In the past, I would take commercial production and post production jobs. It was a way for me to build upon the knowledge that I gathered in film school, but my real motive was to hustle for the equipment. I would work on a Nickelodeon job at the office until about 6:00 PM and then use the tape decks and computers for my own projects until 10 PM. That was exhausting so I'm very happy to have come to a point where I actually own a camera and a laptop with Final Cut. I'm still tinkering with some encoding issues, but I've been posting my work on YouTube and Google Video. So now I can work and distribute my stuff independently without really having to rely on the industry.
My next step is to get my camera and computer out into the field. They are light enough weight that I can potentially travel with them into remote places. Instead of tromping around in the jungle, mountains, desert, or savannah with the entourage of a film crew, I'll be able to travel by myself with a low profile. I'm hoping that this will make the films that I shoot more candid and personal.
However, if I'm going to go this route I'm going to have to invest in protection and power. Cameras and computers are fragile so I'm going to need a good case to keep them from getting beat up in the field. The case also has to be low profile. I don't want to draw attention that I'm travelling with thousands of dollars worth of valuables. There is a good chance that there won't be electricity where I end up so I've started doing some research into lightweight, portable solar panels that I would use to charge my batteries.