what are you even doing with your life?
    Drinks By The Dram – Write drunk, edit sober, they say. And if you can educate your palate at the same time, more power to you. These selections are amazing. 
  • BFI Player Subscription – Those wonderful people at the BFI have gorgeous gift packs, to give the film lover in your life a year’s access to their service.
  • Time – Please consider giving time to the creative (or lover of creative works) in your life. Time to watch movies, time to fill the tanks, time to create.
  • Moondog Labs Anamorphic Phone Lens – I’ve spent a lot of time looking at differences between film lenses for phones, and the one that always comes out on top is the Moondog Labs one. This was the lens that Tangerine was shot on and it’s the one I’d want.
  • DJI Osmo Mobile 2 – I’ve seen some mobile phone movies that really needed a little stabilisation, to the point that it detracted from their excellent stories. As far as I’ve seen, the Oslo Mobile 2 is the best out there is right now. Coupled with some decent lights and sound recording equipment, with this I’d say you’re good to go.
  • Fade In Screenwriting Software – Look, freeware is all well and good, but if you’re serious about writing you’ll want dedicated software. And while many will tell you to use Final Draft, I’d advise against it. Use it long enough, hard enough, I’d be shocked if you’ll avoid crashes, page distortion ad file corruptions. Use Fade In, it’s rock solid, cheaper and can handle all industry standard file formats. 
  • Shooting People Membership – “Shooting People is a vibrant community of independent filmmakers, writers, actors and industry.” It’s their blurb, but it’s true. Its the only industry membership I still retain, the only one I still pay my annual membership for. 
  • Stationery – Index cards, sharpies, notebooks, whatever the creative in your life wants. Shower them in them, because it’s never enough. The only thing better is:
  • Validation – Sweet, sweet validation. And love. Also love. It’s not that we’re a bit needy. Not at all. We’re very needy. 
Stephan
Writer, Photographer, Chief Engineer of the Story Factory.

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