Treat yourself with some film merch
Have a stack of gift cards you need to spend? Looking for some post-holiday gifts for someone you love or even yourself? Screen Time is here for you with some great suggestions:
The Complete Films of Agnès Varda
Some consider Agnès Varda to be one of the greatest female filmmakers of all time. Some consider her to be one of the best New Wave filmmakers of all time. Some, like myself, simply consider her to be one of the greatest filmmakers ever, period. The folks at the Criterion Collection seem to agree with me.
After the great success of 4, a box set of four Varda films that Criterion released a few years ago, they’ve now released The Complete Films of Agnès Varda, a beautifully compiled 15-disc Blu-ray set that just might change your life.
Sure, this set can run up to $250, but look around a little and I bet you can find it for $150 or less. And for 15 Criterion Blu-ray discs, that’s a steal. As for Varda, I’ll let Martin Scorsese do the talking: “She is art.”
The Film That Changed my Life
Book by Robert K. Elder
A collection of 30 stories by 30 film directors in which each tells the story of the movie they watched that changed it all for them.
Richard Linklater talks about Raging Bull, Peter Bogdanovich on Citizen Kane, Danny Boyle on Apocalypse Now, and Michel Gondry on Le Voyage en Balloon. This is great for film romantics and cinephiles alike.
App for iPhone and Android
Part of me hates to say this, but all of me knows it’s true: we can all make a movie if we want to. The resources needed are now affordable if you have a phone that was made in the last five years.
Write a story, organize some friends, and download FiLMiC Pro onto your phone and learn to use it. You can get a whole lot out of the camera on your phone these days, and apps like FiLMiC Pro can help you make your footage look much more cinematic.
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
It’s a good quality movie projector in your pocket for $160. This beauty runs off your phone, puts out a sharp, bright 1080p image, and can project an image equal to that of a 150” television.
Just make sure you can get the room really dark and you have a large, blank white wall available. (Or just do what the kids do and lay on your back and project everything onto the ceiling.)
A Cool Film-centric T-Shirt
The older I get the less often I wear a graphic T-shirt. That being said, it’s 2020 and we’re all wearing our pajamas and couch clothes a whole lot more than usual. I say express yourself and get a graphic tee.
If you’re a regular ScreenTime reader (and at least somewhat tend to enjoy my taste and opinions) I’d recommend going to rebubble.com and searching the “cult T-shirt” section of the site. There are a million movie T-shirts available and countless ways to buy them; I think Rebuddle’s collection is by far the best.
I figure a regular ScreenTime reader is likely to have a DVD/Blu-ray collection. My collection is at about 3,000 or so (I am now age 40, and no longer count) and I build self-made bookshelves for myself. It’s easy and fun.
I painted them all primary colors against a mostly white backdrop in honor of Jean Luc-Godard’s Pierrot le fou. Feel free to steal that idea.
Cost depends on the size of the build and the quality of both the wood and drill. I’d recommend planning to spend between $50-$80. As an added bonus, you and your family/roommates/cats can spend all that quality time together trying to navigate creating homemade bookshelves.
Cinema Camera Package
If your rich uncle decided to be extravagant with the cash in your Christmas card, you can put it toward your budding cinematographer’s studio.
For about $3,000, you can really get going in the filmmaking world. You can do a lot of good with a little research.
Start with the camera and build it out from there. Here are some camera options I’d research:
Panasonic Lumix GH4 (about $400 used on eBay)
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (used on eBay for about $1,100, plus another $500ish to build it out a little)
The RED Scarlet-X 4K Cinema Camera, the career-starter option, used for about $3,000, but plan on spending another $1,200 or so to get it going with accessories.
Average range for this option is anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000, depending on the needs, ingenuity, and aspirations of the filmmaker.