And Sometimes Why (just go make something) February 5, 2013

I’ll be the first to admit that I spend way too much time caught up in tech and trends. I recently had to simply shut down my RSS reader because of the 1000+ articles a day that were coming in from TechCrunch, Wired and the countless blogs and streams that I subscribe to for film and video. It’s truly overwhelming to try to follow it all–just trying to keep up with the 18,000 cameras that Sony released over the last year is an asinine chore.

I’m not shutting myself off and moving up to a cabin in Montana with my old Hi8, but I am taking a step back to look at the reality of the situation with camera technology and subsequently turning down the deafening level of mundane, opinionated noise that goes along with it.

We’ve hit a point that so much incredible technology is available affordably to us all now that anyone who writes about it, blogs about it, chats over Pabst about it should probably be fined if they continue to use the word “gamechanger.” The game’s already changed, changed about 5 years ago…catch up, or as I’m choosing to do right now, don’t, just use what works.

And that’s the point of this post. Can you do what you want with the tools you have?

With the incredibly low cost of software, storage, computing power and adequate HD cameras, I feel like the majority of folks who are working in video at  even an introductory level have the gear and the capacity to create incredible work for very little investment.

The trap that I feel like I constantly fall into is the “once I have that one thing, I can make my dream project.”

10 years ago, that was a Canon XL2, which then became a Panasonic HVX, which then became a Canon 5DMkII, which has now become a Red Epic. It never ends and nothing gets done. It’s so much easier to sit there and not create because you don’t have the follow focus with the glow in the dark rings or the 1080p HD-SDI monitor with solid state recorder…because when you get them, you’ll be the next Christopher Nolan. Wait, no you won’t because that day never actually comes…not that you may not get those things, but by then, you won’t be able to work without a new ring light and a motorized controller for your slider.

It’s stupid, just like that stupid sign that stupid pub owners think is hilarious: “Free Beer Tomorrow.” It never comes.

Looking back on some of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on over the last 15 years, the one constant that never changed was the fact that we just went and did it. It never mattered what we were shooting on, if we had lights, how big the crew was or occasionally if was ever legal, we just grabbed what we had and started shooting as best we could with what was available.

The big difference between those projects and all my failed “dream projects” is that I let the content, not the technology drive the creative.

Check out the video below shot by Philip Bloom with one assistant over a day for $500 with all natural light:

Olly Knights: If not now when from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

It’s content like that above that I have to remind myself of consistently, especially now as I sit staring at my Canon 5D and thinking “if only you were a Canon 1DC with 4K”.

Hey dumbass, a year ago that 5D was awesome and here’s a commonly ignored tidbit–NO ONE CAN WATCH 4K YET!

What it comes down to at this point is creativity and the effort to follow through and make product. That’s pretty much it.

Or maybe you want to wait until you get this gadget for your next project:

Because that will totally make your next project light years better than before.





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