I went to film school for about a year and I really disliked the whole experience. It was a grad program so I was expecting everyone to have a rich and deep love and understating for the art of filmmaking. But I was surprised by how clueless so many of the students and staff members were. I learned more about production and storytelling back in community college than I did during my (ridiculously expensive) two semesters at a “real’ film school. One thing that really bothered me was that many of the students were obsessed with using the “best” camera equipment to make 5 minute shorts that no one outside of class was going to see. To me it seemed pretty obvious that the people complaining about our cameras clearly had no idea what the heck they were talking about. Some random person had told them that camera X was better than camera Y so they had to use Camera X otherwise their whole project would be a waste of time. I also noticed that none of these people actually knew how to shoot anything themselves. They relied totally on their DPs and never bothered to learn how to light or shoot their own scenes.
I think about my time at film school every fall as the Crash the Super Bowl contest approaches. People start emailing me and ask if they should spend thousands of dollars to buy or rent the hot new camera. They assume that a high quality video will improve their chances of making the finals. But camera quality isn’t what wins the Doritos contest. A great story and good VIDEO QUALITY are what matters. And if you know what you’re doing, you can get great Video Quality out of most any modern HD camera.
My little rant today is inspired by a youtube video I just watched. In it, a filmmaker artfully explains why he’s going to put his money into his short film rather than into some new gear:
That video comes from the youtube channel DSLRGuide. They’ve got some interested tutorials and stuff on there and I suggest you check out their work.