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My son has just spent 12 months with two bits of plastic in his mouth (a plate) - this has taken a lot of grit and perseverance on his part. I am proud. I am not good at sticking at things, unless I am passionate about the thing I am doing.  Being good at anything, finishing things, grit - passion and perseverance. While I don't think he was passionate about having two bits of plastic in his mouth, he knew that it was important, and that he would go through with it.

Stick with those that have grit.

Check out this great podcast from Freakonomics

And here is the TED talk on Grit: The power of passion and perseverance.

Step off the GAS - the Supertramp Syndrome

Step off the GAS - the Supertramp Syndrome

It's not their fault. We love the equipment (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).  I am not a victim, but a willing participant. I wanted to be Devin Graham (aka Devin Supertramp). I actually thought if I buy the Camera (Canon 5D Mark II - he's moved on), if I bought the lens (Canon 16-35mm - he's moved on), if I bought the Glidecam (HD-2000 - he's moved on with his own signature series) - I could be like him. He makes it look soooo easy.  When you are more keen to see the BTS (Behind the Scenes) YouTube channels and clips than the main feature, are you missing the point. I've probably spent more time watching 'how to' film than actually learning how to film by doing the filming! I agree it's not about the camera, lens, stabilizing system you use, its about the person behind the tools.  Yes, you want to keep up-to-date with developments as do Doctors, Dentists, Opticians, but should you be practicing your art in all ways rather than looking at Doctor Digest, or squinting at Opticians Oracle for the latest gizmo? When people say nice camera - they mean nice camera, not nice camera operator.

Glidecam HD-2000 - sold on ebay. Fifi fiercely on guard.

Glidecam HD-2000 - sold on ebay. Fifi fiercely on guard.

So, I tried, probably not hard enough, I tried at being Mr Supertramp - he made it look easy - my shots were like being on a boat in a force 9 gale. I tried and tried.  But then again I do have a guitar and electric piano collecting dust.  I could become competent at those instruments as well, but well, it would take practice, dedication, time, effort. All those things that Mr Supertramp has put in.

So, I sold the Glidecam on ebay, I  sold the lens on ebay, I even had an iphone Steadicam which you guessed it I sold on ebay, I did not sell the Camera (now used as a stills camera).  Am I sad? No. They were doing nothing, in the wardrobe languishing, waiting for a new owner. I have set them free and hope their new owners have a great time with them. 

So, where next? Am I still looking for new gear. Well, yes and no.  I do have another camera, lenses, and also have some money to spend. But no, I will abstain for the moment and focus on people, telling the story, light and sound.

My best days? Walking the dog, taking my camera, using a $35 lens.

How to say I love you

How to say I love you

A great real life short for valentines day

Maia and her boyfriend have been dating for eight years, but they've never said "I love you." For Valentine's Day, This American Life helped Maia make a video to finally say those words. If you need help with something you need to say, please email

And the reaction (or not) video is almost better, especially Maia's reaction or anticipation...

Maia surprises Alex with her video to say I love you. If you have an idea for something you'd like to say to someone please email me at

TELLING STORIES - How to get 13m views - Casey Neistat

Casey Neistat's life

drawings by the brilliant Kim Smith, check out her work here; music by Jordan Galland (total genius) Follow That Dream by Daniel Johnston (if you don't know his work you should!)