Best Ways to Achieve Your Goals?

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Avatar of Austin Lindgren
Austin Lindgren on May 5, 2012 at 12:16 am

Hey guys,
The new site! Woo!

Anyways, so I’m an aspiring filmmaker. Among my influences are mostly just youtubers, Jake Sidwell, Olan Rogers, Shawna Housen, etc. and I’ve just been fascinated with the idea of amazing someone. Popular culture is built to think that the great is only achieved by the great, and that rising to become great is impossible; however, I’d like to challenge that.

Unfortunately, the big challenge is a financial one. Figuring out how to get the money to facilitate commerce of a nice camera can be a tricky task, but that’s the point of this thread. How might one financially be able to gain an upper hand advantage and be able to find a quicker way to be able to produce at least decent films?

This is really meant to not only help myself, but also to anyone who reads this, so any contribution to the discussion is appreciated. Take it easy, and have a good one.
Austin

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 5, 2012 at 1:27 am

Hey Austin,
Welcome to Filmpunch!

Funding is always a challenge, and you are definitely not the only one.
I personally work a full time job that is unrelated to filmmaking just to fund my filmmaking.

I think the danger that youtube creates for our generation is that because a select few have been successful with youtube it creates this false idea that one can just start posting online and become famous instantly. While it can happen usually that type of fame doesn’t last.

I know that for most successful youtubers, getting to where they are now was a ton of work and dedication. Many times sacrificing everything just to get where they are now.

And even with all that work it still takes years and years before you really start seeing the fruit of that labor.

I would argue that the only quick and easy ways to fame all end in shame and/or jail time.

I think the truth is that those who work hard and don’t give up, will eventually succeed.

As far as a camera goes… I’ll say this. The best camera you will ever use is the one in your hand right now.

I don’t care if it’s a crappy cellphone camera, it’s still a camera. If you practice with it and understand it’s limitations and use them as strengths, you can still tell a great story. Granted you may not be able to sell a client on that but at this point you should worry more about practicing your skills as a camera man or storyteller than worrying about how to get clients.

Now with that being said, funding any gear always starts with an assessment of what your real needs are.

Do I need a 5k raw camera? or do i just need something that shoots decent HD?

Knowing exactly what you need will allow you to better shop around for the best price.

For example: if you just need something to shoot videos for the web then a GH2 or a t2i are both great options and are around $300-$500 right now.
(plus I have seen commercial stuff shot on those cameras and it looked great)

But, if you go the DSLR route you need to think about lenses, and rigging. That can easily set you back a few hundred more.

So, Austin, what exactly are you looking to do with your gear?
Let’s get specific so we can figure out the best way to get you what you need.

Avatar of Connor Justice Norvell
Connor Justice Norvell on May 5, 2012 at 3:56 am

Keep in mind, better equipement doesn’t ship with the ability to make you a better film maker. the best way to “get the upper hand”.
is to not wait. make with what you have! don’t wait around while everyone else is filming, thats a good way to get left behind.
and remembering that with 5k camera’s or even 2k. you’ll need to buy hard drives (1 min of 2k = 18 gigabytes) plus you’ll be compressing the footage to 1080p before (or during) uploading anyway.

i recommend the DSLR route. there are pro’s and cons. but the pro’s outweigh the cons.
for instance, yes lenses are expensive. but you honestly dont need 20 lenses to start filming. the stock lens is great for depth of field, which is mainly why you would buy a DSLR camera to begin with.
And rigs can be pricy. (thousands range) however i found a rig that works great for 60$
(message me if you want details on that)
i have a post about audio already.
Don’t sacrifice a great story because you are waiting for the equipement!
just start filming!

– best of luck!

Avatar of Austin Lindgren
Austin Lindgren on May 5, 2012 at 5:24 am

Just a quick disclaimer, I didn’t say anything about getting famous. I’ve been on youtube since 2007 and I’ve figured out quickly that fame doesn’t happen overnight. My biggest video is still relatively unpopular (7k views) and it’s been up for almost a year and a half. But your advice for cameras was great. I definitely think I’m overlooking the idea of using my current camera.

Essentially, my main trouble with my current camera is that it’s a film camera, incapable of any quality that looks somewhat decent. I’m a perfectionist, and I feel like that is really hindering my ability to produce film when I don’t have everything exactly how I want it.

And as for both of you, the advice for the DSLR seems to be a good bet, I’ve heard good things about them. I’ve heard a lot about the t2i and I’ve been interested in using it. As a camera for film school and for personal videos that I want to make, I think it’d be perfect.

And as a closing to ORyan:
For specifics, I’m using it for short films (Jake Sidwell-esque films; deep and hard-hitting, as well as intelligently scripted using precise description). As well, I’m using it for personal vlogs that will most likely be on complex topics and I’ll most likely be using visual illustrations filmed with the camera. So if you’re familiar with Dean Leysen or the Vlog Brothers on youtube, exactly like their style. More so influenced by Dean. I’m a huge fan of zoom-shots and nature pans, but I’m pretty sure that’s an interest shared with most starter film makers.

Thanks to both of you, this really helps, and Connor, I’ll message about the rig.

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 5, 2012 at 5:46 am

@Austin, I wasn’t specifically targeting you with the youtube fame thing. I figured you were well aware of the work/time it takes.

And I personally would highly recommend the T2i. It’s what I use currently and knowing it’s weaknesses I am extremely happy with the quality and see no reason to spend the money on the latest camera from canon.

In fact, everything in this video was shot on our two T2i’s:
https://vimeo.com/40071361

And I can definitely understand the frustration with a film camera. It’s not easy to shoot with film, but it’s a great skill to have.

Avatar of Josiah Clark
Josiah Clark on May 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I’ve been battling with being in the same boat, on the equipment side at least. My camera is a major hassle to me for multiple reasons. But I’ve had to come to the place where I operate under Mr. McEntire’s advice: use what you have. I definitely intend to upgrade to a better camera in the future, but I also realize that I’ve already got the tools available to tell some stories. I just have to keep in mind that there is always time to improve.

Additionally, I’ve found it helps to give every project its moment in the sun, but no more. What I mean by that is, focus on your current video, give it all you can right now, and then, when it’s done, move on. You can’t do anything more to improve it, and to fret over that is to put you in a mindset where you’re always looking over your shoulder rather than looking forward and improving as you go. You’ll do yourself a big favor by moving forward and focusing on making your *next* project the best that *it* can be.

I hope that makes sense to you, and I hope it’s encouraging to know that so many others are in the same boat! (It certainly is to me!) That’s what this little website that could seems to be about in the first place, after all; giving us a chance to look around and see that we’re not the only ones with these dreams, and that we have the chance to help each other out.

Avatar of Austin Lindgren
Austin Lindgren on May 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

@ORyan:
CRAP. That video looks brilliant. I’ll definitely be looking into the t2i.

@Josiah:
That’s something I’ve been overlooking, so thanks for the advice. Keeping onto one project is something I struggle with because I always want to envision the entire spectrum of all my work, including pretty much everything from now to my death date. Because of that I’ve never had the time to look at the capacity of potential that one single video might have if I simply invest into it, and that’s something I need to learn to do. Definitely some great advice, thank you.

And as for your last paragraph I agree. People make friends in school because they’re all in the same boat: a new environment, new working conditions, but you’re all experiencing the same things. Whereas here we’re doing the same, just with different circumstances. New environment, new medium of art, and a new audience to perform in front of, but we’re all still in the same boat. And that’s what makes this website not so much a website, but what it’s growing into: a community.

Avatar of Kiah Graham
Kiah Graham on May 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

I just found this, great discussion. I just wanted to say that though I now have the T2i (and have been so darn impressed with it) I started making videos on my webcam and cell phone camera. Really the best camera is the one you have. I really do think that the best thing to do is just to go out and do it. By using a lesser quality camera you will become better. You will find ways to make it look better. Then when you get a higher quality camera you will be amazed at what a good image you can get.

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