If you’re wondering what to get your valued editing friend/colleague/partner/boss for Christmas this year then these suggestions might be just thing them for them. I know they are for me!
1. Intuos Small Pen and Tablet.
I’m a big fan of Wacom’s tablets in all shapes and sizes (check out this post Why I Love To Edit With A Wacom Tablet) as it’s the best way to stave away RSI, speed up your workflow and make every day more fun.
But, having a medium size tablet may be great for my home edit suite, but when I’m out and about in client’s edit suites, on-set or some other random location, something a little more portable and small enough to tuck into my bag, is a far better option.
What’s also great about the Intuos Small Tablet is it’s price – at only $60/£60 compared to the Intuos Pro Small at $220/£180, it is a very affordable addition to your editing tool box.
It’s small, light and nimble and for an extra few bucks you can get the version with Touch capabilities if you like. You can also pick up a nifty little carry case (UK/US) for it too. Plenty to keep your favourite geek happy.
Top 5 Things To Get An Editor For Christmas
2. Free Software For Film Editors
If there’s one thing people like to get (and give) it’s free stuff. And there is a plethora of great freebies out there to be had. It still surprises me how few editors have taken the time to download and play with DaVinci Resolve Lite. It is insanely great software that used to cost thousands and is now free for all takers.
If just looking at the interface makes you think it looks complicated, it really isn’t all that complicated (to do simple things) there’s just a lot of different tools to get the job done. So don’t be afraid, give it a whirl and you’ll be adding professional polish to your projects in no time! Check out the Resolve category on the blog for loads of great free tutorials to get you started.
The other free software that is well worth checking out is Lightworks for Mac (or PC, or Linux) which is a fully fledged professional NLE that you can download for free, or unlock the ‘pro’ features for an incredibly low annual price.
Next time you’re far from the home-comforts of your edit suite, but need to get something cut ‘right now’ then hit lwks.com and download it in a jiffy. Once again you can check out the Lightworks category on the blog for a shed-load of great tutorials from the creators.
3. A Book On Film Editing
As an editor I love hearing about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of other editors. Over the past couple of years I’ve been compiling some of my favourite reads on this blog, but I thought I’d cycle back to the the first book in my first post of Books on Film Editing.
Behind the Seen tells the story, in intimate detail, of how Walter Murch edited Cold Mountain on Final Cut Pro (3 and a beta of Version 4) and helped shape it towards Oscar nomination glory. You also get an up-close and personal view of the inner workings of Murch’s edit suite, his editing workflow and the process of editing a feature film from rushes to delivery.
The book is full of diary entries, emails and assorted notes and anecdotes. Here is a good example:
Hooray! Clips are in FCP. And when a sequence is opened up, it does so 150 times faster. An hour-long sequence opens in two seconds as opposed to four minutes. Why? Probably because the sequence is assembling from short clips of shots rather than long clips of tapes. A huge relief, that it functions so well now – that was a thundercloud bearing down on me as I thought of the problems further along in the process.
Murch’s Journal August 19, 2002.
It’s interesting to note that 12 years later, the editors of David Fincher’s Gone Girl, faced similar problems when getting their projects to load quickly, otherwise Fincher would get bored and wander off.
4. Training For Film Editors
One of the things I love most in life, is learning new skills. This summer I had incredible fun learning how to fly fish and shoot for the first time. But those skills are slightly harder to transfer to the edit suite. But I still find it a thrill (really?!) to learn something new about a bit of software I use every day, or a whole new piece of software I’ve never used before, especially when I know that new tidbit of knowledge will be very handy in the future.
This year I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to peak inside the world’s of high calibre colorist training with a look behind the paywall of Mixing Light.com (it’s excellent) and into the brand new online documentary editing training opus that is Inside The Edit (it’s also excellent).
The three pieces of software I really want to master in 2015 are FCPX, After Effects and DaVinci Resolve. With After Effects I would highly recommend some of the training series I selected from Lynda.com in this post, or more generally some of these post production courses in this post.
All I need now is the free time needed to absorb, test and apply all this excellent training!
5. A Wacom Cintiq HD
A boy can dream can’t he?
At $2,499 (plus shipping) the Wacom Cintiq 24HD isn’t cheap, nor will it sit lightly on your desktop weighing in at a portly 28.9 Kgs (63.8 pounds). That’s why it comes with the stand and swivel arm, so it doesn’t crush you.
It’s interesting to see these several of these in action during the FCPX Virtual User Group and to hear that editor Alan E Bell (The Amazing Spiderman, Hunger Games etc) uses one of these with a Logitech G-13 strapped to the side of it.
What would I use it for? Well, editing of course. Although I’m not sure I’ve got room for it in my edit suite right now, so if you could get me a bigger house to fit it in, that would be really handy. Thanks.
More Ideas For Creative Christmas Gifts
If you’re after even more ideas for what to get your beloved editor for Christmas, to thank them for all their hours of toiling away strapped to a desk, then check out my previous festive post An Editor’s Epic Christmas Wish List, or Oliver Peter’s packed post of ‘stocking stuffers’ and Scott Simmons’ annually updated Gift List which all have a bevy of great suggestions too.
If you’re got time – hit the comments and let me know what’s on your Christmas wishlist!