The Holiday Season is upon us. As the Christmas music begins to play, as the decorations are adorned, and as Hanukkah traditions begin the gift giving season that carries on through Christmas and into the New Year, we begin the search for that perfect present for our significant other, family members, friends, and peers.
But what is the perfect present for that dear person you know that just happens to be a screenwriter?
We scoured the stores and the internet to find not just the most desired gifts that screenwriters would appreciate, but also those memorable ones that keep on giving.
So whether you’re a screenwriter buying for yourself or you’re buying for that screenwriter friend or family member, consider this guide as your festive compass guiding you to that perfect screenwriter gift.
Final Draft is the film and television industry standard screenwriting software. Many novice screenwriters opt for cheaper or free software, however, Final Draft will be offering it this holiday season for the lowest sale price of the year, $149 ($249.99 regular price). Whether you’re a screenwriter treating yourself or buying for a family member or friend, this gift will be one that truly keeps on giving. Software upgrades from previous versions of Final Draft are now on sale for just $59 ($99.99 regular price), so if your screenwriting family or friend has an older version, they can enjoy the newer version with all of the updates.
Screenwriters often write in bookstores, coffee shops, and sometimes in a house full of kids as they escape to a corner for some writing time. Needless to say, ambient noise can be a writer’s worst nightmare. Beyond that, it’s often recommended that screenwriters write to music. ScreenCraft touched on this somewhat in 5 Habits to Get Those Creative Juices Flowing. Thus a quality set of headphones can be a story telling savior for writers.
If you’re looking for a big ticket item for yourself or that screenwriter you know and love, consider offering them an alternative to sitting on the couch or at that desk for hours on end. Studies have shown that sitting for hours upon hours can be hazardous for your body and your health. Standing Desks offer the benefit of better body positioning for your neck, back, wrists, hips, hamstrings, and spine. They also offer the chance to burn calories while you write.
This is a gift that will not only help screenwriters conjure more amazing stories with ease, it’ll also lengthen their life.
One of the greatest books ever written on the art and craft of writing. While the book is obviously geared towards the literary market, it has also become a staple for screenwriters as well. For a taste of what King offers, read ScreenCraft’s 17 Must-Read Screenwriting Lessons from Stephen King where we take some of King’s quotes from the book and apply them the art and craft of screenwriting.
Robert McKee’s methods of screenwriting, taught through this book and his famous seminars, stands above normal guru screenwriting books that pitch secret formulas. Instead, he breaks down the principles of substance, structure, and style adaptable for any genres. Learn more about his approach in ScreenCraft’s Exclusive One-On-One with Robert McKee
A hilarious and quite on point look into the business of Hollywood screenwriting by two of the film industry’s most successful studio writers. Screenwriters will get a look inside Hollywood and how the business side of screenwriting is. Robert and Thomas offer funny anecdotes, advice, and hard truths. While not everything they write is true for every screenwriter’s journey, this book is an excellent way to understand what it’s like if and when screenwriters actually make it.
This book was written by a former studio script reader, giving screenwriters a look behind-the-scenes in development to learn the basic guidelines and expectations that Hollywood has for screenwriters. It’s insightful with hard but helpful truths and some of the best practical and easy to implement screenwriting advice out there.
Sometimes the best way for a screenwriter to really hunker down and make those deadlines is to get away from it all and lock themselves in a getaway house, cabin, room, etc. Whether a screenwriter is writing solo or cramming with a writing partner, a getaway for a night, weekend, or beyond is key.
Airbnb offers people a chance to do so on a budget. Even if it’s a local cabin or cottage for $90 a night, the seclusion can offer screenwriters the chance to put full focus on the screenplay at hand. So $25, $50, $100 or whatever you want to offer can stand as a message to that screenwriter that they can and should get away from it all and have some time to themselves to get that screenplay completed.
Gift cards can be given any amount, big or small. While they’ll still have to pay some out-of-the-pocket money to go on the trip (unless you buy a whole night, weekend, or week for them), the gesture can often be all they need to just do it.
IMDBPro is a film and television industry standard online tool. Screenwriters can utilize it for research on movies, television shows, production companies, studios, agencies, management companies, etc.
In the end, it’s one of the greatest tools that screenwriters can have, as we featured in 3 Essential Online Tools for Screenwriters.
The Writers Store is a screenwriter’s candy store of knowledge with software, DVD collections, books, and courses. Offering a gift card to the Writers Store would give the screenwriter the ability to choose their own gift in the end, based on their own needs and wants.
The daily life of a screenwriter often involves trips to the local book store or coffee shop in search of those prime table locations where they can plug in their laptops or Macs. Unfortunately, there are all too often more writers at these places than there are outlets.
An external battery pack can buy your screenwriter family or friend hours of writing time.
This RAVPower model in particular stands out as one of the best available.
Screenwriters need to ingest as much as they can. One of the simplest way to learn about screenwriting is to watch movies. Plain and simple. Even when seasoned screenwriters are in a rut, the best antidote is watching movies. Therefore, whatever it takes to get them into the hands of your screenwriter family and friends could very well be the best gift that you offer them. With the likes of Amazon and HBO alone offering cheap monthly streaming memberships (among many others), a streaming device is a gold mine for screenwriters.
The home theater doesn’t always have the magic that the cinema has. Screenwriters often need a little magic so buying them gift cards for their local movie theater chain is an amazing way to get them amped up about their writing. Movies inspire and influence screenwriters. They are a go to source, thus, you’re likely not just giving them a night out at the movies, but possibly the fuel to get through some writer’s block.
We live in a digital world so it’s not too often where screenwriters have hard copies of screenplays anymore. If you know your screenwriter family or friend, you’ll likely know their favorite movies. What better way to make a gift more unique and personal than buying them a hard copy script of those favorite movies?