Skip to main content

Rolling with the Punches

So, last week I began to tell you, gentle reader, the tale of the first day of shooting on my latest film project "Relationship Rewind".  It was a tale of grand plans, and meticulous designs... which were abandoned almost immediately.  All my great ideas for cinematic lighting, stereophonic sound, and coverage of every scene from every angle, were jetisoned in the wake of people looking at me and waiting for me to get this proverbial show on the road.  I could handle this, I was just going to have to scale down my ideas, but I could keep moving forward.  Then I got hit again.

I had just completed the first few shots of a movie I had been trying to pull together for over a year and a half.  I was happy with the footage I had gotten from this first position, and it was time to move the camera.  The camera I was using is notorious for having a less than stellar battery life, so (having planed for this) I had plugged the camera into the wall, so as not to run out of battery power.  I unplugged the camera and moved to the next angle in the room.  People were talking, and not paying much attention to me as I set the camera, plugged it back in, and then went to turn it on again.  The view screen on the camera flickered and then went black.  "Hmm...", I thought to myself, "that's not supposed to happen".  Again I hit the power button, and again the screen flickered and turned black.  Not good.  Maybe there was something wrong with the wall outlet.  Maybe it was connected to a switch somewhere in the room, that was switched off.  Maybe, but unlikely.  You see, gentle reader, when the camera is plugged into the wall, it charges the battery inside the camera, so even if the camera wasn't recieving power from the wall, it still had an extremely fresh battery inside it from which to power up.  I was starting to get nervous.  I switched outlets and tried to power up the camera again.  The screen flickered, then went black.  I could feel a drop of sweat begin to trickle down the back of my neck, as the people in the room, who were counting on me to make this happen, began to notice I was having a little trouble.  I tried a plug on a different wall.  Pressing the power button a little harder now, my stomache sank as the screen flickered and then went black.  Had my camera just up and died on me?  This camera, that had fewer than twenty hours of use, and had sat in my climate controled home office, was not powering up.  Was this the end?  I didn't bring my second camera with me, if I had, this would have been the point were I would have pulled it out and used it. I would just have try and match the images from the different cameras latter in the editing room.  But, I didn't have another camera.  So, I could either figure out what was going wrong, or I was going to have to send everyone home, just a few shots into my movie.  I held the power button even longer.  You guessed it, the screen flickered, then went black.  My mind began to race.  The screen is flickering, so it seems like the camera is trying to power up, but just isn't succeeding.  Maybe when it is plugged into the wall, it still uses the battery power, and the battery currently in the camera is drained, thus the camera can't power up.  (I realize this doesn't actually make sense, but I had to try everything I could think of as people began to make their suggestions as to what they thought might be wrong).  I changed the battery and hit the power button, willing the camera to power up.  The screen flickered and went black.  It was with a certain level of desperation that I took the camera into my hands and began to really examine it.  Everything appeared to be fine.  All the compartments were sealed, nothing was out of place.  What was wrong!?  I shifted my grip on the camera and tapped the power button.  The screen flickered and then turned ON!  I wanted to lift that camera over my head like it was Simba from the Lion King!  I had gotten rocked to my core, but I had managed to find my feet again.  I had been knocked down, but I wasn't knocked out.  The shoot would continue, and I would do my best to get what I needed for the movie.

So what happened?  As to that, gentle reader, I can only guess, but I'm a pretty good guesser.  In order to power up the camera, one must tap the power switch.  I was holding it down too long, so the camera was powering up, then immediately powering back down again.  The more nervous I got, the more intentional I became about holding down the power button, and as a result the camera kept powering up, then turning itself off.  I now count myself fortuate that I had not brought my second camera, because I would have jettisoned the new camera, along with all of my other plans, only to find that the camera was in perfect working order, and the only problem was an over anxious opperator.  However, the opperator error did cost us time, and we would have to keep pushing in order to complete all that needed completing.  At the very least, I had learned how to successfully turn on the camera, and that seems like a good thing to know.


Popular posts from this blog

All Your Questions will be Answered

It's no secret, to those who know me.  I spend some time in front of the television.  Well, maybe more than just "some".  Many people would probably look at my definition of "some" and redefine it as "a lot".  In a culture where the average person watches approximately four hours of television a day, I can honestly say, I'm above average.  Which is almost always a good thing to be able to say, right?  Truth be told, I enjoys me some TV, but I won't watch just anything.  I have to be drawn in by either the story, or by the characters.  There was one show, in particular, that drew me in.  It had all the makings of a great story.  There was a plane crash, a tropical island with polar bears, some sort of smoke monster, and people who were once in wheelchairs could walk again.  Week after week I would watch this show and get more and more drawn in, as more and more mysterious things began to happen.  After a few years there were those that became d…

Christmas Wrapping

Alas, Christmas time is nearly upon me and I don't have a single thing wrapped. This includes all of my purchases for loved ones to be opened Christmas morning, as well as the principal photography for the up and coming mega blockbuster, Zombies During Third Period... Again. Despite the best efforts by cast and crew alike, shooting on the movie is one thing that will not be wrapped in time for Christmas. I guess that Zombies really are the gift that just keep on giving. However, to say that we will not be able to finish shooting the movie on the date that has been typed on our schedule, is not to say that things are not going well. I am confident that the images that we have captured (in brilliant 24p High Definition), are going to cut together and form a picture that everyone involved will be quite proud of. And despite all indications to the contrary, we have been able to answer one of the most important questions that has been plaguing us on this shoot. "Will there …

Boys and their Toys

Welcome back gentle reader, has it seemed as long for you as it has for me? Okay, probably not, but it is still good to see you. A long time ago I heard the phrase, "The only difference between men and boys, is the price of their toys". Well, I have come to tell you, gentle reader, that after much consideration I think that statement might be true. The only thing I would add is, after a certain age, the items we seek after cease to be called "toys" and start to be called "tools". These tools can take many different forms. For many men, their expensive toys are actual tools. They take the form of drills, compressors, nail guns, and this really cool saw that cut a car in half as I was watching it on TV. For the aspiring filmmaker, tools can come in the form of cameras, lights, and computer software. Technology is constantly improving and singing the siren's song to any filmmaker within earshot. It promises the aspiring filmmaker that major stu…