Christmas Gifts for Film Editors
Once again it’s time to find a creative, entertaining and useful gift for the favourite editor in your life.
In this year’s round up I’ve brought together seven of my favourite things from 2017.
You can check out previous years lists in these posts:
- An Editor’s Christmas Gift Wish List (2016)
- Christmas Gifts for Film Editors (2015)
- What to get a Film Editor for Christmas (2014)
- An Editor’s Epic Christmas Wish List (2012)
So it turns out you can make these nice looking Gift Collections on Amazon.com, so I’ve put together one for all the Christmas Gifts for Film Editors, I’d recommend.
I’ve added in a few things from other years too, so click through to have a look!
Masterclass – Annual All Access Pass
I’m a big fan of the amazing opportunity that Masterclass.com offers, which is a rare chance to learn from some of the very best in the business, at an affordable price.
I’ve previously reviewed both the Aaron Sorkin Masterclass on Screenwriting and the Hans Zimmer Masterclass on Film Scoring, both of which are excellent and I would highly recommend. I’m also looking forward to reviewing the Scorsese Filmmaking Masterclass when it launches too.
What’s probably most exciting is that Masterclass have just created an ‘Annual All Access Pass‘ which, for the price of two individual masterclasses, give you access to every single course on their site for the next year.
Sure, some of these classes will help you directly in your knowledge and understanding of the craft of filmmaking:
- David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing
- Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television
- Ron Howard Teaches Directing
- Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking
But it also includes Masterclasses from a whole range of fascinating people like Actor Samuel L Jackson, Chess Master Gary Kasparov and Journalist Bob Woodward.
So, as a person who tries to be continuously curious, I have no idea what Herbie Hancock teaching Jazz or Stephen Curry teaching Basketball or DeadMau5 teaching Electronic Music Production will add to my understanding of editing and post-production, but I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from some incredibly hard working and talented people, and it all adds to the mix.
Plus all of these Masterclasses are just so well shot, edited and put together, that they make for more entertaining and engaging viewing than many a box-set or streaming series. IMHO.
The team behind Masterclass.com will no doubt be adding further master’s of their craft to their library throughout 2018, so you’ll continue to get some added value for the next 365 days.
So for $180/£140 you can give the gift of expert teaching and a renewed depth of understanding around a whole host of creative and artistic talents.
You can also gift individual courses too, for $90/£70 each.
UPDATE – June 2018 – New 7 Day Free Trial!
Thankfully you now no longer have to take my word for it, as Masterclass.com has launched a new 7-day free trial, allowing you to check out the entire site for yourself!
The free trial signs you up for the All-Access pass, which bills annually at £170/$180 or about £15/$15month, so if you don’t want it to auto-renew be sure to set a reminder to cancel.
There is a 30-day full money back guarantee though, so if unlike me you don’t get hooked on learning from all these masters of their craft you can get your money back.
Small But Excellent Gifts That Keep on Giving
New Yorker Daily Calendar
One of the best gifts I got last Christmas was this 2017 New Yorker Daily Cartoon Calendar.
It’s a little flip up pad that sits on your desk and gives you a daily jolt of wry humour, and I loved it. (Thanks Alex and Pete!)
Some days are funnier than others, but it’s always the best way to start the day when I sit down at my desk. Plus if you really want to you can tear out your favourites and keep stick them on the wall when you’re in need of a little lift.
It’s pretty cheap too at just $24.95
I’d definitely be happy to get this again for 2018. Hopefully it counts as a tax-deductible office supply?
Long iPhone Charging Cable
For the second year running I’m recommending a long iPhone charging cable, as they’re just so darn useful.
Especially in comparison to awkwardly short cable you get in the box. Unless you’ve sprung some serious cash on a wireless charging model, that is.
I included these 6ft cables in my post about 5 Useful Things for Your Edit Suite and they make for a handy stocking filler gift!
Either way, these cables are a firm favourite in our house, although in an effort to curb our latent addiction to always being online, we’ve reverted to leaving them at a charging station downstairs. Freedom is leaving them plugged in, so we can unplug.
The Art of The Cut by Steve Hullfish
If you’re looking for a book that will both entertain and inform you on the craft of film editing, then Steve Hullfish’s excellent The Art of The Cut is just what you need.
The book draws upon the interviews Steve has conducted with over 50 of the best editors working in film and television today. The list reads like a whose-who of the industry, many of whom have won the highest awards the industry has to bestow and many more have been nominated for the same.
There are 11 chapters covering the following topics:
- Project Organisation
- Approach to a scene
- Pacing and Rhythm
- Sound Design
- Miscellaneous Wisdom (Breaking in to the industry, handling the emotions, learning from mistakes etc.)
As an example of how this plays out, the chapter on how to Approach a Scene delivers, in just 32 pages, the wisdom of close to 40 editors including Stephen Mirrione (The Revenant), Joe Walker (Arrival), Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road), Tom Cross (La La Land), Anne Coates (Erin Brockovich) and many more, on how they tackle the every day situation of watching rushes and building a scene for the first time.
My team puts everything together for the scene in a bin with all of the script notes – which I really rely on – then I watch the takes backwards.
I’ll watch until I see something I really like, and I’ll grab that and keep watching, and if theres something I like better, I’ll grab that…
It’s about finding a moment to respond to… watch all the dailies [and find the piece] that is the moment that is the anchor of the scene. – Stephen Mirrione
You can check out the rest of my review here, but the whole book contains so much insight, wisdom and practical technique that you’ll be able to re-read it all year.
More Expensive Gifts for Film Editors
A nice bottle of Whisky
Personally receiving any one of these whisky’s would be a delight and would undoubtably last me the whole year.
Even if you already have a nice collection of whiskey’s then hopefully you’ve got room for one more.
I’ve taken a liking to Japanese whisky’s lately as well as a few others. Here are a some of my favourites:
- Yamazaki Distillery Reserve Single Malt Whisky
- Nikka from the Barrel Grain Whisky
- Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky
- Nikka from the Barrel
- Aberlour A’Bunadh Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Glenlivet 18 Year Old Scotch Whisky
Whatever your favourite tipple, please drink responsibly.
Samsung T5 Drive
This diminutive hard drive (7.5 x 6 cm) packs quite a punch, but doesn’t come cheap at $168.94 for a 1TB version.
But if you need something fast and portable, then this is an excellent choice for almost all your editing needs.
I originally discovered the older (and now slightly slower) Samsung T3 drives after FCPX editor Thomas Grove Carter recommended them in an interview and I picked one up along with my new Macbook Pro. I’ve been editing from it seamlessly ever since.
The newer Samsung T5 drive is faster with a USB C 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) interface, with official speeds of up to 540 MB/s (vs 450 MB/s for the T3).
You can pick them up in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, depending on your needs.
Hopefully anyone who receives one of these will know that small things can be expensive!
Inside the Edit for a Year
It is the best online course I know of, to teach you what you need to know to both create and craft compelling stories. And you’ll learn something useful, whether you’re a complete beginner or have been editing for a few years.
It’s not ‘cheap’ at £399/year, but it’s great value for money, considering what you get. For more on that check out my original review here, or for some more recent thoughts, I recently reviewed the more advanced tutorials in the course, in this post from October 2017.
Although you can get a monthly subscription, you’ll want to factor in how long it will take you to progress through the detailed tutorials as well as the ‘homework’ assignments of actually cutting your own documentary too. The year’s subscription effectively gives you 10 months for the price of 12.
The team behind Inside The Edit have been kind enough to partner with the blog to offer my readers a 25% discount on any subscription to the course with the promo code: JONNYELWYN.
That would save you £100 on that yearly subscription, but only saves you 25% on the first month, if you opt for a monthly fee.
Discover whether it could be right for you at InsideTheEdit.com
Here is one of the free tutorials from Inside The Edit, to give you a taste of what the course has to offer…