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Gear doesn't matter

by Maik Hansen

Aug 31, 2022

"Gear doesn’t matter." I bet that all of you have heard this sentence before and we all have our way of viewing it. I got caught up a lot of times in the topic gear and it always made me feel stressed. If you don’t want that feeling, you are interested in a different way of viewing things, or just want to deal with the „Filmmaking Mindset“ this article is for you.

I never owned a „real“ cinema camera but already had the chance to shoot with a „big" cinema camera setup worth 20k. I own the A7iii as well as the a7iv. My video rig costs around 5.500€ and my photography kit around 3k. (Just to give you an insight into my current setup).

I am convinced that each camera upgrade helped me create better videos. There is just a thing that new gear makes me excited to create something new and also learn something new. But exactly that’s why I am also convinced to say that it is not about the camera that helped me to create better videos. It’s about the time and effort that I put into it to get better and level up my skills. 

However, I will probably always have something that I want to add to my Kit or upgrade to but the difference for me now is that I don’t feel stressed anymore.

The right mindset made this possible for me and I hope that you can benefit from this mindset as well.

1. Tools not jewels

Since I shifted my mindset that cameras and gear, in general, are just tools to get the job done instead of viewing them as jewels it changed everything. I started as most of you guys out of passion. However, it all started with photography for me and I only needed my camera. I was able to invest in a camera to pursue my passion and after approx. For 8 months I started to generate money using my gear. In my reality, this money paid off my camera. But then I began to get interested in video and I also invested in this part. This felt like the beginning of a whole new chapter and again I invested in „my passion“ as I didn’t have any clients for video work. So basically I invested in gear „to get the job done“ aka to create my passion projects and earned nothing. However, this led me to where I am today. And now I have clients that pay me for my video work. 

It’s like in any other business as well. You need to invest first to earn money. 

2. Get the most out of what you have right now. 

Cameras nowadays are all great. Some are better for specific purposes and with a higher budget, you‘ll get a higher resolution and stuff. But the essence of video can’t be found in expensive gear. Learn how to properly use your camera and use this to level up your storytelling skills. 

3. Invest in yourself first

A good cinematographer can make any camera look expensive because he/ she knows how to shape light and set up a scene. If you have an expensive camera your image will look just as good as your skillset. And if you invest yourself first you already know how to deal with these bigger camera setups. You can use this to your advantage when the time has come that you are at the point to upgrade. 

Just a last thought that I want to share: you can be the best filmmaker and earn nothing because you suck at business. If you don’t know how to sell yourself in the industry (or even worth, you don’t know how to price your creative work) you won’t make any money. 

My best advice is to network as much as you can, connect with people in the industry and create value for free. Never ask for money in the first place and you‘ll make a lot more money in the long run. 

At this point, I am happy to have platforms like LANCIE that help with the business part and link creative people which makes it easier for us to focus on creating awesome content. 

I hope you enjoyed this article and feel free to hit me up in my profile or on Instagram at @maik.hns

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