Im a big fan of Casey. Cool ideas drive his content.
Of course gear is nothing and everything.
He seems to have a heap of operators shooting everything on six angles on shitty cams.
He then trawls the hours of footage to find some nice stuff.
Fantastic. But if those operators and editors were on a decent day rate it would probably be just cheaper to shoot it on proper kit and get the job done quicker with a better shooting ratio which would cut down the edit cost .. and that is where gear becomes 'cheap'
I agree, he likes to make sense of his material after shooting it. Most clients want a storyboard or a shooting list before commissioning the job. But I find his view and way of working refreshing, although it is inefficient as you point out.
Equipment, software, doesn't make you better, experience (with a goal) talent, hard work does and that's where I get lost on a lot of this type of stuff.
It's like the endless blogs and facebook pages that are waved in front of my computer every day . . . "here is me being cool in front of Big Ben, here is me being cool in Times Square, here is me being cool eating a hot dog. . . ok, some of it is somewhat interesting, but how much better would any of these semi stories be if they had that extra bit of effort, without the jitters, the out of focus misses, the overexposed white lumps, the me, me, me storylines?
It reminds of those weird news articles that come up from time to time where some guy finds 12 weather balloons, ties them to a lawn chair and blasts off to 10,000 ft. I guess it's brave, (or just stupid) but no matter how high the altitude you reach your not a pilot, your just a guy hanging on and hoping.
Good points, his way of doing things only take you so far. But his going forward attitude and making his ideas happen, gives you experience you cannot get from reading up online. I for one don't go out there and do as much personal work as I should.
The photos you are referring to, are just that, "me being cool somewhere". Regardless of how good the lighting, grading, composition or any other technical elements, the image still has that same core. It has a personal value for the person in the shot and those nearest and dearest, for others, not so much.
I admit, Casey is a little gimmicky, and I am not sure how future proof having him self in his work is.
There is a spot between the technical approach and Casey's way of doing things. I think, that is a good place to be, keeping all the aspects of the results in mind, with out overly leaning on any one aspect.
I personally prefer a mix of Casey's and the technical approach. He seems to relay heavy on "leaving room for the unexpected" element, while most of us here on everything but.
Hard work and knowing what you are doing from experience is very important, I agree 100% with you on that. In fact, if you are working in an environment that has the script/storyboard set up already, there is no need for any creative thinking or a unorthodox Casey like approach.