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Your worst?

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#1 Ruben Sluijter

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 06:02 PM

So I got a bit bored and though off this silly little topic (also hope to get Journals rolling, always one of my favorite parts of the forum)
I'm sure a lot of us have worked on projects that really made us cringe, especially after seeing the end result!
I'm talking "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" or "Alien Beach Party Massacre" type films...really terrible B-films (which I admit having a certain affection for, great for late night viewing...big fan of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 too)
Or, ofcourse, just plain weird/bad films.

So please, share your anecdotes...pass the time for a bit
What was the worst film/show/series you ever worked on (the project you don't want people to know you were on)

Peace, Ruben "Loves a good anecdote" Sluijter
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 05 January 2004 - 06:17 PM

Well there was that serial killer movie where the guy liked to have sex with the dead girls' bodies...

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#3 Anthony Hardwick

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 12:19 AM

Okay, this wasn't really a "worst movie" experience, but it ranks up there as one of the funniest (and most fun) ones.

It has to be almost ten years ago that I A.C.'d for Jamie Silverstein for a couple of days on a Japanese movie being shot in NYC. I don't know the name of it, and I never saw the finished film, but here's the basic setup:

Japanese cop travles to NYC to catch the bad guy & bring him back to Japan. Basically this is just like the opposite of "Black Rain" starring Michael Douglas, where a NYC cop goes to Japan.

Anyway, on the days that we worked there were some stunts and LOTS of gun fire. The director was a very nice man who was quite animated when he gave direction to the lead actor. If you've seen "Lost In Translation," you'll have a good sense of what I'm talking about.

Anyway we're having a bunch of fun shooting, and laughing a lot, and then we do this process trailer shot where the cop is riding a motorcycle and pursuing the bad guys. Well, as we're driving around the streets of Manhattan shooting the actor on the motorcycle (which is strapped onto the trailer), the director yells some direction to the actor, and the actor proceeds to take his right hand off the motorcycle's handlebars, and pulls his gun out of his shoulder holster, and starts to fire it as he rides the bike.

So far so cool, but then the director yells a few more words of direction to the actor (in a very excited manner) and he starts to mime what he wants the actor to do. He's really getting into it now and getting into acting it all out. So then the actor pulls his left hand off the handlebars too and grips the pistol with both hands! He does this and keeps shooting two handed while we all just keep on rolling through the streets of Manhattan.

I swear that it seems in my memory that the actor had his hands off the bike for at least a full minute as we negotiated several turns, no less! Well I just about split my gut on that one... tears were streaming down my face. I don't think I had laughed that hard since grade school.
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#4 JobScholtze


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Posted 06 January 2004 - 08:47 AM

haha Great story Anthony,

Working for the Japanese television is also fun. Two years ago a Japanese director was here in Holland to shoot a documentary about a fly in the toilet. Here in Holland we use a little fly ( sticker ) inside the toilet because the think that all men will point to the fly and so inside the toilet.

I had to do steadicamshots of the toilet and the director was using applejus to make it real. I spend two day's in a toilet and a toilet factory to shoot a documentary about a fly in a toilet.

Just my two cents
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 12:50 PM

A couple of years ago Disney did an hour special to commemorate (aka advertise) the opening of the California Adventure park adjacent to Disneyland. I think a few of us were on different units of this breakneck-paced Betacam job which was shot just before the park opened (John Hankhammer I recall on second unit, but I thought there was even another one of us at some point).

It had an incoherent storyline and despite the appearance of several decent ABC actors (Richard Kind, Patrick Warburton) it was way over the top. I tried to watch it when it aired, but it was like an entree-size platter of Cheese con Cueso avec du Fromage. I couldn't make it through the thing.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 03:39 PM


Bad effects over very good acting: did a short (some Steadicam) during which the director was always enthusiastic about the fantastic effects he was going to be able to do, having caught the ear of someone at a startup effects house. He leapt around the location driving the actors into a frenzy of reaction to all this invisible hoopla, which would have been fine if the effects hadn't eventually turned out to suck like an open airlock. I mean, Microsoft Paint standard effects. Really, really bad.

I believe it showed at a film festival in L.A., in which case I will be horribly embarrassed if anyone's seen it.

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#7 Brad Hruboska

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 11:31 PM

Probably my weirdest shot was a film called Electra directed by Julien Grant, where my main hero shot was a scene of Shannon Tweed wearing a blood soaked T shirt screaming "Come to Momma" and doing the flip over POV of the axe head as it spun towards our hero Joe Lara. we had a light foam axe head mounted on the matte box and everything....I knew at that moment I had arrived.
Brad H.
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#8 Erwin Landau

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 03:23 AM

I posted that a while back in the journal section...

But what the hell,

Many will remember that show as the last one with my PRO monitor...

MTV's "Tail Dater's" I think they are at Operator number 20+ I think almost anybody that I know did a least a day on that crap. I did 3 days.

To make it short:

1st day: 18 hole mini golf course in one take, 2 hours 25 Minutes changed 3 tapes and 2 Batteries without putting the rig down and that was still with my Front mounted vest.

2nd day: I also learned the floor plan of the Queen Mary almost by hart... picking up the guy at his cabine, of course at the other end of the ship going 2 flights of stair down, always preceding, picking up the girl, 3 stairs up to the restaurant... oh we lost the second quick release plate so we can't take the camera of the steadi...
Stay on the diner then after the diner bring them back to there rooms...
And by the way that is the wrong floor, one up walking, walking, no we where supposed to go right, no left, we lost the producer, she is the only one that knows the room number... at that point I told the director were he can bite me and cut the camera...

3rd day: After running after a drunken couple the entire day... the wrapped me. I'm just about to take the camera off as the senior producer screems: They are getting naked into the Yakuzee... (BTW: The guy was bringing me water the day before... very short leader at MTV, isn't it?)
So run and gun for the Yakuzee... I don't think so, go or no pay...bla,bla,bla...
6 people jump into the Yakuzee and almost take me with them...

0.1 Minutes later the Monitor is shorted out the Camera is soked and that is a wrap...

No worries... Insurance will pay.

It took 2 months to get paied, The Insurance company get's fired, MTV is washing there hands clean, senoir producer get's fired, Production Coordinator get'd fired (she hired me)... 10 1/2 Months later I'm getting the last check from my claim.

The part with the naked contestants never airs, the rest of all day shooting will be cut together with 2 other cameras into a 22 minutes best of show.

And that was just the short version,


Erwin Landau, SOC
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#9 David Allen Grove

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 10:56 AM

I posted that a while back in the journal section...

MTV's "Tail Dater's" I think they are at Operator number 20+ I think almost anybody that I know did a least a day on that crap. I did 3 days.

Erwin Landau, SOC

I dodged this bullet! I got a call for this job but was already working on a movie.
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#10 Brad Hruboska

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 11:45 AM

I recall one of my last gigs with my very modified model 3A, and we were struggling to shoot the day of the big east coast power blackout, in a park in Toronto, we had the only generator for miles......Trying to light what was to have been a day scene with a laughable package of small hmi's , 4K screeming at the base of my neck, post fully extended trying to avoid shooting off of the the grass, millions of bugs attracted to the lamps, thinking well this is the BEST SHOT EVER/...and the lower part of my sled post detacjed, sendinig the electronics module to the ground. Left holding the camera, gimbal, and top post section, and some random wires.......remember wiring 3A's up the post?&^&*^&**&^!!!
I actually bypassed the wiring on the spot and got a the rig working, but it was all for naught, we wrapped it, Client just couldn't see the shot happening for them....
So we played glow in the dark frizbee wth the locals, who would charge it up in our 6K. I ordered my PRO II the next DAY...... <_<
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#11 Jennifer Mashuga

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 02:22 PM

Anyone mind if I use some of your horror stories in a story I'm writing about Steadicam operators?
Jennifer Mashuga
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