just curious, I am still using Sony Vegas Pro 13, didn't see a need to upgrade to 14, still don't see a need to upgrade to 15. Just wondering if either v14 or v15 contains any must have upgrade for you? I realize that this is subjective and there are some things easier, but when you use it for years, you learn ways to make things happen like having 4 screens at once, now automatic function, but I can do it easily in 13 so need more compelling reasons, if I were buying new instead of being a long time user, then would be a no brainier to buy the newer versions.
I couldn't say it better myself
Check meetup for filmaking groups, get a good book on dslr filmaking definately watch youtube videos on filmaking. Do not get hung up on gear none of that matters, using even an iphone and technique matters, lighting matters, composition matters. Watch your backgrounds, notice what is back there and keep it simple. Often I get a good take and then see an ugly electrical outlet while editing. Stay away from cheesy transitions like where a book opens or the image turns into a bird, instead make most of the edits cuts and occasional dissolves esp to show passage of time. With everything ask yourself the question, "What is the motivation" so in lighting if the scene is angry, show angry lighting, angry costume, angry composition, think about the height of the camera and if shooting two people talking, line up their eyes to the same height, lots of good material, be your own film school and don't just read, but do. I do practice video all the time to test out an idea, concept or to see if the scene works casually, before bringing in actors, lights etc.
Pros do use vegas, in addition I use Vegas, it may not be your choice, but it is mine. I hate Premiere and love Vegas, but the difference is, I don't impugn the skills of others who make choices different than my choice. Likely the problem is that you don't know how to use it? but All big NLE including the competition for Vegas do 90% of the same thing. Vegas has superior audio tools which are important to me, likely others use a separate program.
I think the biggest determiner of quality is your skills and vision. So if you need to upgrade, start with yourself first. It is not just a matter of talent and knowledge, but do not discount experience. So putting your hands on a camera, any camera and learning the discipline of going out and shooting. Then there is something I call, learning to read the video, to judge your own work, learning to judge the work of others. Allows you to be critical and understand that your images are created, not found. Understanding the technical is to also understand the relationship between story and image, for example a blurry image might be a terrible image, but a perfect image to tell a story.
I think Guy McLoughlin is giving good advice here, I would advice you to start by buying the book "Rebel without a crew" by director Robert Rodriquez and then view all the 10 min filmschools that he did on youtube. Consider that we no longer use actual film and we have digital recorders instead of cassette and he left out of the book that he had an "IN" in hollywood through his Mom, but for information and basic advice. There is no substitute for experience. When you start making crappy little films of two to ten min long, then you learn to read what you are doing right and wrong. Joining the local film society as Guy recommends, they can watch what you are doing. Much of this is developing discipline, going out the door, give yourself an hour and take 5 min of footage then edit it at home. No substitute for experience, then the youtube tutorials and books will make sense, if you just think about making films, that is what you will do, if you get out of the chair and actually make a bunch of crappy ones, then at some point, they will get less and less crappy and that discipline of doing it will serve you well, as they say in sales that old asian proverb
"salesman who covers seat instead of territory always stay on bottom?