It's not the GEAR it's the FEAR

As I look around and read all these indie film/tech blogs er whatever I've seen a big trend wherein some new camera will come out and people will shout "THIS is the camera we've been waiting for! THIS is the ultimate camera!" AS IF the reason they are NOT making awesome, original, innovative, passionate films TODAY is because they don't have the right camera....riiiiiiight... that is this thing called BULLSHIT ^ ^

So everyone says "I'll make a great film when X piece of gear is available because I can't possibly make it without X piece of gear" Now no matter if that piece of gear is a camera, a codec, software, a computer...whatever... that is NOT what is stopping people... it's theY own FEAR... if you haven't read Steven Pressfield's "THE WAR OF ART" go out and get it today! As well as Seth Godin's "LINCHPIN" and "POKE THE BOX" As they have a lot to say about this fear business...

BUT haha books can be used in the same way.... "I can't do X until I read Y book" so please don't let the fear convince you that you're stuck without the above books...

DOPE camera's have been available for years now... I have a 3 year old Canon video camera that I got for $400 that shoots 1920x1080 and it looks tite... I was content with that quality and NOW we have DSLR's which look AMAZING... the problem isn't the gear... the problem is the fear within the people with the gear.... and/or a lack of imagination and passion... the gear isn't going to make the film for you... you still have to grind... BUT its easier to complain on twitter about what is lacking in your hardware/software... it's easier to sit around and say IF I HAD X I WOULD DO Y.... meanwhile someone else somewhere else has way crappier gear than you YET they are making AWESOME stuff and putting it out there... no its not technically perfect but NO ONE cares about technical perfection except engineers and other self defeating procrastinators... Was ERASERHEAD technically perfect? Was TETSUO: THE IRON MAN? Was A CLOCKWORK ORANGE? NO YET SOMEHOW people still to this day continue to watch and love those films... Why? Hmmm there must be something else besides technicalities that goes into making great films eh? Ya think?!??!

BUT I have a PRO camera and my software says PRO and I'm copying the techniques in all these PRO tutorials so I've got what it takes right?

NOW I'm talking about making feature films here.... you can be a hack and get by making jump cutty little 2-3 minute videos but when you try tackle a full length film your hackery will be quickly exposed... you can make a 2 minute demo reel disguised as a film and it will slip past most as long as the camera is shaky enough or as long as you have enough pointless bokeh shots... as long as your EXCITING soundtrack made-up of trendy electro-whatever keeps playing...

It's as if a person learned how to communicate through twitter and then was asked to stand before a live audience and deliver a 5000 word speech... they could try to be HIGH ENERGY and random and toss out buzzwords and meme's...mention celebrities and pop culture... and that might work for a minute or so... then people would stop and go.. WAIT WTF is this really saying? THEY HAVE NOTHING TO SAY THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO GET MY ATTENTION FOR THE SAKE OF ATTENTION?! And then they would probably all walk away....

Kinda sounds like I'm describing the most viewed adsense whores on youtube isn't it?! 0_o If so they should also be wearing a T-shirt with an image of BOOBS on it with a bright orange background ^ ^

Back to the filmmaking angle... so realize if you're a filmmaker the whole ZERO attention span FLASHY SHINY thing to FLASHY SHINY thing isn't a game you should try to play... So FORGET about the gear... and start to think about WHAT YOU ARE REALLY TRYING TO SAY...think about that... and then say COULD I STAND BEFORE AN AUDIENCE OF 200 PEOPLE AND TALK ABOUT THIS THING? and have it be COMPELLING, Exciting, ENTHRALLING and interesting all the way through? If NOT then that's not THE IDEA and keep grinding until you find that one... until you find that one the film will always feel WEAK at it's core and you'll keep making GEAR and other excuses to keep it from getting off the ground... so the problem is NOT the gear its the IDEA...

It should be something you could write a long essay about and still have more to say...  A full length film is a long conversation... its not a tweet... its not a facebook status...

NOW think about your LIFE... how do you want to remember your life? Think about yourself... What do you have to say to the world? I LIEK TURTLES? Or something more?

I've heard rumblings that no one want's to watch full length films anymore... that they don't have the patience and they just want to watch short videos... YEH I don't have any patience either when a person is flapping they lips and gesticulating wildly and NOT SAYING A DAMN THING... BUT that's what popular video culture is to me today....

BLAH BLAH BLAH (JUMPCUT FUNNY FACE) BLAH BLAH CELEBRITY (JUMPCUT SCREAM) BLAH BLAH BLAH POP CULTURE(JUMPCUT SHOCKING IMAGE) BLAH BLAH POPULAR MEME (MUSICAL INTERLUDE)

If people are not watching full length films its because the FILMS FUCKING SUCK! We all love to communicate... we all love MEANINGFUL communication but its difficult to find... we all love GOOD CONVERSATION... so MAKE GOOD CONVERSATION in your FILMS... it's like people are becoming reflections of the media they take in... and they are losing the ability to communicate in real life... at least the people I come across...

It's the FAULT of the MEDIA... they are offering no real conversation... just buzzwords and meme's... so that's where I feel filmmakers have a responsibility... YOU are PREPARING THE FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR THE WORLD! What will you feed them? So and so IS HAWT? (Insert consumer product) SUCKS! That is GREASY FAST FOOD FOR THE SOUL!

I see a HUGE market for SINCERE, THOUGHT PROVOKING FILMS...  enough with the EMPTY FLASH... its overdone... its everywhere and people are numbed by it... tired of it... and playing the I'LL BE EVEN FASTER AND FLASHIER game goes nowhere...  slow down, stop fucking babbling and SAY SOME SHIT! And if you have nothing to say... put the camera or computer away and go live life... go have some real experiences so perhaps YOU WILL HAVE SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE TO SAY in your films... until then you'll just make glorified commercials and music videos... and you'll live in fear with your shiny gear.

Now if your looking to get rich and famous don't listen to me because I'm poor and unknown... as people continue to get rich and famous using the things I be rippin on in this post.... BUT I believe there is a shift going on right now... and a day will come when the market will REWARD those who have something of substance... something meaningful to say... unique, sincere, passionate creators...

Here is my example I've used ever since youtube popped up... Now imagine youtube is a big open mic... everyone is up on a stage in front of an audience.... NOW right when the show starts a bunch of people rush to the front of the stage and start making farts noises... or they have their faces painted all crazy and are screaming and drooling or they are holding up printouts of BOOBS or they simply are attractive men and women looking flirty and posing in suggestive clothing... WHILE at the same time there are people at the back of the stage who are drowned out by the noise in front... and those people at the back of the stage are passionately reading their original stories or singing their own original music.... I BELIEVE that after a while the audience will get bored of the fart sounds, shock, boobs and "hawt" people... and some will go "what are those people in the back doing" and if your back there and still doing your thing to the best of your ability you will start to gain and audience... WHILST the people in front get more and more desperate so they make LOUDER fart sounds they show BIGGER boobs...they do MORE SHOCKING things... but it will all be for naught in the end... gimmicks are gimmicks and they don't last...

Much of the new "filmmaking" tech is based on gimmicks...OMG IN 3d!??!? Gimmicks die... just as meme's die... but that real conversation will ALWAYS be valuable to someone, somewhere at some point in time...

So if your at the back of the stage like me... let's just keep doing our thing ^_^

Forget the gear... ignore the fear... and some day you'll hear the crowd cheer!

Comments

  1. Love the last line! Thats my new quote for the week.

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  2. Funny enough...my friends are sharing a clip from a film called Network made in 1976 by Sydney Lumet about the power of media, what a great film...I wish my stuff would last 35 years!

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  3. Great post. I remember reading something about the age of youtube and how Hollywood is dying because of it, and how people will just make their own movies, etc. Now that we have youtube, while it and sites like it are a powerful way to get your stuff out there, they were wrong about the talent. It may be easier than ever to get noticed and to get out there, but 99% of the population still doesn't have what it takes to create a great story/film/animation. I knew so many fearful ones in school...who did exactly what you said...expensive camera, 35mm rig, but their shit sucked and was just random shots, whereas the group I was in wanted story above everything else...we loved our short, even if it was shot on digital 8 tape.

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  4. Mdot. Thank you so much for being on the internet. With every post you make, it just inspires me more to follow my dreams no matter the circumstance. It's all about passion and working with what you have. If I wait around for the right equipment, within that waiting time, I could have been gaining the experience needed to portray my ideas. Just, thank you and keep doing what you love. :D

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  5. Great points, very true. Films have dumbed down.

    And as a result, the people watching have been dumbed down.

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