As I impatiently await the start of my Masters course, I’ve been buying gadgets left, right and centre in an attempt to stave off the threat of boredom.
My part-time job does while away some of the time, but my days off are spent surfing the net or traipsing around shopping centres finding new knick-knacks that may subtly aid my crusade in to film.
Alas, the industry is a fickle thing; the cold hard fact of film is that you may have to become a jack-of-all-trades, regardless of your personal preference. Quite contrary to the phrase ‘jack-of-all-trades, master of none’, an article on this very notion has encouraged me to dabble, and I love dabbling.
“There are two paths through life as a filmmaker, and that it all comes down to this one question:
“Do you want to make your own films, or do you want to be in the industry working on other peoples’ projects for a steady paycheck?”
Of course, this is a bit of an oversimplification. There are a select few people who get to make their own films for a living (lucky bastards). And there are plenty of people who do both of these things, working on other folk’s sets for a steady income, then working on passion projects in their spare time.
But in general, these two distinct types make up the vast majority of filmmakers in the world.”
Now, I’m not going to lie, it would be fantastic to be one of those lucky few that is in a position to make their own films, but right now?
It’s not going to happen, and I totally accept that. The only thing stopping me is a lack of experience.
This is where the dabbling comes in.
My belief is that through an amateurish exploration of photography, drone operation and editing (to name a few), I hope that something will transpire from it in the future. I’d like to be in a position where, if I ever found myself on a film set, if someone needed an extra pair of hands for a location shot, I’d be in a position to help out.
After many hours of research. and a hefty student discount, I eventually bought a mid-range camera (a Canon EOS M10, for those interested).
Did I make the right decision? Who knows. Finding out which camera is best for you is a matter of personal preference, but regardless of how many review sites you peruse, nothing seems to give you an honest answer.
Then I came across this comment hidden amidst Facebook. The author of such a revelatory comment is Nic Sadler, a veteran photographer and filmmaker:
I’ve been taking photographs for a living for 30 years; shooting stills, moving images, 600 TV commercials, movies, magazine covers… I’ve used camera kits that cost near a millions dollars down to disposable cameras I bought from a vending machine.
If there is one [thing] I’ve learnt, it’s that people who buy expensive cameras almost never make great photographers. The person with the pristine-looking Leica in the stylish leather case is actually wearing a form of jewellery. The real photographer’s camera is beaten almost to death…
A good photographer can take a photograph with anything: iPhone. Pinhole camera made out of a shoebox. Or a 70lb 10×8 plate camera made out of wood and brass. The defining quality of a good photographer is an understanding of art and a desire to empathise.
It certainly isn’t found in the manual of a $4,000 toy.
Isn’t it nice to know that, for once, it isn’t the monetary value of an item that makes it worthwhile? It’s how you use it.
If you’re looking for a camera, find something you like the look of, find something that has the features that you’re going to use and get out there and use it.
I’d better get used to my dainty little Canon, it’s in for the long haul.
Thanks for reading, it’s been a while.