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5 gifts filmmakers should treat themselves now

It’s been a tough year. Treat yourself.

Sometimes you just want to get something nice. And why not? You work really hard. 2020 was basically an ongoing disaster, and 2021 had its lows as well. But film and television are finally getting back on their feet, and we at No Film School hope that you will fuel your creative fires as best you can.

We always have Christmas gift guides compiled as well as an extensive line of equipment guides for filmmakers in need of the latest and greatest cameras, audio equipment, software, and more. But what about a short list for those days when you just want to indulge yourself? What if all you want is an instant burst of inspiration? This list is for you.

If you’re not a filmmaker, maybe just a hardcore movie fan, don’t worry. You can find something else here.

And if you need an event to apologize for a purchase, half of the year is July 2nd. Congratulations on surviving 2021 so far.

Let’s dive in!


Plot devices

Plotting devices – Storyboard notebook$ 12.99

Hopefully you get back to the projects you had to put on hold in 2020. If so, don’t forget the pre-production value!

This storyboard notebook from Plot Devices is simple and easy to use with a grid of empty boxes and notation areas. It just needs your ideas.

And if you’re unable to sniff out all of the cinematic language, the notebook provides a handy glossary of movie terms and camera footage to incorporate into your work. Or, you can check out our guide to camera angles and movement.

Plan out your shot list and angles, and get to the set to get back to work.


Recognition: Legion M.

AUTOFOCUS / Legion M – Fade to Black Tea$ 19.98

The fan-owned production company that brought you Mandy, the Jay & Silent Bob restartand the 2020 Sundance movie Save yourselves would like to equip you with inside gear pointing to various industry positions.

They cover a number of roles that are given less attention with their “AUTOFOCUS” line.

Are you providing craft services? You will love this “I’m smart“Shirt.

Best guysThere is a shirt for you too. (Don’t you know what the best boy is? Raise yourself.)

As a writer, I love the simple “Fade to black“T-shirt. After all, those are the words we all want to reach as filmmakers.


Recognition: Criterion channel

The criterion channel$ 10.99 per month

The Criterion Channel is a streaming service that offers a mix of classic and contemporary films from Hollywood and around the world, many of which are not available anywhere else.

I know what you’re thinking. Another streaming service? I actually held back until the pandemic hit and it was worth every penny.

Basically, if you are a cinephile and want to keep learning about major films and filmmakers, it is a must. You won’t find the same films on any other platform, and you won’t find them as curated as Criterion does – by subject, by star, by director, by era. Even children can find their own films in the “Saturday Matinee” section.

Criterion also provides a platform for short and music films that is incredibly unique, as well as several great films with commentary tracks.

If you’re not sure whether to commit, get a 14-day trial of the channel before signing up.


Recognition: A24

A24 x Joya Genre Candles – fantasy$ 48

A24 can approach me not only with their film and television projects, but also with their business. I always get their targeted ads and I always want everything I see.

The company just released a new genre candle in honor of The green knight, a movie I’ve been waiting for over a year. I think while I continue to anticipate Dev Patel as a handsome knight, this candle has to last.

This candle is beautiful. It smells like hiking in the woods.

“Fantasy” contains notes from Armoise, birch tar, Virginia cedar, clove bud, Gurjun balm, lily of the valley, Canadian pine needle, tonka, and vanilla pods.


Recognition: Peter Diamond / MONDO

Peter Diamond / Mondo – The thin red line poster$ 50

The Austin-based Mondo Art Gallery has been an important pillar in my life and in the film world for years. I’m always surprised when a friend doesn’t know her. In a recent Zoom interview with Malcolm Ingram, he asked first The birds Poster by Ken Taylor I hang out in my office. There were two of me – yes, two –MondoCons. Don’t ask how much of my money went to Mondo.

Basically, if you are a movie buff and want some cool art to hang in your home or office, you need to know Mondo. They’re constantly making new releases and supporting new artists. Her art includes both classic and new films, TV shows, music, and video games. There is something for everybody. If posters aren’t your thing, they also make shirts, tiki mugs, figurines, pressings, and games.

It’s hard to recommend just one thing from the shop, especially since most of their prints sell out on part of the site in less than a minute The case. But this piece for The thin red line by Peter Diamond is now hand-numbered in an edition of 225 pieces.


The 101 Coffee Shop in “Swingers” (1996)Recognition: Miramax Films

Bonus: caffeine

If there’s one thing filmmakers need is caffeine to fuel all of those paraphrases, nightly editing sessions, overnight filming, energetic performances, movie marathons, and more.

My first recommendation will always be that you find a local coffee roaster or coffee shop and support them. You may not be able to dine everywhere just yet, but you can still get take-away drinks or buy gift cards. That way, hopefully we won’t lose any of my favorite Hollywood hangouts like that 101 cafe.

If you prefer to brew at home, Brandywine coffee roaster has released some of my favorite coffees over the past year. Sip & special does a great job too and they drink tea!

Don’t you like bean water? If you’re a fan of soda style energy drinks, you might be giving MNT DEW RISE one try. They taste pretty good and are low in calories.

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