View Full Version : Need your FAIL stories for a podcast (anonymous)

Josh Hayes
May 30th, 2016, 06:24 PM
What's up fellow DVInfoers. I've founded a non-profit (or I should say I'm 22 months into the roughly 24 month process) called Visual Anarchy (Visual Anarchy ( It basically free and sliding scale high quality videos for small non-profits, science facilities, neighborhood orgs, etc..., as well as free video production training for any and all interested. Not the most unique idea, but useful nonetheless. One of the projects we're doing is a podcast called Rack Focus where I interview folks (mostly documentary filmmakers but open to narrative filmmakers as well) who have made well known docs and ask them more technical questions. The audio podcast is designed to deconstruct the technical aspects of a production so we can learn as much about it as possible. Basically, we're the audience (camera ops, sound engineers, directors, etc..)

Anyway, the show is going to have a few segments besides the main interview and I thought a really fun one, that could lighten things up would be us anonymously sharing our fail stories. Like the one or two total fucks ups you did that you can't believe happened (now you can see why it will be anonymous). Whether it's a wedding photographer who backs up into a fountain, or the time you should up to a job and you didn't have the sled for your tripod (this one happened to me many moons ago) and you had to gaff tape your camera to the top of it, or the time you cleared a whole day's shooting off you SD card accidentally, etc....

You get the idea. A.) it allows the show to be in the learning space of admitting we all make mistakes and we all still have things to work on and learn in our craft and B.) gives us some levity. They can be Rated R stories (i.e. you can use bad language if you want).

All you would have to do is record audio of a 2 or 4 minute story (or a few and I can break them up), preferably using a fairly good mic but it's not a requirement, and send it to at via dropbox, hightail, box, etc...

What do you say?

p.s. if there's any concerns about the anonymity or something and you'd feel more safe I could create some kind of a contract that promises your name will never be mentioned. :)

Josh Hayes
June 10th, 2016, 12:52 PM
Hi folks. Just checking in. This is a huge community, is there seriously not several folks who are willing to anonymously share stories of mistakes they made on the job? I can't imagine everyone takes themselves that seriously on here, ha ha.

Andrew Smith
June 11th, 2016, 02:44 AM
You want us to record something? Sounds like hard work! :-P


Josh Hayes
June 11th, 2016, 03:16 AM
Touche sir, touche, ha ha.

I can record it too on a short call over skype or something for folks if that's less of a pain :)

Josh Hayes
June 11th, 2016, 01:47 PM
So, how about it folks. Perhaps it was a bit of naiveté but I didn't assume people would be intimidated by sharing a big mistake story anonymously.

Gary Huff
June 11th, 2016, 03:37 PM
Why don't you just make up some fail stories?

Josh Hayes
June 11th, 2016, 09:29 PM
For the same reason I don't make up news as a documentary filmmaker.

Gary Huff
June 11th, 2016, 10:42 PM
That's an entirely different issue.

Josh Hayes
June 12th, 2016, 07:03 PM
The idea is for folks to share real life stories of mistakes they made, and learned from. Myself and 4 or 5 other camera ops/producers I work with have several to share. Just assumed some other folks would have no problems sharing a story anonymously, but not sure If I'm wrong, or their just not seeing the post since it's in "AREA 51" in the thread. I thought since it's kind of a strange post that this would be the best place for it, categorically.

Gary Huff
June 12th, 2016, 09:28 PM
The idea is for folks to share real life stories of mistakes they made, and learned from.

Yes, how many do you think you'll need? Several stories from 4-5 people is an awful lot of content. Are you looking to fill a podcast with this material?

Most mistakes aren't sexy are interesting. How many "I forgot the dovetail plate for my tripod" stories do you need? That's why most of this kind of content is simply stories told to illustrate the lesson you want to deliver to your listeners.

Mike Watson
June 12th, 2016, 11:23 PM
Can you post the stories you shared?

I have 20 years of experience and a bunch of fail stories, but they're all along the lines of, I showed up at a press conference on the 20th floor of an office building, put the camera on the tripod, and when the DA walked in, I hit record and there was no tape in the camera. I bummed a tape from the guy from the competing station who was uncharacteristically kind to me that day. It was a solid experience that shaped the way I treat my competition, but I somehow feel like "I forgot a tape and bummed one off the guy next to me" is not a podcast worthy story.

Josh Hayes
June 13th, 2016, 01:34 PM
Mike: Hi Mike. I know what you mean. I have a bunch of those stories too, but then the more I thought about the beginning and some tricks I've learned along the way I realized I've made more bigger mistakes. Perhaps that's just me though ha ha and others haven't. Also, some things I've seen that kind of happened to other people as well. I had a shooter I hired one day and I was a little nervous because even though he was recommended by a solid DP I work with all the time, there was like 6 of us filming and he was definitely 2nd string. Not judging, just being honest. He was newer to the game, but it was super straightforward corporate interviews setups at a conference. He ends up nailing it for the first half of the day and I'm like "boom" I had nothing to worry about. This guy's doing a great job. Then 8-10 interviews in and just after lunch he decided he wanted to delete a clip (you can see where this is going) and formatted the whole entire card!!!! He was so nervous and devastated when he approached me. I told him simply "I won't be upset and the work won't suffer if you go fall on your sword and redo every single interview. It'll be hard but at the end of the day it won't matter as long as we get them all". He filmed for the rest of the day, came in for a half day the next day as well and caught up on it. Ha ha. That's not super sexy but it's interesting too...

Gary: Generally I like to have a little more content than less and air on the side of caution of having extra before not enough. Also as Mike and some other folks pointed out, some stories are more entertaining than others, so I imagine there will be some curation. As I mentioned before, this is just for a section on the podcast, and a short section at that. The bulk of the podcast is interviews I've been doing with documentary and narrative filmmakers, cinematographers, and other crew as a learning tool. Also I may be able to create a montage or something along those lines as well for the segment or some other possibilities.

Ervin Farkas
June 22nd, 2016, 08:28 PM
I posted a dramatic one a few days ago, and it's public on YouTube, so you can probably use it.

Josh Hayes
July 12th, 2016, 01:31 PM
Just back from 4 weeks of vacation/being off the grid.

Ervin - that video was one of those laugh out loud and cringe videos at the same time! ha ha. ouch. It's an audio podcast so it wouldn't work (more looking for first hand accounts) but that's definitely in the right arena.