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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old June 10th, 2003, 03:21 AM   #1
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What's been your biggest screw-up?

We're all only human. So, springboarding from this thread, what's the story of your most infamous DV-related bungle?
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Old June 10th, 2003, 03:46 AM   #2
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This isn't DV-related...but the moral applies.

When I was a young lad in college, my photo prof came up to me one day and asked if I could shoot a bunch of drill teams that were competing in a regional competition. He wanted 20 shots per team and there were about 20 teams.

So, being a starving student and wanting to maximize profit by limiting expense, I went out and bought 20 24-expososure rolls and figured I'd shoot four extra frames per drill team.

Things went fine, I shot all day, and when the last team was up, I finished off the last roll.

I hung around, talked to a few people, felt good about the job I'd done, when they started up the awards portion. Suddenly...over the loudspeaker...the announcer waved to me and said "We're about to get started here with the awards...could the photographer come up to the stage?"

Talk about mortified...I didn't have any more film. I walked up to the stage in front of a couple thousand folks, trying to figure out how I can relay I didn't have any more film without making a total ass of myself in front of a whole crowd.

I went up the side of the stage, and then again over the mic he said "Okay...you can stay right there. Girls, after you get your awards, let the photographer get a shot before you leave the stage." and then he went right into the awards. No chance of me getting a word in. And there were tons of awards.

So, I stayed up there for what seemed like forever, and every time one girl or a whole group would win, they'd come over, strike a pose...and I'd pretend to shoot. Toward the end, it was such a ridiculous situation that I decided to have fun with it and spent time reposing them, telling them to smile bigger...

When it came time to deliver the prints, I told them that I accidentally exposed that roll while processing it. How embarrasking.

Anyway, the moral is...always take extra film (tapes)...and nail down all the facts of what's expected of you before you get started.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 04:36 AM   #3
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My biggest miniDV screw-up? Never had one---but..., there was the time my friend gave me his SLR camera to shoot some poses for his portfolio, like right there and then after shooting about 4 hours of video. I wound and clicked away. After I hit the 38 mark, I thought, "this is stange. Why is it still winding?" Agh! The stupid guy forgot to put film in his camera; and stupid me was unfamilar with his camera---I though the non-existent film wound just fine! There went an hour of my time. (Didn't care about his hour because it was his mistake as well as on his dime.) :)
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Old June 10th, 2003, 07:46 AM   #4
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After finishing editing a 5 minute techno dance clip for a musicians demo I had to render the effects and then export it to QT. I set the computer to render and then went and made some lunch.

After lunch I decided to go for a surf. I got may wetsuit and my board from my room and thought, "better turn off my computer". Just after I hit shutdown I thought "DOH! It's rendering!". I thought I'd just have to re-render the clip. HA!! As the processor was running at 100% when I hit shutdown the OS (then Win98) had a stroke and corrupted the entire hard drive. I had to re-capture, re-edit and re-render the entire clip. I also replaced Win98 with the much more stable Win2000.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 07:54 AM   #5
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I left auto-focus on during some dolly shots on my first short I
did (yes, it still is in editing stage) which ofcourse kicked back
at me with constant focus drifts...
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Old June 10th, 2003, 10:20 AM   #6
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Auto-focus is a classic. Has happened to me too (and probably everybody else I know).

Another classic that happened was when the guy operating the camera said "Opps, forgot to press rec." after we recorded a pretty tough scene to set-up (at least for our no-budget production).

I've had one guy forget to fasten the lens-cap in a long tracking shoot, causing massive headache for me in editing. It's no fun keyframing away the sound of the lens-cap hitting the camera every other second in a two minute shot.

But I have myself to blame a bit; the guy operating the camera had never really tried it before and I should have dubble-checked before I'd say "Action".

But in every mistake you do, you learn something!
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Old June 10th, 2003, 12:18 PM   #7
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Personally, I got record and pause out of sync. I paused the camera when I was shooting, put the camera on shoot when I should have paused it. All the shots I needed were from on top of a Mardi Gras float at the Krewe of Tuck's. Too darn bad.

Next was trusting my wife to operate the cam while I had to be in the shot. She wasn't looking through the EVF. When a boat pulled into the slip next to us, I asked her if the boat was in the way. She signalled 'OK' and the scene went on. We got 5 minutes of my, subject's head and of course the canopy on the top of the boat. Too bad I didn't review the shot while I was there, instead of 500 miles later.

Good news was the rest of the shots she took were OK.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 04:59 PM   #8
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Gee... There have only been one or two screw up... yeah, right! Let's see, doing a two cam shoot and only put filters on one cam. That was tough to match together. I have also had circuit breakers blow, causing me to lose all audio on my hard disk recorder.

The best one ( Worse?), was editing a video for a client. After finishing the thing and putting it to tape, I decided to check it one more time. I'm glad I did! Right in the middle of the tape, you could hear the sounds of Star Trek doors opening. Somehow, the PC's sounds had bled over during the capture. Since then, I have no sounds on my edit machine :)
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Old June 10th, 2003, 05:04 PM   #9
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LOL! I used to use those Star Trek doors for maximizing and minimizing windows. That was probably back in 1995, when it was all the rage to customize the sounds, cursors, and icons on your Windows 3.1 box. I remember buying a pack of fewer than a hundred wave files on floppy disk for $20 from CompUSA--they were marketed under the name SoundFonts.

Then in 1996 I got AOL and found you could download all those same Star Trek and STAR WARS samples for free.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 05:07 PM   #10
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Yeah... I can finally laugh about it now. At the time, I was ripping my hair out trying to fix this sizable project, and ended up having to just redo it.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 10:39 PM   #11
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I did a class project on an old-school AB-roll U-matic system. After 6 hours straight of editing my footage, I was finished, beaming with pride over my master tape. I gave it to my professor who played it, and then asked me why there was a 30 second blank spot in the middle of it. WTF? Sure enough, there was 30 seconds of dead space. After testing it, we realized the tape was flawed, and nothing would record in that spot. Who gave me that tape in the first place? The prof... I got an A+ on the project.


I think we've all confused Pause/Rec at one point or another. :)
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Old June 11th, 2003, 12:03 AM   #12
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I actually went to shoot a wedding in the wrong town once. They clearly told me Martindale, but for some reason I headed to Wimberley. Fortunately the wedding was seriously delayed due to other reasons, and I got turned around and set up (in the right church this time) about ten minutes before proceedings began. Afterwards I decided to call it quits as far as weddings were concerned... that was my last one ever.

There was a dance recital where I blew the first performance; the classic Nathan Gifford rec/pause confusion <g>. After the finale, I explained my mistake to the studio owner and she had the duet from the first dance come out and perform again. Turned out she liked their second time around better than the first, but I was still pretty embarrassed!
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Old June 11th, 2003, 05:45 AM   #13
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Well I haven't shot that much, so haven't had much happen except when I was shooting a seminar where I had to setup 2 cameras between when one class exited the lecture theatre and another entered (i.e about 5 minutes) Got it all up except

1) Forgot to white balance camera 2 (Corrected in post ok - phew)

2) For got to put the xm2 into manual exposure, so when the speaker, who was wearing a dark blue shirt, moved back and forth against the pale white whiteboard and walls, the exposure recorrected and the whole thing kept going light->dark->light.

At least I'll never forget that again.

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Old June 11th, 2003, 06:48 AM   #14
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Did anybody call you on that, Aaron? I'd be a little surprised--the human visual system has good capacity to auto-correct for most subtle color balance and exposure issues. On a movie shoot this might be pointed out as a big mistake, but to the untrained eye, a straying AE or AWB in event video is usually little more than subliminal.
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Old June 11th, 2003, 07:24 AM   #15
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Hi Robert. Well I was sort of lucky. I mean I noticed it straight away when I was editing, but when I printed to crappy old VHS then it's a lot less noticeable. Although not a lot of people have seen it, noone's mentioned it...I would have hated to have had to go through the whole thing correcting it bit by bit ;)

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