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Cameraman Fail!

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Chuck Pullen
Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 27, 2011 at 10:33:31 pm

I'll let the video speak for itself.

http://failblog.org/2011/06/27/epic-fail-photos-cameraman-fail/

Chuck


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Mike Cohen
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:45:42 pm

I'd like to see the footage from the camera.

Mike Cohen


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Mark Suszko
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:23:48 pm

I'm sure it was just a rental:-)


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:32:35 pm

It looks like it was an XD or maybe a P2 so the footage probably survived IF he was rolling. I'm really curious what the talent was saying about him? "Look at our stupid cameraman, he's never skied before and we thought it would be funny to send him down the speed slope, camera in tow and see what happens" They must be Germans!

Chuck


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Todd Terry
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 28, 2011 at 7:21:57 pm

I'll give him some credit. He hung onto the thing... which is probably more than I would have done.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:19:24 pm

First half of the tumble, the lens was pointed up hill, which could have saved it, but once he started rolling over it, that would have been it.

Okay, confession time.
Somewhere out there is an Associated Press news photo of me in a similar situation from MANY years ago. Please DON'T look it up.

Every year we document the state fair, and one of our governors (one of those not in jail) had a tradition of taking his young daughter on a ride down a giant 4-story toboggan slide, as part of the opening ceremonies. We always shot this telephoto from the ground, but one year decided to try to get a second, unique angle, a POV shot.

Our gear was primitive; Sony M-7 and Umatic 3/4-inch portable deck, with a 6-foot cable. Our plan was for two of us, shooter and sound man, to double-up on one of the burlap sacks used for riding the slide, offset a few lanes over, and we would try to synchronize our descent to start a second or so ahead of the target, so we could get the POV experience, shooting them in a wide 2-shot to our right... He sat behind me with the deck between his knees, poking the small of my back.

Not only did it not work, we looked just like the cartoon illustration of when comic book character Andy Capp gets into a bar fight: a cloud with a tangle of arms, legs, and lenses poking out at odd angles. The caboose end of our little train overtook me and we swapped ends. I saved the camera, natch, but not our pride. Damn thing made the papers in a wide 2-shot of the guv and his daughter, racing a human tumbleweed, down the bumpy toboggan slide.

Hey, we were pushing the limits of what we could do. That's what it's about. And we still had the safety main camera shot.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:06:06 am

[Mark Suszko] "Not only did it not work, we looked just like the cartoon illustration of when comic book character Andy Capp gets into a bar fight: a cloud with a tangle of arms, legs, and lenses poking out at odd angles. The caboose end of our little train overtook me and we swapped ends. I saved the camera, natch, but not our pride. Damn thing made the papers in a wide 2-shot of the guv and his daughter, racing a human tumbleweed, down the bumpy toboggan slide."

Mark,
One of the things I love about your posts is you have a great ability to paint a great visual with your words.

Living in Colorado, I have done my fair share of skiing gigs. And this type of thing is always in the back of your mind if you're trying to ski the gear down the mountain when there's no sled available.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Mark Suszko
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:50:27 am

It's only fair, since I showed you mine, you guys need to fess up and tell one on yourselves as well.
Don't leave a bro hanging. You know you have a story.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 7:30:18 am

[Mark Suszko] "It's only fair, since I showed you mine, you guys need to fess up and tell one on yourselves as well.
Don't leave a bro hanging. You know you have a story."


OK, I will admit we did some dumb things back in the day.
We were doing a spot for a local appliance rental store, and it was my turn in the rotation to direct. Lucky me.
The running gag was a girl is having a bad day, and everything in her life is broken, she needs new stuff now.
She comes home and the sprinklers come on and get her wet. She's carrying a bag of groceries, and the bottom falls out. She can't dry her wet clothes because the dryer died. Trying to nuke a cup of hot water for tea, and the microwave goes up in smoke. Then the money shot. Disgusted, she plops down on the couch, grabs the remote, and flips on the TV. There's a flash, and it goes up in a shower of sparks. Then the logo backplate and tag.
The money shot went off in one take. It all worked really well. Too well in fact.
The house we were shooting in belonged to a couple that rented the basement apartment to a station employee. The TV/money shot was done on the main floor, in their part of the house. We had to buy them all new drapes, furniture and rugs, as well as replace the actresses clothes due to little pinhole spark burns in everything from the flash gag. That cost the station some cash. Needless to say, this also didn't make this guy their all time favorite roommate either.
The 'flash' was more of an explosion, and was a lot bigger than we thought. The producer procured the materials, but only bought enough for one take, so no test or rehearsal. Very dumb.
That is where I made mistake number one. I should have put the kibosh on the gag unless I saw a test first. But, there was a lot of pressure to just knock stuff out on these local spots with small budgets.
The shot was an OTS of the TV looking back at the actress through the rabbit ears, as she plops down on a big poofy '80's style couch. We rolled, she comes in, grabs the remote as she jumps onto the couch. Then the producer triggers the flash, and the actress didn't have to do much acting! WOOF! Not really loud, but a huge flash, and a shower of sparks. She must have jumped back a good twelve inches in about one frame! And the look on her face was priceless. Well, actually it wasn't priceless, it was 4 grand.
In the end, it was all good. No one got fired, or even a stern talking to. There wasn't a person in the station that didn't come down to the tape room to watch the footage, and get a laugh out of it. The worst part was we were still using a tube camera back then, and the flash bloomed the shot for about 10 frames. So we lost the best chunk of her initial reaction, but it still looked pretty funny despite that.
After seeing the footage, I realized where I made mistake number two. We probably could have faked it, and not done a physical gag. But it was the '80's, and we didn't always think as clearly as we do now...


And then there was the time a six hundred pound pig escaped from the studio into downtown.......

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair


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Doug Collins
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:34:46 pm

I worked for a small gov. access station. We did a "Cops" style show with the local Sherrif's department. A Deputy had stopped a couple of guys one night for public intox. I and the Deputy I was riding with responded as backup. We had to walk across a wooden foot bridge over a creek to get to where the other Deputy was, I thought I was directly behind 'my' Deputy but as I was taping and looking through the lens (not paying attention to anything else) I was actually a few inches to the side....and walked directly into the hole in the bridge.

I threw out my left arm to try to catch myself, and managed to hang on....just long enough to go from vertical to horizontal....then dropped into the water. Fortunately it was only about a foot deep but I landed right side (and camera) first. I instantly sat up and shut off the camera, then yanked the battery as I saw electrical 'sparks' in the viewfinder while simultaneously trying to catch my breath and answer the Deputy who was calling my name to see if I was ok. All of this was instinctive, the only thing I can remember registering at the time was one of the drunks saying sympathetically over and over, "oh dude! Oh man!" and me thinking 'great, I'm getting sympathy from a drunk!'.

The end results? The drunks got to go home as they were no longer the most important thing on the Deputy's minds, I had a bruise from my wrist to my armpit on my left arm, a 10-inch bruise on my right butt cheek and the camera was fine except for a couple of drops of water in the lens. (Had to send it out to get cleaned).

Something to look back on and laugh but could have been a LOT worse.

mental note....pay attention to your surroundings!

Doug


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Walter Soyka
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:55:07 pm

I once brought a thousand pounds of sand into a studio shoot for chroma-keyed beach shot.

A thousand pounds of sand goes into a studio MUCH easier than it comes out.

Enough said.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:58:46 pm

Mark, I am going to consider the timing of your post a mere coincidence and not an ominous warning of the worst possible outcome of my next shoot. I am planning the exact same shot to open a show this weekend. Obviously I don’t expect to be tethered to a soundman or 3/4” deck either for that matter, but do you have any advice to keep me from becoming another “human tumbleweed”?

Chuck


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Mark Suszko
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:20:40 pm

Gaff-tape go-pro cams to the top of the rider's shoes?

The sideways shot would be way easier to do today with the tiny, image-stablizing cameras available now. I was cradling the camera and trying to look down into the eyepiece while sliding down the bumps.



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Scott Whitney
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:36:59 pm

Mark's story made me laugh out loud...several times.

I would imagine everyone here has suffered some form of humility on a shoot. Mine came on a freelance shoot covering the grand opening of a defense contractor's new headquarters here in Florida. I had the long lens camera on a very very small platform...no secondary platform for me to stand on...just one very tiny platform for me and the camera. Dignitaries, military, and elected officials all came in for this thing. Hell...I think their CEO flew in from Rome. 300 people in an extremely patriotic frenzy...I don't know how many standing ovations took place. For 45 minutes I was fine...rock solid but being extremely cautious not to move my body around too much lest the camera get a little wobbly. That was my big mistake. I think I started to feel a little faint once the Colonel walked onto the stage and began his presentation. I did everything I could to fight it off......ohh, I'm leaving out a key detail here...to top things off my headsets weren't working! I was told this by the engineer at the onset of the shoot..."You'll be able to hear us just fine...but we won't be able to hear you......" I didn't even realize I had blacked out until I landed onto a table of 10 (I think a rather plumb woman buffered my fall). The fact that the barbeque hadn't been served yet is one thing I'm grateful for. That could have been messy. Unfortunately the story doesn't end there. Things literally STOPPED upon my fall. One minute I'm covering the show...the next I am the show. Surreal. A crowd gathered around me...PR people from the firm rushed over and called the paramedics. 20 years in the business and I had never experienced anything like this. The paramedics came in and tested my vitals...I was fine but they didn't like the fact I had no color in my face. They wanted to get me to a hospital. I couldn't believe this was happening. The PR people were about as nice as you could imagine...the engineer came out and said he thought it was a good idea. The director was assuring me it was the thing to do. Sooo...I reluctantly agreed. I figured I'd be able to walk out on my own and they could do their thing. Nooooo...they bring out a gurney and tell me they're going to have to wheel me out on this. As I'm being carted out the Colonel stepped back on stage and addressed the hushed crowd in a rather reverent manner....."His name is Scott Whitney....and he's going to be just fine!" The place erupts into another standing O and the paramedics are chuckling to themselves. "Give them the thumbs up...you gotta give them the thumbs up...you got to." And so I did. Turned out I was just fine...it was quite the day though. Something I won't soon forget.

Scott Whitney
Whitney Media Productions
http://www.whitneymedia.tv


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grinner hester
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:40:50 pm

It's always easy to spot a shooter on gear he did not pay for.
While I'm very hard on a camera, I would have just laid down with my arm up and rocked on in that case. I only kill cameras when the shot makes it worth it... and when I purchased the camera.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jun 29, 2011 at 8:47:14 pm

I dislocated my shoulder once, shooting hand-held with a rented camcorder in the bed of a dump truck half-full of animal manure. Saved the camera, it never got a thing on it, but all the weight of camera and operator went into the shoulder, and popped it out of the socket. Incredibly painful, especially having to keep shooting, standing on that slick truck bed, while they finished driving, clambering out of the truck, finding a clean place to put the camera down, and only then, popping the shoulder back into place, myself, by grabbing onto a nearby tree branch and hanging off of it. Plus there was trying to drive home, covered in manure, without getting any on the upholstery.
Ah, freelance documentary work, so glamorous. I also never got paid for that gig, but the shoulder still reminds me about it occasionally.


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Cameraman Fail!
on Jul 5, 2011 at 6:21:06 pm

Commercial for a bowling lane, trying to get a shot of the ball going by the lens, you can fill in the blanks :)

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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