What do you have to do to be a filmmaker?
When I started my career I had a Hi8 camera, a few action figures and some fishing line. I "shot for keeps" because editing wasn't an option. My first major film was 104 minutes of stop motion and puppeteering. At one point during our long shooting schedule--we only filmed Sundays after church, so it was a long process--we discovered we had lost our main character, so we had to do some clever "script" rewrites and substitute another action figure; we did this long before the Wachowski Brothers had to use the same idea.
Contrast that with today where I have cameras, lights, sound equipment, an edit bay, and years of experience behind me. Am I more of a filmmaker now?
What of the students I know who swear that film is the only true medium? What of the latest in HD technology?
Contrast that with the filmmakers who have to use cell phones as their only tool.
There are different levels of filmmaking; perhaps "levels" is the wrong word. While there is a quality difference, that's not really the point. It's more that there are different styles of filmmaker. Much like the varying genres, each production method produces a different type of film. Sure, your "one take wonders" and latest cell phone flicks aren't going to bring people into the theatre, but that's not the point. And in many ways, the days before all this equipment and responsibility were nicer because it was only about the joy of making media.
So remember: You can be a filmmaker no matter what equipment you have.
Your Media Production Mentor