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I have to respectfully disagree. People have certainly been successful by volunteering and hanging around sets. But they have also been successful by renting equipment and corraling volunteer help – and others have succeeded by buying used or amateur equipment and experimenting.
Lots of folks are out there making great films with $1000 cameras and a few hundred dollars (or pounds):
I am firmly in the "you learn the most by getting out there and doing it" school of thought.
So buy your camera. "Film" is free (when I started, film stock and processing were a huge expense) – read what the "experts" have to say (but filter it through your own internal lens), prepare, prepare, prepare – then round up some friends and go shoot something. Even if you read the book I recommended above ("How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck") – it will probably suck:)
So what? It doesn't matter, try again. If you have something to say, and you keep at it, you'll get there.