Where to invest this month?
ASTORIA, New York- I decided to invest in equipment rather than travel this month. I’m starting to add a little more structure into my operating procedures — progressing on this path demands it — and it’s now all about enhancing my “work” rather than tallying up days on the beach. Maybe if I get old my priorities will change and life on the beach will seem more attractive … but, right now, I want to do something.
I started out doing this work to get the money to travel, but at some point something shifted and I realized that I’m traveling to be able to do this work. It’s a flip-flop of objectives, but really the same game I’ve always played: do what you want, wherever you want. That’s all there is to it.
So I sat at a bit of a crossroads this month. I wanted an EDC camera — something that takes pro-level video but is also weather sealed, rugged, and has in-body stabilization. I have a couple cinema cameras — my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k is my workhorse — but they are not exactly very adequate everyday-carry cameras. So I picked up a recently marked down GH5. More about this later.
I also became overtly aware of the fact that my laptop — a mid-2015 Macbook Pro simply doesn’t cut it when doing heavy video editing. As I now have a work table I can get a desktop that can sit upon it. I’ve never, ever had this option before. So I took advantage of it and picked up a late-2018 Mac Mini and self-installed 64 gigs of ram in it. I still need to add an eGPU to make it the super computer that I envision, but I’m getting there. As it is, the thing can handle a load, and definitely increases my potential as an editor / colorist.
Having proper equipment is essential to the work. Gone are the days where equipment doesn’t matter — I’ve squandered so much of my earning potential over the years by going cheap on equipment. I can’t get those experiences back, but I can alter course going forward. Without skill equipment is irrelevant; without equipment skill is wasted. The trick is being able to do pro-level work as cheap as possible without cutting corners — the goal is to have the skill and equipment to maximize the earning potential of each journey.
Next month I’m getting back on track: Armenia for a conference / research trip and Florida
for football to do a … research project on … uh … write an article about … no, no, shoot video for…
Like equipment, travel is also an investment. You add up the expenses and the potential earnings and decide accordingly. This month, it made more business sense to go for some new equipment. Next month, it’s more prudent to get back out there to collect some more content.
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