Camera envy, the greatest scourge of the emerging filmmaker. It can lead to depression, frustration and ultimately financial ruin.
That crisp, delicious image: perfectly framed, gorgeously lit, heartbreakingly in focus… it’s every filmmaker’s dream.
It’s what keeps us up at night.
We want it because it’s the first step toward greatness–the first rung of the ladder toward the Hollywood Heavens, and the best way to get our film noticed. Right? Yes!! Of course!
… That is, unless your movie is terrible.
Take it one step back. In the opinion of anyone who matters, “film quality” is determined by content, rather than high-def images or shiny graphics. The story that it tells, and how it’s told, is what determines its worth.
Storytelling first, equipment second
There are plenty of films (Another Earth, Napolean Dynamite, Blair Witch Project) that didn’t have top-shelf equipment, and made a hit anyway. They used what they had (Another Earth was shot on an HVX and filmed largely by a crew of 2), and came out swinging. In fact, if these filmmakers HAD spent their time securing a huge budget, they probably would have lost some of their magic.
Obsessing over a better piece of equipment is a handy distraction. But by focusing on it, you’re losing the chance RIGHT NOW to manifest a golden gem of a film. You could be using what you can afford NOW to bring it to life, before it fades and rots in the back of your skull.
- If you had all the equipment you wanted, what would you do first?
- Can you tell the story you want with the equipment you have?
- What are you waiting for?
When it comes to shooting film, just start shooting. You know the story you want to tell. You don’t need a $15,000 camera to tell it.
Write out your script. Get some people involved. Start shooting, dang it!
P.S. Make sure you have decent audio. There is nothing worse that totally shyte audio =)