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Boys and their Toys

Welcome back gentle reader, has it seemed as long for you as it has for me? Okay, probably not, but it is still good to see you. A long time ago I heard the phrase, "The only difference between men and boys, is the price of their toys". Well, I have come to tell you, gentle reader, that after much consideration I think that statement might be true. The only thing I would add is, after a certain age, the items we seek after cease to be called "toys" and start to be called "tools". These tools can take many different forms. For many men, their expensive toys are actual tools. They take the form of drills, compressors, nail guns, and this really cool saw that cut a car in half as I was watching it on TV. For the aspiring filmmaker, tools can come in the form of cameras, lights, and computer software. Technology is constantly improving and singing the siren's song to any filmmaker within earshot. It promises the aspiring filmmaker that major studio production value is just within reach. The filmmaker can't help but dreaming of what their project would look like in glorious HD, and how the world would have no choice but to accept their work as the piece of art that it is. Audiences would laugh, at all the jokes, and cry, at all the sad parts, and be swept away by the superb storytelling, without ever realizing that it was all produced from someone's spare bedroom. This is the potential that these toys offer, and this is what often stops projects from ever getting made.

If you're like me, gentle reader, the quality that technology promises is a powerful distraction. I spend a lot of time dreaming of what would be possible if I just had this camera, that microphone, and those lights. I think that if I just had those things, my next stop would be success beyond my wildest dreams. I get caught up in the toys which always seem just out of reach. With a little effort, and perhaps a new credit card, I could have these toy..... I mean tools, and then I could make my dreams come true. The problem is, I spend so much time daydreaming about that new HD camera, that I don't spend anytime dreaming about what exactly it is I would put in front of the camera once I got it. Now, this is not to say the toys are bad, (if loving them is wrong, then I don't want to be right), but if one is not careful one could spend a lot of time and money assembling an impressive cinematic workshop, capable of doing just about anything, and then find that they have nothing to for it to do. If there is no one in front of the camera, the lines of resolution and number of pixels become somewhat less important. The truth is, gentle reader, while it is a lot less fun to dream about, the story must come first. In film making, a great story filmed with a less great camera is always going to win out over a blank wall filmed in HD. It's easy to get swept away by dreams of what could be, if this or that piece of equipment was mine, but the bottom line is this. A good project is always going to be more about the story, than it is about the toys. The good news is, the act of writing can be done quite cheaply. When it comes to this part of the process, money, or the lack there of, should not prove to be any kind of obstacle at all. Don't let the dream of your desired toys overcome the dream of the story you want to tell. The toys mean almost nothing without the story. So, with that in mind and taking my own advise, I will endeavor to spend as much time writing as I do looking at the latest and greatest that technology has to offer. But alas, I must go now. There is an auction ending on ebay and I want to see what that HD camera sells for.....

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