I know people that are always spending a lot of money on the newest software and hardware – claiming they can’t do the best work without the newest “toys”. As a result, their pockets continue to empty and they never improve their skills at motion graphics, compositing, photoshop, and so on. What a shame!
Alex Lyndsay worked on Star Wars: Episode I with a G3 PowerPC Mac running After Effect 3.1 with 192 MB of RAM and a 4 GB Hard Drive. Take a look at the finished Pod Racing Scene. So don’t think you have to have the fastest machine in the world to do some serious work. Oh, and chew on this – my iPhone 4 has more power than Alex’s Ol’ G3 Mac – so it’s not about computer speed. Another example is 405: The Movie. This was created by a few guys that had borrowed a Canon DV camera, using Windows Machine and off-the-shelf software.
It’s not the machine or hardware that makes you talented.
Hey, don’t get me wrong! I love to have the latest, greatest, and fastest equipment! But, if you keep coming up with reasons why you can’t do something without what you have – I think you are lying to yourself. Hear me out, for I experienced the frustration firsthand. I began my career knowing that experience (which means mistakes and learning) was going to make me better, not necessarily a fancy computer. So, I asked production companies if I could wrangle their cable for free – or just bring them coffee. At night I worked at a clothing store in the mall to pay the bills (bleh!). Eventually the production companies let me touch their cameras, and after I figured out all ins and outs of those as I moved on to learning about something else. After about a year of working my butt off (for FREE!) I had several good job offers heading my way. So, I ended up years ahead of my peers with a job, experience, and without loads of credit card debt.
When I was about 27 I remember interviewing guys my age who had just gotten out of graduate school with a video production degree. They knew their books and the theory behind it all, but had no experience using video to make money…. which is ultimately what you need to be able to do if you want someone to give you a job (or feed your family if you are doing it on your own). These poor guys had done what they thought was best – spend money for education – unfortunately it ended them up in a tough spot.
If you do find yourself wanting a career that demands a college degree here is a book I recommend Dept-Free U . This guy paid for his schooling without loans, scholarships or mooching off his parents! He said on an interview with Dave Ramsey “I just worked as much as the other kids drank beer and watched TV.”
So, if you are a young guy out there who wants a good career, without any resrouces behind you to buy either education or equipment – don’t stress! Believe it or not, this is still America and the dream is still alive – you just have to work hard for it. And the best advice I can give techy guys like me is: stop hiding your inadequacies behind your computer and software issues – and get to work – you’ll make mistakes – but learn a lot too. Do something different.
Here are some of my favorite places to get ideas and to get educated: