Okay, admittedly i don't remember betamax, but recalling the chain of film-related products that I've experimented with, I've been trying to hammer the idea into my head that there will never be a sufficient amount of add-ons or upgrades to satisfy my passion. Case-in-point: editing software.
I started out using the most basic of basic editing programs to pretty much just add titles and music. I went through a couple more programs after that, and even now, with the money and customizable features I've invested in Pinnacle, I've switched focus to HDV editing software (i can film in HDV, but can't edit HDV yet so i work in miniDV). Don't get me wrong, for the longest time I've believed that you don't need all the bells and whistles to make a great movie, and you don't. But with every year that passes, there are a million more people making movies with their home camcorders and a million more posts to sites like YouTube. It's arguably harder to get noticed now that anyone can do what I'm going to school for. The slogan on the Sony ad 'WATCH WHATEVER WHENEVER' is even more relevant today.
This has all worked in my benefit too though. Digital film and simple software have done wonders in giving me a head start in production, and more people doing it means more attention paid to filmmaking in general. The accessibility has left me eager and anxious about a future career. I was teaching myself the basics of composition and storytelling at 12 years old without even knowing it. I could put together a new movie in under an hour, and okay, the quality is better now, but the process is growing more complicated. It's damn hard to be prolific AND entertaining!
Maybe things are better off simple though. I mean, I certainly like the immediacy of some of my projects. Point, shoot, edit, burn to DVD and watch. In so many ways the equipment is amazing (my own movie studio in my dorm room), but it can be a crutch too. I can't help but want to learn new things, but I want to be good because of what I do with my equipment, not just because I have it.
It's all been a chain, 8mm to hi8 to D8 to miniDV to HDV. I'm just working my way along. Without the money to do anything about upgrades, I know there are still ways to push myself and the limits that exist. And maybe that's the best lesson I can get out of these thoughts, because like I said before, it shouldn't be about the equipment.
Sure, I'll upgrade again and again, but I'll do it because it'll help me pull off ideas that I can't right now. With no alternative I might as well make the most of my situation. And by doing so I know that when I finally get the HDV software I'll be that much more excited and prepared to push myself again.