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How to deal with bad crew/shoot


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#1 Peter Hoare

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:08 PM

Hello,

Im still fairly new to the operating game, Ive got a Flyer and im doing little bits here and there, mainly for low budget music promos, short films etc etc.

I was asked to do some stuff for a music video, so I turned up today, and they had a pretty decent green screen studio. The artists were a up and coming RnB duo (standard myspace thing), and it seems that the band, together with their producers and the video 'director' had absolutely no idea what was happening. They were all deciding what they were going to wear, who was going to do what etc. They were continually moaning because the 'director' had already shot afew scenes in SD and had decided to do the rest in HD, which ment re-shooting yesterdays shots. Eventually when it came round to doing any work, the 'director' told me what the general idea of the shoot was. He was attempting to key out the greenscreen and replace it for TV-car-insurance-advert-style infinity white. Mmm. Lighting was terrible, spill everywhere, you could see the greenscreen in the talents glasses, theres no way thats going pull a clean key, its going to look terrible. Camera was a sony FX1, that I had to weight to float on my small rig.

Still not got any shots in the can, still faffing about deciding what clothes to wear, and they decided to break out the whiskey, and they all started drinking covert whiskey and coke. They were slowly getting drunk, and eventually we got round to filming something, and the director asked me to perform a jib shot (starting at their feet(?!?!) up the body to the head. I told him thats not what steadicam was for, and in any case, id need some kind of hole and fancy lift system (or an AR i suppose) to get this shot. I did the best I could, but the screen was so small, you only have to shuffle 2ft to the side and the talent is no longer against the screen, so I ended up being a human tripod with abit of side to side drifting.

Eventually their time was up, and they tried to pay me in euros, giving me the excuse that 'its as good as pounds at the post office'


Anyway, im starting to think that I should have just packed up and gone home.

Any advice, what should we do in this kind of situation?
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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:21 PM

I would have packed as soon as the coke came out. But thats me i guess
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#3 Peter Hoare

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:59 PM

Just to clarify, when I say coke, I meant the drink coke (mixed with copious amounts of whiskey) not the drug....
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#4 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:04 PM

I would have packed as soon as the coke came out. But thats me i guess



I would have taken their money up front, Drank their whiskey then gone home . . .LOL . . .

In all honesty, new clients for me get the "money up front treatment" then next time we can do the billing, if there is a next time!
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#5 Peter Hoare

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:05 PM

I think you would have gone to the post office first, no?
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#6 Kevin M. Andersen

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:13 PM

Still not got any shots in the can, still faffing about deciding what clothes to wear, and they decided to break out the whiskey, and they all started drinking covert whiskey and coke.

(SNIP)

Eventually their time was up, and they tried to pay me in euros, giving me the excuse that 'its as good as pounds at the post office'



Maybe you should have joined them with the whiskey and coke?

Noooo. just joking.

As I was reading this I expected the end to say that they were going to NOT pay you because they got all f*&%ked up and nothing got done.

If you had packed up they would not have paid you anything, no? Just take the money, remember who was in charge (for next time).

I wish I could say I never had this happen--

Sometimes, for my own entertainment, especially when the people in charge are half my age, I get involved as soon as I see it is a clusterf*%ck and hold the kids by the hand and guide them to use the steadicam as it is best used. Sometimes this is the catalyst that everyone is needing to make the day productive. Sadly, sometimes it is a waste of energy.

But nowadays I would probably just make sure I was getting paid and let them learn a lesson the hard way.

Sorry for your bad experience. It will make you appreciate it when you work with brilliance!

Cheers,
Kevin
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#7 Iain Baird

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:20 PM

Years ago, when I was starting out, I was shooting a lot of music videos. It was a great learning ground for me but there were a lot of things I found that come with the territory. One of them was that musicians, not all but many, and their friends like to party regardless of circumstance. On many occasions I witnessed all sorts of craziness, Drugs, Booze, Sex - you name it, nothing surprised me. With all the work to be done it all seemed so foolish to me but at the end of the day as long as I was paid and the client was happy with my work it was really none of my business. Personally, I never had to walk off set but there were a few times when I had to leave a room that was being HOTBOXED to make sure I could work the rest of day without having cravings to run to the craft table.
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#8 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:41 AM

Yeah, a boozy set is not too bad, but once the wacky baccy comes out......
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#9 Amando Crespo

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:14 AM

Yeah, a boozy set is not too bad, but once the wacky baccy comes out......

...Op!... I´m a "drunken sailor", but at the set....May be the producer uses this situation to lok for guilty, and never will be the director. Take care with whisky+set+coca cola while work is on. ;) ;)
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#10 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:46 PM

one bit of advice is to get yourself a hard mount, once you see that they are clueless and just want this slight push in and out... you can dirt bag a tripod and land your rig on the sticks and take it easy for their lack of knowing and foresight.

FYI, stash the whiskey for later at home.
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#11 Lukas Franz

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:47 PM

Peter, welcome to the music video business ;-)

I had to experience many situations like that. But just keep focused on the work you're engaged in and keep being professional.
If it gets too nasty just leave and don't mind.

Lukas
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#12 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:29 PM

Peter, welcome to the music video business ;-)


I'll second that ! We get a lot of music vids in Las Vegas. One I worked on they (talent) had probably a pound of weed on the table and a fairly sizable pile of powder to go with it; all pretty much out in the open in one of the suites at the casino. I don't really care what people do until it has the potential to be a safety issue on-set. It was a F'd up shoot, the DP was a screamer / equipment thrower and the ONLY reason I didn't walk was because the Production Coordinator had pushed hard to get me on the shoot and she's a friend.
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