It’s time once again for the 6th annual, often imitated but never duplicated Christmas Gift Ideas for the Video Editor in Your Life column. Don’t be fooled by the other similar columns that pop up on other post-production blogs around the internet as the Editblog is the original going back to 2010 with our first installment in this annual series. Hit up 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 for other ideas. Of course at this point in the life of the series there’s only so many things one can really give an editor but there’s a few fresh ideas in here that will be a welcome gift!
The standing desk has been featured here before but a new update to the Compact Series VARIDESK line is great for the traveling freelancer who might be forced into an uncomfortable chair. The VARISESK Soho is a $175 riser that sits on the desk and is described as a “built for laptops in small spaces” but I bought one that I use with a keyboard and mouse at some client spaces. It’s not a perfect standing desk solution and you need to have monitors that raise but it’s been a great alternative to terrible office chairs!
It’s just big enough that I can even fit my trackball on the right and still have just enough room to mouse a bit.
Editors Keys has a couple of potential Christmas gifts for the editor. They recently launched a line of back-lit editing keyboards. While I’m not a fan of the color coded editing keyboards once you’ve mastered your NLE and changed many of the default shortcuts they can be handy as you’re learning. So if you have a student editor in your life (young or old) this might be a great and unexpected gift. The Editors Keys keyboards I’ve used in the past have been well constructed and a pleasure to use.
Editors Keys have also launched a new set of Bluetooth headphones. The Studio Series LX–10 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones is a $50 set of on-the-ear headphones, not the over-the-ear cups of many headphone models. I found the sound quality to be quite nice for a $50 set and the way they are designed makes then a nice alternative to the over-the-ear type of most headphone designs. You can also plug them in physically via a mini jack.
If you’ve been directed to this column by the editor in your life you might find a lot of inspiration browsing the whole Editors Keys website as they’ve grown to be a unique niche in our little post-production space. In addition to the keyboard and headphones they make a very nice line of microphones and portable voice-over booths. If the editor in your life has to record a lot of vo’s then a portable vocal booth might be a great gift.
If you’re editor is using any machine that has a Thunderbolt dock and they don’t have a good Thunderbolt hub/dock/expansion-thing then put this at the top of the list. I was skeptical at first about the real need for a Thunderbolt hub since you can connect a lot of what you’d have connected to the hub right to the computer anyway but the hub just makes it so easy. My standard connection to the hub I bought (the $219 OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock) is: Thunderbolt RAID, second monitor via HDMI, Internet via Ethernet from the router, speakers, a spare USB 3 cable always at the ready and a Lightning cable connected via the powered UBS port for iOS devices. It is very convenient and I love it.
Depending on the connections your editor might need you may have to shop around as different models have different ports. I wish mine had an eSATA port as I have a few of those drives around but I guess you can’t have one hub with everything.
AKiTiO Thunder Dock $270
“Of the Month” club
I got several suggestions for of the month clubs for this list. You could try a one-stop-shop for an of the month club at AmazingClubs.com. If your editors runs their own facility or works amongst other colleagues this could be a fun give as a lot of these club options provide you some great sharing options. Beyond my favorite beer of the month AmazingClubs.com also offers up a bacon club, breakfast club, hot sauce club and a tea club. Some of these of the month clubs can get expensive but as a previous beer of the month and wine of the month member they are a great gift.
Sorry Dan but I didn’t see a whiskey of the month club but if anyone want get this gift that Dan tweeted about below for the whiskey lover in their life they will love you forever, I know I would.
— Dan Wolfmeyer (@dwolfmeyer) November 20, 2015
G-Tech rugged drives
If you’ve got an editor in your life who has to move between systems then good shuttle drives are always needed. I’ve kept one of these relatively new G-Tech Rugged drives bouncing around in my bag now since they were introduced. I love the built-in Thunderbolt cable and how, quite frankly, I worry a lot less about it in my bag than similar priced portable rugged drives.
Not to be confused with the VARIDESK Soho, anyone who uses a laptop regularly might like a laptop stand. These are very useful when you use a laptop on a desk with an extended keyboard. They raise the screen up to a more comfortable level and adds some nice, usable space underneath. There are a lot of different options and a search for laptop stand in Amazon will return a lot of options and price ranges. I’ve used a Griffin Elevator ($40) for years and love its simplicity.
Balance board for a standing desk
Continuing in the standing desk tradition, this is a bit of an unusual idea: a balance board for standing desk users. These can come in several different styles and prices but they do one thing; keeping you moving a bit as you’re standing. If you think about a balance ball being a chair that keeps you constantly working to stay atop it (therefore getting good body movement in the process) a balance board does the same for standing. I’ve tried one a bit and it’s actually quite a refreshing thing to use.
You can actually edit atop a balance board. The image above is the Cadillac of balance boards, The Level from FluidStance. These American made boards are very high quality with prices to match, ranging from $489 to $289. The Amazon link above has other more affordable options.
Here’s editor Monica Daniel at work on her balance board so it can be done!
— Monica Daniel (@Monica_Edits) August 14, 2015
Fast USB 3.0 flash drive
There are times when a full spinning 1 TB hard drive is way more than an editor needs to shuttle files or move something from one system to another. While we’ve featured flash drives on this list in year’s past a high capacity USB 3.0 flash drive is a blazing fast tool for an editor to keep in their bag that will always get some use. A flash drive is often much more convenient that plugging in a corded drive for quick transfers or when carrying a larger drive isn’t an option. There are even some tiny high capacity flash drives that you can leave plugged into a laptop on the move without much worry of them breaking or making the overall system less portable.
Lifehacker has this list of the five best USB 3.0 flash drives.
What would a Christmas Gifts for Editors edition be without various editor related and color bar printed swag to place around the edit suite? The many print-on-demand options around the internet today means we’ve always got options.
How about a retro old tv color bars iPhone case?
Keep Calm and Trust a Video Editor hand towels for your client bathroom?
And a color bars shower curtain for that same bathroom.
Wrap all these gifts up in some film strip wrapping paper.