Filmmaker’s Wish List

Hello Everyone!

As I’m sure you all know, the holidays are fast approaching! If you celebrate Christmas, or any other holiday that involves gifting this season, you might still be deciding on what you want to ask for. To help make your decision a little easier, I wanted to provide you with a short selection that you can add to your filmmakers wish list. I’ve included a variety of items, mostly useful things for small budgets, so have a look and see if there’s anything you like!

  1. Mini lens kit for your cell phone: Priced at $28.99
    I recently received a similar cell phone lens kit to this (mine only has 3 lenses and no tripod) and I find it a really neat accessory. If you take a lot of photos, or if you want to start filming short videos on your phone, this kit will definitely increase the quality and crispness of the images/videos. While I don’t personally use my cell phone for filming all that often, this is still just a great option if you can’t afford a larger camera or large lenses for a camera.
  2. Editing software: $19.99 – 49.99/month

    A few Christmases ago, my grandma sent me money for a year’s subscription of editing software. I signed up for the student deal that Adobe offers on their website (which is currently priced at $19.99 per month for access to all their apps) and got a lot of use out of it! If you are looking to try out Adobe Premiere or any other Adobe products, this is certainly one way to do it. I still pay for a monthly subscription to use all the apps (which is $29.99 per month for me) and I swear by it because I think it’s the best. If the pricing is still a bit much for you, definitely check out options like iMovie (which is FREE for Mac users) and VEGAS Movie Studio (which is a one time fee of about $50 for the basic package).

  3. Mini, flexible tripod: About $8

    My dad got me this flexible tripod a few years ago and I think it’s a nifty gadget that can come in handy. I wouldn’t recommend putting huge cameras on it, but for your cell phone or small DSLR, it works well. If you are filming on the go and don’t have a full sized tripod with you, this one will do in a pinch because you can wrap it around things and it will stay attached.

  4. Film School Book: Priced at $12

    This book is great to leave on the coffee table or bedside table. It isn’t a huge book, so it makes it one that is easy to read casually. It is full of illustrations and useful advice, almost like a quick go to when you need a refresher on the basics of movie making.
  5. Camera lens mug, clapper board, movie posters: Various prices
    Lens mug-
    Movie posters-

The last few items are just for fun! The dry erase clapboard and the lens mug can come in handy if you want to or already work on movie sets. The movie poster that I linked is one that I purchased for myself a few years ago and it is really high quality and is a great size for putting up on the wall. Check out the Amazon link here for other types of movie posters by the same seller: (

That’s it for my holiday gifts for filmmakers! Check out the website below for additional gift ideas for yourself or for that special filmmaker in your life:

Happy Holidays!


Equipment Haul Review

Hi Everyone!

A few weeks ago I released an equipment haul video for a DSLR camera package that I received for my birthday this last summer. In the video, I explained what exactly was in the package and gave a quick look at my YouTube set up. In an effort to keep the video short, I didn’t include my review of the equipment, so I figured I would use my blog to share my opinions.

First off, as I mentioned in the video (click the link below if you haven’t seen it already), the previous camera that I was using (the Canon Rebel T3i) was one that I purchased in my junior year of high school (which was back in 2012!). I needed an upgrade mainly because the model was very out of date and the camera was having difficulty recording in low or poor lighting. Despite this, the camera still worked perfectly and looked great in proper lighting- which makes it one that I would recommend to anyone- I just wanted something that I could use without worry of graininess on my footage.

While I do a bit of freelance work with my equipment, my main use for a camera is filming YouTube videos. After doing a bit of research, I learned that most YouTubers that I watch use the Canon 70D. I liked that their videos were really sharp and crisp in terms of image quality, and I assumed they were easy to use cameras that held up well because it didn’t seem like the YouTubers complained about them at all. While I do have other friends that swear by Nikons or other brands, I am partial to Canon because it was the first brand recommended to me. Honestly most DSLR brands are incredibly similar, so it’s just a matter of finding one that you like best.

Ultimately I ended up with a Canon 80D rather than a 70D (they were actually closely priced on Amazon) but I think the two cameras are fairly similar. While I haven’t played around with a 70D before, it probably just has fewer features than the 80D. One feature that I like most about the 80D is that it has a touch screen that focuses on whatever you touch in the video; and it stays locked onto the subject when it moves. When I film myself for YouTube videos, I can’t really glance back and forth from the preview screen to the lens to check if I’m in focus or not, especially not when I’m talking. But ever since I started using the touch to focus feature, I don’t have to worry about the camera losing focus on me or accidentally focusing on the background because it is locked on my movements.

After using the 80D for a few months now, in addition to the added equipment that I got as part of the Amazon package, I can say that I love everything! It’s definitely a very basic setup of equipment- I’m not looking to spend thousands of dollars on lights and things- but it has boosted my quality significantly. If you look at my videos from 6 months to a year ago, you’ll see that they look a lot more flat- the color is off and the lighting isn’t great. Now that I have lights and the 80D, everything seems more vibrant and definitely not grainy when I shoot in low light or limited natural light. I also feel more confident when I record videos for myself or for freelance work because I feel that with better equipment, it makes me look more professional.

I wish I could speak more to the tech specs about my equipment but sadly I’m not a very tech-y person. I’ll just end this post by saying that the camera and added equipment are easy to use and I would recommend this package, or anything similar, to someone looking to do YouTube videos, small freelance projects, or simple short films. If you have tried this equipment for yourself, or anything similar that you really liked or dislike, please leave your comments below! I’ll see you all again soon!

Link to the camera/lighting packages that I have:

Link to my YouTube video: