Fred and Cooter,
Motion is about telling a story. The gear is a means to an end, not an end in itself. What matters is the story telling, and any device that helps you tell the story is fair game. Film people are generally professionals, and professionals just need a device that allows them to tell a story. Amatuer stills photographers can snap away and amaze their friends and family with over sharpened detail of on a leaf 4 miles away. No need for story, just a pretty scene they happen upon. (I'm not taking a piss on landscapers).
Your 100% right.
We just shipped a video that received the highest client response in my career.
The client wanted a game changer for their marketing and sales. A video that would drive the corporation from within.
Our writer took 4 passes at it, we changed concepts 3 times and I could tell we we're losing the client, or at least disappointing the client.
So I did a 14 hour day/night run at it, reviewed every note, every script, every focus group result and rewrote the script, did a scratch voice over myself, pulled stock imagery and from our libraries and cut the video as a moving storyboard or animatic.
The result, it was sold in, only a few lines changed, we went into production and 10 days later delivered.
The response was overwhelming and it will not only be used internally, but used to set the marketing direction for the company for the coming years.
I'm not patting myself on the back, because in all honesty I did this as a hail mary, as nothing else was getting approved, but i learned something big.
Every director, and dp or director/dp, producer should know the script inside and out and push back, question the motivation of each line of the story and how each line can be visualized.
That may sound simple, but for a still photographer that's not how we usually work.
We usually make things pretty or tell a story in one frame. With motion, as you say, it's the whole story and the visuals are there to support it, not overwhelm it.
This thought process also carries over to stills. Rather than just take a shot list and/or layout on face value, to give a story meaning the person behind the camera, or directing the camera has to be fully immersed in the reason they are there in the first place.
I don't know about you, but how many times have you taken a "pretty picture" but in reality it had no story, no reason other than it might show the clothes, the expression or the face.
I've been doing motion for a while and maybe I'm not too smart, but I've finally realized that the story must be understood and must make sense, whether it's stills, motion or multimedia.
Anything else and the viewer just goes to sleep.
Now equipment does play a role because as you know production can be expensive. I love the RED's, hate the process of supports, flags, sliders, dollys, sound and all the grip and crew that goes with it.
Seriously I am looking at buying a few of the new 4/3's cameras for an upcoming project, not as b cams, not as crash cams, but as a way to get to the story quickly, keep it moving and not flat footed and not use so much equipment that the story is overwhelmed by the technique.
In other words I'd love to see all those cases disappear and instead have three cameras around my neck and one set of led panels.
At least I say that today.