July 4, 2015


Equipment, Skill, Creativity? If there was one thing that mattered more than anything else in filmmaking, what would it be?


Across my short journey as a filmmaker, what has been the one thing that lead to constant growth? To begin with I prioritised equipment itself. Next I became interested in the techniques required to use that equipment. After far too long, I began to consider the creative reason behind every filmmaking choice.

But what was the one thing that lead me to all of these discoveries?



  • Read every day –  I’m sure there’s been lots of research as to the many benefits of reading books, but here’s my take on it. Reading (almost) every day has introduced me to so many different types of stories – absorbing so much culture while translating words on paper into a film in my mind. It can’t be bad.
  • Do something creative every day – As well as any film projects I’m working on, I take a photo every day, and play the piano (almost) every day. I don’t take either of them too seriously, so it’s a nice way to get inspired, particularly if I’m struggling with filmmaking. They both have their links to filmmaking, so doing a bit every day helps.
  • Think about the future – This one probably isn’t for every day, but reflection is really important. Always looking for the next thing, and stepping back to the bigger picture of where you want to be in the long run can help you in the short term. It’s often when thinking ‘How can I make my next film better?’ that I have a big realisation about what’s really important in filmmaking.  Gear < Skill < Creativity.


The idea.

I’m still trying to talk about creativity without it sounding like meaningless, pretentious hand wavey jargon. Something I realised when I was making the ‘My Story’ series was that I’ve always wanted to make better films, and been open to learning. Rather than focusing on one thing, I’ve been open to change what I think is most important, whether it’s sound or lighting or creativity. That inspired this week’s episode – along with the desire for some cake.


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A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on

Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Cory Rodriguez

    Awesome blog post! This works well in tandem with your YouTube video. In the spirit of discussion, how long does it take to plan/write a blog post, typically? Additionally, what are your goals/ambitions regarding your YouTube channel and blog?

    • Thanks Cory! I usually do all the planning for the episode itself (can take around 10hrs these days) so then the blog post is just some extra info, things I didn’t have time for in the video. The blog post itself only takes an hour or so usually.

      My goal is to continue to develop my videos to be more interesting and entertaining. I’m planning to do some bigger film projects so I can do behind the scenes for DSLRguide. Along the way it’d be awesome if DSLRguide can pay my bills, enabling me to work on independent narrative film projects!

      • Matt BrownieCake

        That sounds great and I am sure you will manage to achieve that soon enough

  • Matt BrownieCake

    Really great video and article. Fantastic creativity

    • thank you Matt!

      • Matt BrownieCake

        No thank you…..actually you should check your email

  • Blaire Brinster

    Hey Simon! I was wondering if you could give me some advice on which LED lights to get. I want to get two LED lights, one of which will be the Aputure Amaran AL-528S Daylight LED Spot Light. But for the second one I’m not sure whether to get another 528s or the F & V Lighting R-300 LED Ring Light. What do you think? Keep up the inspiring work!

    • definitely go for aputure. if you can afford it, their hr672 is much better.

  • Brian Geryshon

    Good work you are doing Simon,I bet its time people stood out in their cinematography skill,i started a year ago and i think am getting better at it,its a learning process either way,you part of my mentors because you started off at a tender age.I say lets keep going,to never stop to never settle,Great work!

  • Anthony Silva

    Hey Simon, what kind of books do you read? I don’t read too many books mainly technical material. Therefore, I am trying to start reading more as a way to better understand story structure. Do you have any recommendations?

  • Vishnu Suresh

    hey simon can you tell me about what is the realtion between a scene and camera?May sounds like blunder,
    eventhough could you please tell me what you get from it?;)