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#1 Vicki Smart

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:49 AM

I've just had a phonecall that's made my jaw drop. One of my friends, who I rarely see anyway, has just rung asking if he can borrow my camcorder to film a performance by another friend's dance school. Now, I'm a media student at uni, and the camcorder was a present from my mum after I passed my GCSE's, as I was going on to do media at college too.

My mum bought it, my granddad insures it. So, I ask my friend, can I be there/be the camera person, I know my camera, I know the settings etc. He said they've got people, and they have a camera, but didn't get any compatible DVD's to use in it. So I ask how he plans to get the footage off the internal hard disk. "Oh, the dance company is gonna edit." So, I'd be loaning the thing to him, plus a group I don't even know, and not seeing it for days. Er, no. I said no, told him my reasons, didn't feel comfortable, it cost £300, I would prefer to be there etc.

I know I am being a little bit protective, but my mum and granddad have both just said the only way that that camera leaves this house is with me, since they bought it and insure it. I agree with them.

So was I being unreasonable, or were they disorganised and rude? I tried to compromise, if I was going to be there, or do the editing so I'd get it back tomorrow, no problem, but to lose it for a few days to people I've never met?? I'm not at that point of being comfortable for my camera to not be with me yet! Even at university we still occasionally see broken tripods, so a group of 19 year olds, in a theatre...well the mind boggles with what could happen there! If it were you, would you do the same as I have done?

I think they were rude, and they should've checked to make sure the DVD's worked earlier.
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#2 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:56 PM

I've just had a phonecall that's made my jaw drop. One of my friends, who I rarely see anyway, has just rung asking if he can borrow my camcorder to film a performance by another friend's dance school. Now, I'm a media student at uni, and the camcorder was a present from my mum after I passed my GCSE's, as I was going on to do media at college too.

My mum bought it, my granddad insures it. So, I ask my friend, can I be there/be the camera person, I know my camera, I know the settings etc. He said they've got people, and they have a camera, but didn't get any compatible DVD's to use in it. So I ask how he plans to get the footage off the internal hard disk. "Oh, the dance company is gonna edit." So, I'd be loaning the thing to him, plus a group I don't even know, and not seeing it for days. Er, no. I said no, told him my reasons, didn't feel comfortable, it cost £300, I would prefer to be there etc.

I know I am being a little bit protective, but my mum and granddad have both just said the only way that that camera leaves this house is with me, since they bought it and insure it. I agree with them.

So was I being unreasonable, or were they disorganised and rude? I tried to compromise, if I was going to be there, or do the editing so I'd get it back tomorrow, no problem, but to lose it for a few days to people I've never met?? I'm not at that point of being comfortable for my camera to not be with me yet! Even at university we still occasionally see broken tripods, so a group of 19 year olds, in a theatre...well the mind boggles with what could happen there! If it were you, would you do the same as I have done?

I think they were rude, and they should've checked to make sure the DVD's worked earlier.



I would suggest you do like many freelancers and Steadicam ops do here. If they want your gear, then you come and operate it. That way you are in control of your investment and can get the experience on your reel. Otherwise you are just a rental house making no money. If you want to do it for free, that's up to you.
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#3 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:22 PM

None of my gear goes out to anyone without me operating, period...unless it is one or two close friends who rent it from me and who are professional cameramen like me.

I don't feel guilty saying "no" and neither should you. You don't even owe them or anyone else an explanation. It's your gear. You can set the rules.

Once I lent my personal handycam to a high school student filmmaker. I agreed on the condition that I come along. He could operate but I would be right there. Well, the shoot was a disaster on several levels, such as he asked something like 10 or 15 cast and crew to show up on location and he'd not thought to provide lunch or even water bottles. He actually tried to borrow money from his crew for his own lunch...but I digress. I stayed on the camera like a hawk, but later in the day I walked away to set a light. Before I did I said to him "do not leave the camera. Do not walk away." I was gone no more than half a minute, and he wandered away from the camera to talk to a buddy....while he was wearing headphones connected to the camera. The camera got pulled to the floor and smashed. He was a good-hearted kid but totally clueless. He said, "what do I do now?" I said "call 'wrap'!"
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#4 Brian Freesh

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:09 PM

I don't care if I'm there with my gear or not, so long as it's being insured with me as additionally insured (liability) and loss payee (missing/damaged equipment). Even if I'm with the gear, if it's not insured by the production, or friend in this case, I'll end up being responsible when something goes wrong.

So yeah, you were perfectly reasonable. Next time ask for an insurance certificate to cover you if they don't want you to go.

Brian |-)~
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