- The Best Christmas Gifts for Film Editors 2020
- Post Production Christmas and Year End Sales
It’s that time of year again when we can spread a little love and Christmas cheer with a Christmas gift the film editor in your life will love.
This year I’ve (mostly) tried to aim for ‘analogue’ gifts that will get them up and out of the chair and enjoying the rest of life, away from the screen so they can come back to their creative work, refreshed and re-inspired.
Here’s a short list of the best Christmas gifts for film editors in 2020:
- DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor Keyboard
- Masterclass.com All-Access Pass
- Classic Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
- TENET blu-ray and other ‘pandemic’ releases
- Essential Books for Film Editors
- Custom WASD keyboard
- Befores and Afters VFX Print Magazine
- Incredibly useful book reading light
If you’re more of a visual browser then you can skip over to this Amazon page which collates all of these gifts and many others from previous lists, in one easy to peruse location.
I’ve ordered this year’s list with the more expensive gifts towards the end, so you can keep scrolling the more generous/hopeful you are!
Accusonus Audio Plugin Christmas Giveaway!
Accusonus, maker of respected audio plugin suite ERA 5, have been generous enough to give my readers the chance to win one ERA 5 Standard plugin suite and one ERA 5 Pro plugin suite!
You should definitely enter this competition as your chances of winning are statistically quite high – given the modest readership of this blog! 🙂
All you need to do is drop your email at this link before December 31st and the winners will be notified then.
If you scroll down to the next section you’ll also see that Accusonus are running an end of year sale with up to 40% off specific offers – do check it out!
Post Production Christmas and End of Year Sales for 2020
Although it feels like Black Friday/Cyber Monday only just finished some post production brands and services are extending or renewing their sales during Christmas through to the end of the year.
I’ll be updating this list as more sales become available, but here’s a quick run down of brands that had a sale last year and so might run one again this year!
UPDATED – JAN 2021
MixingLight is running a rare and massive sale on it’s premium annual and monthly colour grading training memberships, with 50% off the first year and then up to 20% off the normal price locked-in for life!
They have only run sales like this three times before, once at the launch in 2013, the 2.0 re-launch in 2017 and earlier this year at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to save some serious cash! The best part is this sale is available for new and existing members.
A premium annual membership would normally cost $244 but you can get it now for just $122, and then save 20% every year on the normal price after that for the lifetime of your subscription.
Mixing Light is also practically giving away it’s extensive standalone professional training courses for DaVinci Resolve 14 and 12.5, offering them with a $100 discount at just $29 each.
That’s nearly 40 hours of expert, in-depth DaVinci Resolve teaching for just $58!
The 14 hour Introduction to DaVinci Resolve 14 Certification Bundle includes two training courses and a documentary short practice project (In The Shadow of Giants) which will give you everything you need to grade your own project and follow along.
In the $29 DaVinci Resolve 12.5 bundle (26 hours) there are three training titles, one of which is called DaVinci Resolve Deep Insights, which covers advanced features not taught in the other courses and is far more focused on how a colorist actually works, than simply understanding the software. I’ve previously reviewed Deep Insights here.
Now you might be wondering why you’d want to bother with these courses if the latest version of DaVinci Resolve is 17?
Well, although a lot of features and UI changes have been added since, the fundamental nuts and bolts of how DaVinci Resolve operates and what you need to understand to work like a colorist, hasn’t changed. So you’ll be able to ‘bring forward’ much of what you’ll learn.
Plus did I mention you’re getting nearly 40 hours of training for less than $60! That’s $1.5 an hour!
Mixing Light are also offering their standalone practice projects at just $29 each too, which includes the 5K RED horror short film, Mother Died, which I’ve previously reviewed here.
LearnColourGrading.com – Alex Jordan who runs a popular YouTube channel on colour grading in DaVinci Resolve is once again offering his 10-course, in-depth video training at rock-bottom prices over the holidays with $600 off from the 22nd December until 11.59 on the 29th (Pacific Time).
This year, for just $97 you could get access to all 10 of his courses, plus his 200x LUT collection. This includes life-time access to the course and free updates as they amend the teaching to keep track with DaVinci Resolve’s on-going developments.
His training also covers every aspect of DaVinci Resolve including editing, grading, compositing in Fusion, using the Fairlight page and much more.
Until December 28th you can take advantage of Masterclass.com’s 2-for-1 holiday offer which allows you to get two of their annual all-access subscription for the price of one.
So find a friend and split the cost to double the learning!
I am a HUGE fan of Masterclass and include a subscription in my best gifts for film editors list almost every year! I have also reviewed almost all of the film courses on the blog, including:
- Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting
- Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring
- Martin Scorsese Teaches Filmmaking
- Ron Howard Teaches Directing
- Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking
- Samuel L Jackson Teaches Acting
- Spike Lee, Ken Burns, Werner Herzog, Jodie Foster, David Mamet on Film Editing
But there are now close to 100 world-class experts to learn from so the value of the all-access pass has sky-rocketed in recent years. Get inspired and learn from the best, it will help to broaden your creative horizons!
If you’ve been fortunate enough to pick up a DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor then you might want to check out their brand new training course on getting started with it.
Rampant Design Tools – Their Black Friday sale continues on until the end of the year with 60% off all their individual products and bigger savings on their bundles, like $1250 off their Ultimate Essentials bundle which contains their entire library in one hard-drive.
Accusonus – Accusonus’ highly recommended and recently updated ERA5 standard suite of 13 powerful and easy to use audio repair plugins are 40% off. These are specifically designed to help you polish your audio with very little hassle such as removing noise, reverb and adding voice enhancing EQ in a couple of clicks.
Save $50 on a 1TB super-fast Samsung T7 USB 3.2 SSD drive and transfer at over 1000MB/s.
These were on sale during Black Friday – but now with an even bigger discount, so be sure to take a look at some of these other Black Friday post production deals to see if you can still scoop up some savings.
The Best Christmas Gifts for Film Editors 2020
So what are the best Christmas gifts to give to the film editor in your life in 2020? Here are some of the things I’ve enjoyed (or would enjoy!) this year and I hope they will too.
I feel very fortunate to have received many of the things on my wishlist from last year, including the delightful nuraloops, the intriguing Wacom Cintiq and the Loupedeck CT (post on that coming in 2021!) – although I’m still considering trying out the revamped and relaunched Monogram control panel (previously Palette Gear) – especially given the introduction of the new Orbiter controller.
1. DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor
If there’s one new piece of hardware that looks too interesting not to give a go, it is the recently released DaVinci Resolve 17 Speed Editor, which you can still pick up for free when you buy a Studio license of DaVinci Resolve (well worth it anyway!) for £295/$295.
It will be interesting to see how much it speeds things up in Resolve and if any kind of third-party customisation is possible.
UPDATE – Hit this post to discover if you can use the Speed Editor in other video editing software!
You can learn more about the Speed Editor and all the other new hardware and features in DaVinci Resolve 17, in this growing round up the best resources.
2. Masterclass All-Access Pass
While I love that I can learn more about the craft of filmmaking from industry-veterans on Masterclass.com, one of my favourite things about Masterclass is the breadth of visionary voices that are available in their always growing library.
During the first (and second) lockdown’s here in London Ron Finley’s class on gardening inspired me to get out and enjoy the garden, while Aaron’ Franklin’s amazing skills with meat also inspired me to fire up the BBQ outside too.
I found watching Chris Voss’ class on negotiation empowering, while practicing some of Penn and Teller’s magic tricks with my daughter made spells of home-schooling extra fun.
Chris Hadfield’s class on Space Exploration is a dynamite lesson in pushing yourself, understanding the science behind how rocket’s work and what it feels like to live as an astronaut.
Here are some of my favourite non-film courses on Masterclass.com
- Ron Finley Teaches Urban Gardening
- Aaron Franklin Teaches Texas BBQ
- Commander Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration
- Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing
- Dominique Ansel Teaches French Pastry (inventor of the cronut!)
- FBI Hostage Negotiator Chris Voss Teaches Negotiation
- Penn and Teller Teach Magic
- Will Wright Teaches Game Design (Inventor of The SIMs and many others!)
- Paul Krugman Teaches Economics (entirely fascinating and not boring!)
Don’t forget, until December 28th you can take advantage of Masterclass.com’s 2-for-1 holiday offer which allows you to get two of their annual all-access subscription for the price of one.
3. Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in Charcoal Black
Making notes all day? Walking around with ideas to scribble down? When was the last time you actually used a nice pen to do it? This classic piece of design from the 1980s caught my eye recently; the Lamy Safari fountain pen in charcoal black.
Whatever quill you choose – I also love the far more basic Uniball Signo Gelstick 0.7 pens and order them by the box – a nice pen will make for an affordable gift to be enjoyed day after day.
Plus making notes by hand is proven to be far more effective in terms of memory and cognition that typing on keyboard or touch-screen.
You might also want to throw in a nice Moleskin notebook too!
4. TENET on blu-ray and other pandemic releases
While I did manage to get to see TENET in person in a cinema, sadly it wasn’t on a 70mm film print at the Science Museum IMAX here in London – as is my usual Nolan-makes-a-new-film-preference.
But there are plenty of films that were slated to arrive or did arrive during the past year that the pandemic prevented many of us from seeing. So why not pick up one of these or gift a streaming subscription to access them and many more during 2021.
- TENET on blu-ray
- Bill and Ted Face The Music on blu-ray
- Greyhound on Apple TV Plus
- David Fincher’s Mank on Netflix
- The Banker – Apple TV Plus
And given Warner Bros (unpopular) industry-shaking plans to release all of their 2021 schedule – Wonder Woman 1984, Dune etc. – on HBO Max (USA only) at the same time as (probably/potentially) being released in the cinema, time will tell what impact this has on the future of the moving going experience.
So I guess either sign up to HBO Max or boycott it in rebellion?
Pixar’s latest release, Soul, will debut exclusively on Disney+ on Christmas Day 2020, and given that season two the excellent Mandalorian TV show and the original cast performing the dazzling Hamilton is on the streaming service too – plus a wealthy back catalogue of every disney and Pixar movie for kids – it’s a solid choice for the holiday season!
5. Essential Books for Film Editors
I recommended Star Wars editor Paul Hirsch’s memoir of a life in the editing suite; A long time ago in a cutting room far, far away… last year, and I’ll do it again this year as it’s an insightful and enjoyable read.
If you’re after a new read on the art, craft and business of film editing here are a few, new and old, must read books. Click through for each book’s review.
- A long time ago in a cutting room far, far away…. by Paul Hirsch
- Behind The Seen – Editing Cold Mountain on Final Cut Pro by Charles Koppelman
- The Art of The Cut by Steve Hullfish
- Make the Cut – A guide to become a successful assistant editor in Film and TV by Lori Jane Coleman ACE and Diana Friedberg, ACE.
- Jump Cut – How to jump start your career as a film editor by Lori Jane Coleman ACE and Diana Friedberg ACE
- The Visual Story by Bruce Block.
- Into the Woods by John Yorke
But I’ve also reviewed a lot of other books on the blog over the years on a wide range of topics, and you can browse a full-list of every book reviewed on the blog here.
6. Custom WASD Mechanical Keyboard
Although I’m secretly in love with the small compact design of this WASD VP3 62-Key ISO Custom Mechanical Keyboard, I know I won’t be able to edit efficiently without the arrow keys, nor the number pad, so I’ll have to flesh out my custom design on a bigger canvas.
If you’re going to be smashing at your keys all day long, you may as well do so on a keyboard whose style and design reflects a little bit of personality – and with innumerable ways to customise your keyboard on WASD.com; from custom keycaps to all the colours of the rainbow – you can make it look the way you like.
Now after well over a decade of typing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words on a standard white Apple keyboard, I’ve yet to test out my digits on a chunkier mechanical keyboard, but I’m tempted to give it a go!
7. Befores & After’s VFX Print Magazine – Issue #1
Issue one contains these long-reads sure to entertain and inform any VFX aficionado:
The great capes – a look at some of the landmark caps in VFX history, from the CG cape in Batman Forever to the cape crafted practically and digitally for Superman Returns.
Stuffy stories – more than 30 effects practitioners weigh-in on the many and varied stuffies and stand-ins they’ve employed in films and shows over the years.
Whatever happened to rotoscoping? – wasn’t roto meant to be automatic now? Experts offer their thoughts on the current state and future of this vital component of VFX.
VFX artists vs. the Golden Gate Bridge – it’s the bridge VFX artists love to destroy. Here’s how they did it on multiple films such as The Core and X-Men: The Last Stand.
‘Jar Jar changed movies’ – actor Ahmed Best and animation director Rob Coleman outline how Jar Jar was a leap ahead in motion capture and CG character performance.
Each issue costs $15 AUD – about £8/$11 USD plus shipping.
Because health. My mum is into these kind of things and recommended these Igennus Pure & Essential Multivitamins as a good all-rounder.
Hopefully these will put a little extra spring in your step!
9. The Best Reading Light You’ll Ever Buy
Having bought several kinds of reading lights over the years to try to get through some books in the evening while not disturbing my wife, this one is the clear winner.
It’s got a chunky grip which makes it ideal for working through massive tombs or clipping to a desk, shelf or night stand. It’s soft and deeply orange light means it won’t keep you artificially awake and doesn’t bother anyone else in the room.
The neck is entirely flexible and can be shaped into any position, while the light itself is pretty uni-directional, which prevents a lot of spill. The battery lasts for ages and charges quickly via a standard mini-USB cable.
All in all this light is amazing, especially if you’re up changing nappies at 3am and don’t want to wake your sleepy baby by blasting them with light.
I can’t recommend it enough.
Give the gift of Giving – Charity Options
If you’d rather step away from the consumer inferno that is the ‘holiday’ season and give some good (or even if it’s just virtue-signalling) then these three charities have got you covered in the UK and US.
As the majority of my readers are from the US, I thought I’d start with a charity who seem to offer the very best kind of ‘leverage’ when it comes to donations in and impact out.
To me this would make for an excellent stocking filler or secret Santa gift; “I know we said the budget was only $10 but I thought I’d give you a $1000 gift instead…”
I thought it best to include the incredible charity my better-half works for, Refugee Support Network, who do unbelievable, life-changing work with some of our nation’s most vulnerable people; unaccompanied asylum seekers.
To you and I, that means teenagers who have been forced to flee conflict, torture and worse in their home countries and have come to the UK seeking refuge.
RSN are on a mission to raise a lot of money for their new building project which has the potential to spring-board the organisation, and several others, to new heights for years to come. Until January 1st every donation given will be matched by a generous benefactor up to £50,000. So you can double your giving at no extra cost!
More ideas for Christmas Gifts for Film Editors from the past
Some notable gift ideas from previous lists would include:
- A small portable Wacom Tablet
- A decent pair of headphones
- All-Access Pass to Masterclass.com
- A subscription to post production training site LowePost.com
- A Bialetti Moka Stove-top Coffee Maker
- Ember Temperatured Controlled Smart Coffee Mug
- A 6ft long iPhone lightening charging cable, in go faster red.
Still hungry for more? Check out all the previous editions of this post here: