If there’s one thing I hate about filmmaking (and I LOVE filmmaking), it’s that filmmakers are totally, completely obsessed with gear. In film classes, on set, at meetings, it’s always, “How do you like those lenses?” and “I’ve been thinking about picking up that new glidecam.” It always comes back to gear. And it drives me nuts.
How much difference does gear make in filmmaking? Zero. Filmmaking resolves around an intelligent, original story and the knowledge to make motivated choices to best tell that story. The medium does not matter.
My hypothesis on the phenomenon of FPEW (Film Product Envy and Worship) is that it has nothing to do with gear at all. It’s about dissatisfaction. A good chunk of FPEWers don’t get to shoot as much as they’d like, so obsessing over gear is a way to think about and relate to the art while not actually participating. Other FPEWers might shoot a lot, but ultimately wish they were better than they are, and think the newest, coolest gear might just get them to the next level. They’re both using gear to compensate for feeling dissatisfied – which is silly.
The answer of course, is to shoot more. Forget about the gear you have and need and want and covet, and just go make films and learn as often as you can. It’ll make a difference, I promise.
Adapted from SPEW Less, Ski More by Drew Pogge