Let’s talk gear, specifically film gear. I’m going to op[en this post with the disclaimer that I’m not a “gear head” and certainly don’t believe that gear, whether that be cameras, microphones, lenses, bags, extras etc is the most important thing to a film. Yes, it is necessary but, you make the story, not the gear the gear is simply a mode of transport if you will.
Put it this way; imagine your camera as a car, the car can get you from point A to point B but requires you to drive it, dodge obstacles, turn etc. A camera a d other film gear is the same, they require the person operating them to have enough skill and knowledge to successfully tell a story through the vision being captured through the camera.
I started out my filmmaking career in photography, I began that not using a DSLR or a proper, dedicated camera but my phone camera. Because of this, I was forced to learn and develop, not rely on my gear. I soon moved to a DSLR however, a cheap base model with a kit 18-55mm lens and anyone who knows anything about photography would agree with me when I say; it’s a good beginner lens but is extremely limiting and not ideal. As I learned and worked at my craft I saved my money and began getting higher quality lenses, not a new body.’ve now moved on to a full frame, pro body but without the base knowledge, I learned through this process my photographs would not be as good as they have become. Personally, I believe that the lens is far more important than the body. If you took a $10,000 Nikon D5 SLR, the most expensive body on the market right now and slapped a $100 kit or low-end lens on it, the capabilities offered to buy the camera would either be unusable or de3stroyed. However, vis-vera a high-quality lens on a base model, the entry-level body would not only in prove the quality of the photos but increase the capabilities of your camera.
Noam Kroll mentions this in his recent blog about the in-importance of gear to a film. He says that often in his own films he will challenge himself to only use a single lens for the more entire shoot, often you discover new and creative ways to shoot things. Peter McKinnon, a Canadian photographer says the same thing, he will go out to shoot and only take one lens, sometimes you will find that some shots are undoable but it forces you as a creator to think of a different way to shoot it and the outcomes are more often than not unique, different and great.
So yes, gear is a necessary evil to the filmmaking prosses but don’t allow it to cloud your vision, rather limit yourself and be challenged, you will more often than not be pleasantly surprised with the results.