Holiday Gift Guide 2019

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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.

Memberships

  • Picturehouse Central Membership – 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 

Sustenance

  • 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. 
  • 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?

Books

Software

  • 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. 
  • Photo Mechanic 6 – One for the photographers. You know how Lightroom takes ages to show you a full-res image, and how that can suck up time you don’t have when you’re doing your first purge? Photo Mechanic is nigh-instant. It has massively sped up my workflow.
  • Literally any backup software, please, for the love of all you have created. I use Dropbox, IDrive and iCloud.

Stuff

  • Lensball – A crystal ball for amazing curved wide angle shots!
  • 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.
  • Stationery – Index cards, sharpies, notebooks, whatever the creative in your life wants. Shower them in them, because it’s never enough. Personally I like B5 grid notebooks with lots of pages, and
  • Kaweco Sport Fountain Pens – Cheap, compact, write beautifully. What more do you want in a pen?!

Free Stuff

  • 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.
  • Validation – Sweet, sweet validation. And love. Also love. It’s not that we’re a bit needy. Not at all. We’re very needy. 
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2 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Guide 2019”

  1. Fade In also has a Linux version, which was a game-changer for me. I know for most people that is like ¯\_(?)_/¯ but for me it freed me up from Windows which has the font rendering equivalent of falling face forward and impaling your eyes in a knitting needle factory.

    And no, I don’t want another Mac after years of ownership (but we all have our likes and dislikes).

    With respect to something I hope people can relate to: it’s lightweight, absolutely solid as a rock, very simple to use, and doesn’t cost a kidney.

    Kent Tessman is an unordained saint.

    Reply

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