It wasn't enough that just about everyone became a pro-status photographer once dSLRs took hold. Now, with the addition of HD video to many dSLR's capabilities, it seems many of those same people are now also filmmakers, albeit digital filmmakers.

And why not? New technologies have put digital film-making into just about everyone's hands.

Once upon a time, it was incredibly difficult to become the next Steven Spielberg. These days, becoming a Spielberg or a Lucas or a Cameron or some other well-known "name" from the ranks of A-list directors might seem a somewhat more realistic goal, within everyone's grasp.

But is it?

Nope. Not even close. Not even remotely close.

Here's some 4-1-1 about becoming a successful, commercial filmmaker:

It takes talent. Plenty of it.

It takes luck. Plenty of luck.

It usually takes being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people and so much more.

It takes money. Plenty of money. Owning an HD video-capable dSLR, some lights, digital editing software, sound equipment and other gear is a good start for any fledgling filmmaker but it's not enough. Not nearly enough.

It takes more. So much more.

Let's say your film-making aspirations fall way shorter than joining the pantheon of Hollywood's major filmmakers. Okay. That's probably more realistic. Still, to have any modicum of success, you're going to need some amount of those things I mentioned above. Probably more of that stuff than you might think.

I'm not trying to be a pessimist or rain on anyone's parade but even offering video services to your existing photography clients will require some of the stuff listed above. Certainly it's going to take more than simply owning a dSLR that is video-capable. And most certainly, assuming you want to offer those video services with the results being better than someone simply holding and pointing a camera and pressing a button, you'd best develop some skills doing so.

Still photography and motion picture photography, while having much in common, remain worlds apart in many ways, requiring different skill sets to achieve outstanding results. My advice would be to figure out what those differences are and to learn and develop the new skills necessary before going out and claiming you're a filmmaker or offering video as an add-on service. Assuming you hope to be successful at it, that is.

The two young ladies playfully engaged in Sapphic shenanigans for my camera are Ashley (l.) and Katie (r.)

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