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View Full Version : When production life gives you lemons....



misterkofa
08-01-2016, 12:35 PM
So after a 2 hour drive to Malibu during LA traffic, it takes us another 30 mins to get down to the beach at Pointe Dume. The designer (that flew in from London) is getting the talent ready for our fashion shoot. I'm planning out spots with my AC that I want to isolate. The tide is very high, so it will give us the look I am going for. So as I'm setting up my camera I realize to my horror that I left my Nikon to EF adapters at home.

My AC saw this too and started to freak out. So was I on the inside but played it off thinking... maybe they're in a side pocket, etc. Basically, in full denial of my incompetence.

After 10 mins of scrummaging through all the bags and cases, I had to come to terms with the fact that I left them behind. Everything was now in place and the camera was still not ready. I began mentally preparing for the hole I was about to get ripped out of me from the designer for my unprofessionalism. And the fact we would have to trek out here again.

Right as I was about to approach him I had an idea... and I said f*ck it, I'll free-lens this thing. For those of you not familiar with the term, it basically means holding the lens in front of the camera to get light leaks. This usually results in cool flare effects. And with my nikkors having the aperture right on the body, this could actually work.

While it was difficult to hold the lens and focus at the same time, I was able to pull it off.

And even when the client asked why I was holding the lens like that, I played it off as it was a part of the plan. To say the least, he was extremely pleased with the dailies, as was I.

Here is a short teaser of the longer spot to come.
https://vimeo.com/177112786

https://vimeo.com/177112786


Any of you guys have crazy stories of forgetting or breaking a crucial piece of equipment but ended up pulling off the shoot anyway? Would love to hear.

EYu
08-01-2016, 12:39 PM
That's why you're the man kofa.

PeopleCanFly
08-01-2016, 02:06 PM
Oh man, little things like this freak me out every time I leave for a shoot. The few times I have left something behind I remember before I get too far, so I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing impending doom...yet. Nice idea to lens whack the entire shoot lol. :cool:

DPStewart
08-01-2016, 04:26 PM
Ha! No way did you just whack those shots! They look perfect man! Get on down with yo' bad self!

misterkofa
08-01-2016, 04:33 PM
Thanks guys. Shooting at 4K definitely helped. The nikkors stick out a bit so it was a matter of just getting it to rest within the mount. But focusing was very difficult. My palms hurt like hell from all the strain. Shots came out good luckily but not something I'd want to repeat for an entire shoot.

The bad part of it is I ended up dropping the 85mm and scratching it a bit during one of the shots. Trying to time the waves so we don't get blasted was a challenge in itself outside of this conundrum and the lens slipped out of my hand.

Next time I'm bringing at least one or two EF lenses. Even after triple checking to make sure the adapters are in the case, you never know.

DPStewart
08-01-2016, 05:27 PM
You should see how obsessive I've become with packing organizing. For just these reasons. My brain (such as it is...) is never gonna remember everything I actually need. So I created some cases and bags that are designed to hold ALL the basics in camera tech. Yeah - it's a bit of overkill in the theory, but the cases are very streamlined.
Yeah - 2 of them are those $25 Home Depot cases I had up in my cheap camera support gear video a few months back. But one other is this KILLER $65 shoulder bag/case that has been really a gem. I plan to get more of them.
...lemme see if I can find the link for those.

EDIT: Okay, found the link.
Sure, there's better camera backpack/cases out there than this one...but for $65?? No way. I have had a lot of camera bags over the years and this one has been my favorite BY FAR.
Perhaps I'll make a quick video on this one too.

https://www.amazon.com/Ape-Case-Digital-Luggage-ACPRO1600/dp/B002Q0WMB2?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

misterkofa
08-01-2016, 05:52 PM
You should see how obsessive I've become with packing organizing. For just these reasons. My brain (such as it is...) is never gonna remember everything I actually need. So I created some cases and bags that are designed to hold ALL the basics in camera tech. Yeah - it's a bit of overkill in the theory, but the cases are very streamlined.
Yeah - 2 of them are those $25 Home Depot cases I had up in my cheap camera support gear video a few months back. But one other is this KILLER $65 shoulder bag/case that has been really a gem. I plan to get more of them.
...lemme see if I can find the link for those.

EDIT: Okay, found the link.
Sure, there's better camera backpack/cases out there than this one...but for $65?? No way. I have had a lot of camera bags over the years and this one has been my favorite BY FAR.
Perhaps I'll make a quick video on this one too.

https://www.amazon.com/Ape-Case-Digital-Luggage-ACPRO1600/dp/B002Q0WMB2?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Cool! I'm sworn to my pelican hard cases unfortunately due to many drops but this looks good. There's a spot in my case specifically for adapters but somehow, I overlooked. This is the first time something like this happened and I got lucky. Moving forward I'm triple, triple checking everything.

Zak Forsman
08-01-2016, 06:28 PM
(A) awesome work, kofa. truly. (B) I need to spend a little time organizing things so I don't leave anything behind too. For me, it seems like it's my ND filters that I have to turn around and go back for when this happens. and I just received some of those Power-U brand batteries and have to figure out where they're going to live so they don't get left behind. Luckily, each powers my Micro and SmallHD 502 for nine hours so I shouldn't have to lug the charger around too.

Funny thing is, my wife has actually been great at running through a mental checklist for me to make sure I've got everything I need.

John Brawley
08-01-2016, 06:30 PM
As an assistant I had a gig working on some promos ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

We had a small window of opportunity to shoot with multi Olympic medal winning swimmer Michael Klim. This was only a couple of months before the games themselves and we'd have 30 mins of actual time with him after his morning training. We had to drive down to the AIS from Sydney which was a 3 and half hour drive.

We were shooting on Super 16mm and we arrived, checked out the pool and the DP asked me to load two mags of 250D. We had all the gear in the back of a mini van and as I started to pull everything out I had a sickening realisation that I'd not packed a change bag.

So with our 30 mins of never again available time about to start, I had no way of loading the film into the camera.

I was panicking and trying to work out what to do, and I realised that I could use the DP's suitcase as a kind of change bag. So I took a magazine and put my arms the wrong way into a jacket that I zipped up I then put the jacket into the suitcase that I'd also zipped up as much as I could and then I proceeded to load the two mags. I was pretty fast back then and figured I'd be OK if I was quick. I was so nervous but felt pretty good about it working out and we made the shoot without me getting the courage to fess up to the DOP.

I have no idea what he thought, or if he even noticed I'd gone through his smalls, but we did as a routine, hide some smaller items in out luggage when travelling.

I was dumb and should have confessed, but there wasn't really even the time to do that. I just got very very lucky and the footage worked out great of course.

By the way, nice lens whacking Kof.....

JB

TeddyDem
08-01-2016, 07:35 PM
Kofa, way to recover man, the shots look great!

misterkofa
08-01-2016, 07:38 PM
Wow, Great story JB. Thanks for sharing.

NorBro
08-01-2016, 09:23 PM
I always have a point-and-shoot in the pelican just in case.

DPStewart
08-01-2016, 09:43 PM
I always have a point-and-shoot in the pelican just in case.

Hahaha! If all else fails, right!?

misterkofa
08-01-2016, 10:40 PM
I always have a point-and-shoot in the pelican just in case.
F*ckin genius.

stevesherrick
08-01-2016, 11:38 PM
That was genius! Many would have packed it in, admitted the mistake and probably never worked with client again.

Unfortunately I have left behind a few things when one-man-banding it. Don't remember anything of a showstopper, but did have one night where I was filming a special performance for a friend and when i got everything setup I realized I didn't have the cable that ran to the power plate. I was over an hour away from house so going home wasn't an option. Had that ten minutes of internal panic. Then decided to head back to car and search every inch of it, just in case. I was certain I had packed it. People were walking by thinking I was breaking into a car the way I was rummaging through it. Finally, tucked into a small crevice between the seat and floor I found the missing cable. Narrowly escaped embarrassment.

rick.lang
08-03-2016, 11:07 PM
Thankfully, no horror story, yet! I pack the night before and generally leave all the little things including my camera tools in my Lowepro backpack at all times so there's less to remember. Of course, I'm blessed I don't own much compared to you folks! I'm with John and Kofa though, you don't fess up to being an idiot, you just prove your brilliance by making lemonade with those lemons!

Great looking shots, Kofa. Hard to believe those were 'handheld!'

marshallbaker
08-06-2016, 06:02 AM
DPStewart, that case, Ape Case ACPRO1600 Pro, what are you carrying in it? Is it deep/wide enough to carry a bmcc ?


You should see how obsessive I've become with packing organizing. For just these reasons. My brain (such as it is...) is never gonna remember everything I actually need. So I created some cases and bags that are designed to hold ALL the basics in camera tech. Yeah - it's a bit of overkill in the theory, but the cases are very streamlined.
Yeah - 2 of them are those $25 Home Depot cases I had up in my cheap camera support gear video a few months back. But one other is this KILLER $65 shoulder bag/case that has been really a gem. I plan to get more of them.
...lemme see if I can find the link for those.

EDIT: Okay, found the link.
Sure, there's better camera backpack/cases out there than this one...but for $65?? No way. I have had a lot of camera bags over the years and this one has been my favorite BY FAR.
Perhaps I'll make a quick video on this one too.

https://www.amazon.com/Ape-Case-Digital-Luggage-ACPRO1600/dp/B002Q0WMB2?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

DPStewart
08-06-2016, 06:17 AM
DPStewart, that case, Ape Case ACPRO1600 Pro, what are you carrying in it? Is it deep/wide enough to carry a bmcc ?

Typically 2 Pockets, 2-4 lenses, Speedboosters, filters, hoods, batteries, cards, a laptop, a little table-top tripod, and a lightweight full-height tripod strapped to the side.
This would be an Over The Shoulder casual carry around bag.

I tried 1 Pocket and 1 BMCC and I had to re-arrange a bit but it worked fine.

I've also put 1 Pocket and my Beholder DS1 gimbal in there too. Along with the rest of the stuff. Had to take away one of the larger zoom lenses though.

This is like my favorite $65 I've ever spent on camera gear. I never use my backpacks anymore unless I have to really hike into a site carrying a lot of stuff.

misterkofa
08-06-2016, 12:22 PM
Thankfully, no horror story, yet! I pack the night before and generally leave all the little things including my camera tools in my Lowepro backpack at all times so there's less to remember. Of course, I'm blessed I don't own much compared to you folks! I'm with John and Kofa though, you don't fess up to being an idiot, you just prove your brilliance by making lemonade with those lemons!

Great looking shots, Kofa. Hard to believe those were 'handheld!'

thanks. Camera was on a monopod while my AC helped keep it steady so that helped out.

marshallbaker
08-06-2016, 10:33 PM
Thanks DPStewart, going to place an order for one.