We’ve put together a quick MovieMaker‘s Holiday Gift Guide to help you find the perfect present for the independent moviemakers in your life. Light up your favorite cinematographer’s face as you help him light up his scenes. Watch a joyous scene unfold as your writer friend unpacks her new screenwriting software. Here are seven ways to ensure your place in a future Oscar acceptance speech.
1. The Beginner: GoPro HERO ($129.99)
A staple for amateur and veteran filmmakers alike, the GoPro is one of the best-selling cameras in the world. The GoPro HERO captures high-quality video and immersive footage without breaking your wallet. This user-friendly entry-level model allows moviemakers to power on and begin recording with the press of a single button, as well as take burst sequences at rates of up to five frames per second. An added bonus: The GoPro HERO is gear-mountable and comes with a housing case that’s waterproof for up to 131 feet.
2. The Mobilist: Moondog Labs 1.33X Anamorphic Adapter ($175)
Moondog Labs’ affordable 1.33X Anamorphic Adapter makes a versatile, handy addition in anyone’s kit. Latest models have been updated to work with the iPhone 6 and 6S. With characteristic flares and distortions, the adapter preserves the full resolution of a phone camera while creating a 2.4:1 aspect ratio and panoramic 16:9 still images. It mounts securely using a dynamic clamping mechanism, and also comes with a microfiber storage bag.
3. The Writer: Final Draft 9 ($249.99)
Discipline, professionalism and heightened craft—that’s what Final Draft 9 brings to a screenwriter. This latest version, the most user-friendly to date, features a new Navigator tool, new export and watermark options, character highlighting and a full-screen mode, to name a few. Chances are you know someone who already has earlier versions of Final Draft, in which case you could get him or her the upgrade for $99.
4. The Visionary: Zacuto Gratical HD Micro OLED Electronic Viewfinder ($2,525)
The Gratical HD electronic viewfinder—5.4 million pixels on a 0.61” diagonal screen—is one of the best on the market. It boasts a wider contrast range and more vibrant colors than many other models: With Micro-OLED screens, each pixel is lit individually, so that when one is turned off there is true black. The Gratical HD comes with a built-in diopter and FPGA dual core processor, HDMI and SDI cross-convert, focus assist peaking, Waveform, Histogram, Vectorscope, LUTs and more (whew!). Right now, too, Zacuto is offering a $575 discount on the item, plus a free HDMI cable and extra battery.
5. The Aerialist: 3D Robotics Solo ($999.95)
Solo is the smartest drone that can take HD video and photos to give quality aerial shots. The Smart Shot technology gives cinematic footage that can stream live from GoPro to iOS and Android devices with an app. A video game-like style controller takes the drone in the air with a button, and it features a parachute system, flight rewind and more.
6. The Lifelong Learner: MovieMaker Magazine Subscription ($19.95 for Two)
Yes, we went there… but with good reason: Our current Advent Calendar offer gives two subscriptions (print or digital) for the price of one, so you can grab one for yourself, and one for a friend or family member too. All two-for-one print subscribers also receive a giveaway prize, randomly selected from our holiday grab bag. It’s presents upon presents upon presents.
7. The Storyteller: Complete Visual Storytelling 2 Training HD Download ($349)
Your favorite cinematographer or director can now enjoy the wisdom of Saturday Night Live Season 40’s film unit DP Alex Buono, from the comfort of her or his own home. This download includes both “Lighting” and “Visual Subtext” from Buono’s “Visual Storytelling 2” Training Guides, which analyze and demonstrate a number of different stylistic genres and explore the use of symbolic imagery to tell more powerful stories, respectively. MM