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Have you ever screwed up?


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#1 Elliott Yancey

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 01:42 PM

Just curious.

Have any of you ever just sucked? Have you ever been on set with everyone looking at you and for one reason or another just kept screwing up? Have you ever thought, "will I ever work again after today?" Would you be willing to tell your story or "your friend's" story ;) to help some of us newbies to sleep at night. We watch your work in our favorite films and TV shows and marvel at your steadfastness, but could any of you show us that your are in fact human even if it is just for a second :P.


Thanks for being so transparent,

Elliott Yancey
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#2 Steven Acton

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 03:16 PM

All i can say is thank god for rehersals and retakes :blink:

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#3 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:03 PM

I sucked for the first 5 years. And I certainly have days or shots that I would love to take back. Its all part of the creative growing process. It's pretty safe to assume that every operator has felt that they suck at one point or another. The one's that don't think they suck probably do. Hang in there and just keep doing it. 18 years later and I can still say that I honestly love working with Steadicam. If's still fun and beats working for a living!

Cheers

Jeff
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#4 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 06:10 PM

I sucked for the first 5 years. And I certainly have days or shots that I would love to take back. Its all part of the creative growing process. It's pretty safe to assume that every operator has felt that they suck at one point or another. The one's that don't think they suck probably do. Hang in there and just keep doing it. 18 years later and I can still say that I honestly love working with Steadicam. If's still fun and beats working for a living!

Cheers

Jeff

------------
Jeff . . . .It's not weather you suck or not it's how well you suck thats important . . .LOL . . .

hahahahahahaha . . . . .

And . . . .LOL . . .I'm cracking myself up thinking about this one, Elliot for the love of God , . . Daaa we all suck!! we just suck less than the otherr guys who can't operate the rig at all . . .LOL . . . .

Dude, Iv'e fallen in a swimming pool wearing the rig and yes non of my buddy's including Mr. Muhlstock will ever let me live it down . . .LOL . . .
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#5 Elliott Yancey

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 07:48 PM

A swimming pool? WOW! That's impressive! :o

So what do you do when something like that happens? Is your day over or worse?

What happens when it is not such a catastrophic event that causes you not to get the shot, but just you are having a bad day or the shot just has gotten the better of you? Do you discount your rate? Offer a pick up day? Run home and put all your gear on ebay? Get a new phone number? Change your name? It has to happen sometimes and I am sure it will happen to me. So how do you handle it with grace and keep your reputation?


Elliott Yancey
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#6 Dan Coplan

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 12:26 AM

Off on a bit of a tangent...how many of you actually practice when you've got a sizeable gap between gigs? I find there's definitely a difference between working days in a row and getting in the groove and feeling like you can do no wrong and the dust that needs to be shaken off between gigs when I'm hoping the first few shots are simple walk and talks just to get me back into the proper mindset.

Dan
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#7 RobVanGelder

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:17 AM

Elliot, you mean suck, like that day that I pick up the sled for the very first shot of the day, one of the arm-bolts snaps and sends my rig and camera straight into that concrete floor?....... in front of the agency, director, producer and DP............. only the second shooting in my -at that time- new home country Thailand................ with a backup rig only hours away..........

Man, that sucked big time, still working here though, with the same people! :P
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#8 Elliott Yancey

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 11:53 AM

Dan raises an interesting question. All you guys preach to us newbies to practice practice practice (and rightfully so; I suck and need it) but how much do you guys really practice?


Elliott
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#9 Aaron Medick SOC

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:32 PM

when I first bought my rig. I practiced every day I wasn't working, as a gaffer or Op. That's right, I didn't take a steadicam day until I knew I could operate with it well enough to earn the money. I was already in local 600 as an operator. Then, I did freebies, basically freebies, and student films. But now that I work on a regular basis, I don't practice. I should though, there is always something new coming your way. I tend to work out on my off days. As far as sucking, we all have our off days. I feel steadi oping is like sports, mostly mental. Of course, we all have to put in the work and effort, but once our bodies are trained and we understand framing, only our mind a can beet us. If you believe you can do it and can visualize the shot, you will succeed. if you think you suck and can't do it. you will fail. Anyway, that line of thinking works for me.

Aaron
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:58 PM

Like many things, the longer you do it, the easier it is to get back into it after time away. I'm doing less and less operating these days so I'm dealing with this issue, but after 22-ish years, it doesn't take long to get back in the groove. I'm not going to be as good as I was when I was working full-time most of the year, but then again the degree of finesse we are talking about is unnoticeable to a good percentage of directors/DP's out there anyway (especially in TV). Getting it "good enough" quickly, i.e. in the fewest takes, is more important these days than absolute accuracy. And of course, having the right eye and ideas will improve a shot far more than one degree less fluctuation in horizon.

But yes, I well remember starting out and feeling like I was just getting up to speed by the end of a given day, if I hadn't operated in a little while. And practice would help this. After you've been doing it for a certain number of years as I said, you need maybe 1 rehearsal to warm up on the day and you are good to go.

I won't even get into the sucking discussion, it's too easy to go there! Let's just say I wouldn't want to have to try to duplicate half the shots on my reel...
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#11 Stephen Press

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:41 AM

Long ago I was asked to shoot the opening shot of a short film. I already had a paid gig lined up in the afternoon but as a favor to a good friend, the director?s dad I agreed to do it 6 hours before my other gig.
Even though it was unpaid I took it seriously finding time to test the 16mm camera a week before the shoot. It flew fine but the video split was inverted, ?that?s a problem for me, will you be able to flip it on the day?? I asked the cam assist and was assured it would be done.
So on the day I arrive and due to one thing and another everything is running 2 hours late, worse I don?t get my hands on the camera till an hour before my deadline to leave. I balance the rig and the cam assist tells me the video won?t flip. Why did no one call me or even tell me when I got there? What am I supposed to do now?
I try and fly it as is. When I go right the monitor goes left and vice a versa? it?s really hard to operate? and on a complicated choreographed two min move my reflexes are killing me. I?m burning film and I can?t get it right. In desperation I try putting the monitor upside down. The headroom was a bit generous but at least the rest worked.
I did the best I could but as I put away my rig I knew they all thought I sucked when it wasn?t my fault.
Now I?m older and hopefully wiser I know in a way it was my fault. I put myself in a position where I wasn?t in control. I kept trying to make do and please everyone when I should have said ?no this isn?t going to work, let?s do something else.?
In the end I sucked? not because of my operating skills but because I didn?t handle the situation right.
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