The problem is that most of the knowledge and experience from working professionally in TV and film is simply not applicable to the sorts of no budget, one man band productions that the "dslr generation" are experimenting in.
To answer your previous query; There are already many established routes into the industries, mainly now via University and College courses. These provide more than enough entrants to the industries who already have a lot of the important basic skills and knowledge.
This thread proves that everyone is different and in a world of white papers, specs, pixel peepers, a thousand PDF's, it all comes down to everyone and I mean everyone has a different opinion and requirement.
If you want to stick your hand in a blender (I usually use this line quoting a different part of my anatomy) try getting previews, corrections and final delivery to 10 countries, 4 ad agencies, 2 editorial houses and 3 clients all on the same project.
Ask a question and you'll get 15 different answers.
Though Primarily a still photographer, I've been shooting motion with stills for about 7 or 8 years because 1. I like doing it. 2. I believed there would be a change in the market where projects would be combined 3. It's profitable.
Actually when I started with motion imagery I felt there was a hole in the market. There seemed to be two types of productions. Video that looked like pull focus for 12 miles news coverage that was shot with a crew of 15, to film production that was beautiful but shot with a crew of 50 to 100 people with prices and the glacier speed to match.
There didn't seem to be anything in between and the segment we slotted into has and continues to be a good source of billing for our business.
The thing I noticed about all digital capture was motion or stills, most of the professional innovation moved at a glacier pace. It was either 3 ccd video cameras at prices from $3,000 to $100,000 or 35mm film cameras which gave selective focus and thick, rich footage but were always a rental option that required more crew.
The 5D and RED changed this equation and now you can do a "film look" with less crew and a lot less wattage, which relates to a lot less expense.
Personally I have always owned my equipment, or at least 99.9% of it, including cameras and lights and a dozen computers. The reason is it allows us to really know our equipment and we can test and shoot personal work when we like without worrying about the $4,000 a day minimum rentals and if budgets get tight we can move the numbers around to make it fit within a project.
For motion I've owned most of the cameras mentioned on this thread (and a few more) and the 5d's, panasonics, even the Sony fs100's work fine under slower, very controlled conditions, but IMO nothing works better or is more robust than the REDs, especially the RED 1's as the file really has more latitude than any digital video or still file I've shot and allows for an amazing amount of style and correction in post production. If I was a video only guy, I'd buy the Sony high def ENG's but when we've outsourced to operators that prefer these cameras I have always thought they looked like news video, not film and maybe it's my still photography roots but I want it to look like film, not video.
I also like the RED's for the ability to switch lens mounts from PL to Nikon. It changes the character of the camera and how I can shoot it. I know that RED has a very polarizing effect on the industry. A lot o film guys hate it as they're very resistant to change, the video guys hate it because it doesn't come as a one package shoulder mount system with a zoom rocker.
Now the economy has squeezed everything tighter and I find the quality of almost any project, motion or stills is always related to the budget, unless your willing to adapt and have crew that really can multi task. IMO, gone are the days where one guy is only capable of doing one function and one alone.
We just finished a project shooting real people and professional talent in testimonial and style with added voice over and effects. The first segment of this project was in Southeast Asia two countries, large budget. We had a crew of about 25 people.
The second segment of the project was budgeted at almost 1/2 included 4 countries and obviously something had to be trimmed so I made the decision to add more imagery for each video and decided to always keep the camera moving and use most of the dialog in voice over form.
This took more effort and time in post production, but saved hundreds of thousands in on set production and I hate to admit it but made for a much more compelling final product.
So my point in this rambling thread (sorry for the length) is if your starting out, first decided what you want to be, because you are what you shoot. Then decide what equipment and style of business operation will get you there. If you want to be a camera operator that never touches anything but a Sony then learn it and go for it, but be careful because the commercial world expects much more for every dollar invested and the person that can only do one thing usually finds they are asked to do less and less.
My second point is, don't waste money trying to make cheap cameras do professional production. Nobody has time for HDMI cables that pop out, or audio inputs that pop and crack. Unlike stills fixing things in motion imagery is very, very expensive.
My third point is be prepared to deliver more than any client can require. Sure you can shoot almost any project with a rental ENG if your skilled, but what do you do when the client requests stills from the footage? Does that happen . . . yes and it happens more and more.
My fourth point is if you think buying a $3,000 dslr is going to be the end of it remember that's just the down payment on moving to motion. You'll find with most dslrs, to get them to almost professional levels you spend three times one accessories than you will on the camera body.
My fifth point is, think like a producer and the client. Think about what they require, what they might require in the future and what it takes to guarantee that you will deliver with no drama.
My last point is forget the past because the old ways suck. OK, I'll admit experience is golden and means more than any asset you posses, but don't get caught up in ever saying "back in the day we always . . .". That world is gone will continue to change and unless you find a way to keep running, you'll get passed by.
Oh yea, Number 6. There are no rules.http://www.spotsinthebox.com/magic/
P.S. Buy a go pro and stick it in every shot. It's goofy, very non professional but can offer some cut away footage that's invaluable.