I just thought I’d post a great conversation I saw on Vimeo. It’s under The Visualmakers Preview/Trailer (http://vimeo NULL.com/23741356) and there are several people sharing their opinion on the matter. On one comment in particular, by Steve Weiss, I read some very inspiring and true words.
Thank God they are not talking about gear, who cares. Storytelling is not about gear. As a matter of fact, I’d get rid of all of that Geek gear talk in your description. Does it really matter what you shot it on or with? If people care about that crap then they don’t get the concept of your piece.
Gear has brought recognition to these guys and I also think its important part of the process. Funny coming from such a large vendor!!!! Knowing that a great film was created with average or highly accessible gear dispels the myth quickly. Viewing something shot on a T2i that has a more powerful impact than say something shot on a RED speaks directly to the power of creativity.
Exactly, you would think I be saying it’s all about the gear because that’s how I make my living but in the end it really doesn’t matter. I’m first and foremost a filmmaker and that has been my living for the past 28 years. In our new web series BTS, one of the comments was “I thought I was going to see a piece that spoke to the equipment but quickly I realized its’s all about the story of what the filmmakers went through to make the film”. That comment made me the happiest because that’s what I wanted people to feel.
Watch the movie “the Celebration” it had a $1M budget and was shot with a $700 home standard def video camera. He put all of the money into script doctoring, getting the highest quality actors, rehearsals, etc. The movie is amazing and after the first few seconds you could care less that it looks sub-standard. Now a days it really doesn’t matter what camera you use, they can all look amazing if you know how to use it. The Shootout proved that. Something shot on a T2i will never have more impact then something shot on a RED nor vice versa. Impact is creating by the script, the story, storytelling, the edit, acting, music, etc. Actually what camera it was shot on is the least important factor to the quality of the film.
I remember many years ago in the SD days someone came to me and told me that he didn’t want to shoot his film on video he wanted to shoot on 35mm film because he felt Hollywood would only take a film seriously if it was shot on film. What I told him is that Hollywood is only interested in 2 things, “Great” & “Marketable” but he put over 50% of his budget into shooting film and to compensate he cut back on the number of shoot days, rehearsals and the quality of the actors. Needless to say, he never sold his movie.
Too many people today focus on gear. Gear is cool and we all need it. Good gear is even better but I don’t want people to get the impression that buying Zacuto gear is going to make their film better, it won’t, but it’s nice if you can afford it.
100% agree with Steve that they are not talking about the gear. Who cares what anyone shoots on. It’s all about who is behind the camera and telling a great story. Let it be about these featured filmmakers who inspire others!
to play devil’s advocate, i don’t think people are being entirely honest when they say it’s not about the gear b/c the gear has a lot to do with it. the gear is what has helped define the vimeo style. if it’s not about the gear then why use the ubiquitous dslr camera? why use a dolly? why use a shallow depth of field? why use footage that clearly is telling the viewer “hey, look at me, i have fancy equipment that makes beautiful shots”? why not shoot this on high 8 video? it’s easy to say ‘who cares what it was shot on’ when it was shot on a nice camera…
Good gear matters but it ceases to matter if you don’t have a good story or message to convey with it. I think that’s the point here. I chose the people in The Visualmakers precisely because they have used a new kind of relatively affordable cinematic digital tools to express their stories. I think there absolutely is value obtaining equipment that can offer the hallmarks of a “cinematic look” such as shallow DOF, elegant camera movement and so on. But in the end as Steve says, without consideration of story, message, and may I add emotion behind what you are trying to convey visually, no amount of gear will help.
I think gear is important, however – especially to young film makers (videographers, cinematographers – whatever you want to call them!) because it does display it’s accessibility. Of course – in terms of film making – the story and message is important, but the tools are paramount surely. I agree that whether you have a £30 000 camera or a £500 camera it essentially doesn’t matter if you convey your message and people are effected but it certainly matters that now every film maker with an idea can now have a shot at doing it.
Gear is important and all (after all where would we be without large sensors? Always in focus! Not that is necessarily a bad thing. I digress) but the story, message, passion and emotion of what you’re trying to convey is ultimate. Tools are a means to an end. The end is sharing your vision!
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