The Ever-Present Struggle: GAS


Or Gear Acquisition Syndrome plagues all of us as filmmakers. We constantly want to have the newest and best because we think it will make us into better filmmakers. Now granted, there are often times when we legitimately need the new gear because a project demands it and our old gear is no longer making the cut. Like, I am going to be upgrading to the Sony A7s II from the A7s I because I legitimately need the 4k for an upcoming project.

Some of the best short films I have ever seen were done with astoundingly simple gear. If you look at the winners of My Røde Reel 2016 most of them were done with very simple kits. 

In fact, some of the best indie cinematography that I've seen was done with a Canon T3i hacked with magic lantern on a short about a father trying to find his daughter in Thailand. (I'm not going to share the film here due to some of the content, but the cinematography excellent)

Now, I know that this post might just be beating a dead horse or preaching to the choir, but personally, I need to constantly remind myself that even though the newest gimbal/monitor/recorder/camera/micrphone/tripod-monopod-ninja-sword-3-in-1 might be ridiculously cool I probably don't need it.

What's your cost per use going to be? If you drop $1500 dollars on something and only use it 5-6 times over the next 2 years before you either sell it or shelve it you are spending between $250 and $300 per use. Why not just rent it for the same price or less? However if you think you are going to use it all the time (for me personally that would be my Glidecam HD 2000) the price per usage makes it go waaay down.

Then there's also the whole thing where we start to think that newer, better gear makes us better filmmakers. 


That's like a chef wanting a newer,  better stove to help him make  a better omlette. Basically you know the whole "wow that film/photo is great! You must have a great camera" thing? Well, if you constantly upgrade your gear because you think that it will make you more talented or skilled then you are literally that guy. The good camera = good filmmaker/photographer guy. You are mentally giving yourself less value than your gear. Not only that, but you are totally letting companies tell you how good you are. Not to mention, it gets really expensive really fast.

To sum it up, you are not only as good as your gear, gear has very little to do with talent, and if you are only as good as your gear, then you are in the wrong industry. 

Now go and make a ton of stuff without the newest and best gear.