I’ve always been fascinated with the newest and shiniest filmmaking equipment. Even back in the 90s, when I was taking Broadcast Production at NAIT, I avidly followed the “cheap” 16mm cameras that were just coming onto the market and servicing indie auteurs.
Time passes, technology advances, and now practically anyone can make a film. DSLRs don’t look like film, really, but they look close enough that they’ve become an acceptable alternative. Almost any computer can cut together video in a professional manner. I’ve even made a few short films myself.
But one thing that hasn’t changed in the 20-odd years I’ve been noodling about with film gear is the endless “if only” factor of the latest tech. You can get a DSLR, and make serviceable images, but if only you had a C300. Or an FS100. Or an Alexxa. Or the Holy Grail of film dilettantes everywhere, the RED camera. If only your computer was that much faster, that graphics card that much more powerful, your RAM maxed out to…well, you get the idea.
All well and good, and I wish nothing but luck with those who use these tools. But after all this time I’m starting to get tired of keeping up with it all. I’m starting to think it would make more sense not only to use what I’ve got…but also take a step back from the whole process.
I’ll still write scripts for short films, but given the incredibly thin odds of getting a feature made or financed, I’m starting to look at other forms of (fictional) writing. Like books, short stories, comic books and audio plays. None of these hold any more promise of success than film, but they do promise more tangible results.
And at the end of the day, success (or the lack thereof) can be just another way to avoid doing what needs doing. What needs doing is writing, creating, experimenting. Not fantasizing about the next best thing. If there’s one thing Radio Free Skaro has taught me, it’s that just plugging away at something for the love of the process means more, and yields more tangible results, than any shiny new toy ever could.