Friday, May 16, 2008

Thoughts on Equipment

Since scheduling the first two interviews, my mind keeps coming back to the equipment. Should I go ahead and invest in the camera, mics and lights in case I want them when I sit down to talk with Charlie and George in the coming weeks?

It's a tough call.

The equipment I want is pretty reasonable, and it takes a few days for it to arrive once it's ordered. I'm very, very tempted to go place my order today or tomorrow. As an event photographer, it was always comforting to be over prepared. You can never recreate a moment, and having equipment fail is truly disheartening when you're trying to capture an event (or, in this case, an interview). The more I think about it, the more I think I should make the purchase immediately. But I keep coming back to the cost, and whether or not I can pay that off in the end.

Then Jeff Barrie comes to mind.

He's a documentary filmmaker. Not too long ago, I attended a screening of his film Kilowatt Ours. He has a new version out, and a coworker let me know about the event. I'm so glad that I went to see it because Jeff did a Q&A session after the screening.

Most people asked questions about the environment, policy changes, education, or why he left out certain aspects in the film. No one had yet asked him about the filmmaking process, and that was something I certainly wanted to hear him talk about. What was the process like for him? Struggles? Celebrations?

He's such a calm, confident person. Tall. Humble. He has a presence about him that is...engaging. You feel as if he were focusing solely on you.

So, I got in line to step up to the mic and ask about the filmmaking process. The longer I stood there, the more nervous I got. I do improvisational comedy--unscripted theater--and yet, here I was nervous enough that my voice shook when I asked him to talk about the process/funding of his film.

He smiled. He took a moment to reflect and answered, "I'm just a guy with a camera." He said he just started shooting. He kept shooting and then edited everything together. If you want to make a movie, then make a movie. (Of course! The answer is always simple.) As for funding? He put a lot of the expenses on his credit card.

And that risk keeps coming back to me. He boldly took a risk in order to tell a story he wanted to share with others. I'm in a mildly similar situation at the moment, trying to wage whether or not I should go order this equipment and I keep coming back to that very public conversation.

So, I think I'll do it. The hustle is on. Time to get cracking!

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