When I was a kid, I wanted to learn how to juggle. So, I began saving my allowance to buy all the things I would need: 3 bean bags and a book on how to juggle.
To get started, I read the book cover to cover before even picking up my bean bags. By the last page of the book, I knew all about the earliest jugglers, the history of the art and the geometry of juggling knives, but I still didn’t know how to juggle.
Furthermore, now my little brain was overwhelmed by the concept, too busy contemplating angles and grip methods rather than doing what I really needed to do to learn: PRACTICE.
Later in life, I would get distracted by the same old stuff. I’d buy art supplies, but never paint. I’d buy language software, but never practice. I would choose stuff over skill. Style over substance. I would dress the part, but I wouldn’t play the part.
I’m not alone. We all do this. It’s not that our intentions are bad or that we don’t really want these skills, it’s that we’re afraid to get started and want an easier way.
And so, we choose stuff over skill.
In my mobile storytelling circles, I get asked the same question over and over again: What gear do you carry in your kit? People are always surprised when I can pull everything I need out of my pocket while they fiddle around with a mobile video setup that looks more like Disney’s Wall-E than it does a smartphone.
I'm here to tell you that gear will not make you a good videographer. Practice and good ideas will.
Do I have some pretty kickass gear? Absolutely. But I try not to let the stuff distract from the skill, especially when I have everything you need to get started in my pocket. Your iPhone shoots 1080p, and your headphones have a decent mic. What are you waiting for? If you’ve never shot a video before, that $300 microphone and that $200 lens won’t help you.
If I could bet that $500 on a videographer with the best gear or a videographer who’s practiced a lot, I would absolutely put my money on the guy who’s practiced more.
If I had just picked up three of my Beanie Babies and gotten started, I’d probably know how to juggle by now. Stop allowing yourself to be held back by stuff. The stuff will postpone you. The stuff will distract and confuse you. You just need to get started.