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Mag run out nightmare


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#1 Dan Goulder

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:16 AM

I was filming a performance of the Blue Angels recently. Right in the middle of the ultimate, perfect angle, once-in-a-lifetime, career topping shot, the mag runs out. AAAAAAGGGGHHHHH! While I try to recover, has anyone had similar experiences?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:30 AM

I was filming a performance of the Blue Angels recently. Right in the middle of the ultimate, perfect angle, once-in-a-lifetime, career topping shot, the mag runs out. AAAAAAGGGGHHHHH! While I try to recover, has anyone had similar experiences?


You should watch the documentary ("Under Pressure") about the making of "The Abyss". The mag runs out during a powerful scene of Ed Harris pounding on the chest of the drowned Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and she gets so upset that she runs off the set (it was pretty unconfortable for her to play wet, dead, and bare-chested, and have an actor pounded her chest with his fists, so you can understand her anger.) In defense of the camera crew, sometimes the director doesn't take into consideration the limited time on a mag and keeps rolling the camera and repeating the action without keeping an eye on the time left.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 01:05 PM

I worked on the Cosby Mysteries in the mid 90's when after a long load in to the Penthouse Media control center of BMG building in Times Square and after the first shot lighting set up took a long time, the camera rolled out after the first take.

I don't recall that it was a particularly long shot, but I heard Bill Cosby mutter something to the effect of "We've been here for 5 (or so) hours and these mother fu**ers run out of film!? What the hell have they been doing?"

I thought he had been right, but there probably had been a policy of shooting on whatever mag was used the previous day at wrap.

Best

Tim
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#4 James W

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 03:30 AM

I thought he had been right, but there probably had been a policy of shooting on whatever mag was used the previous day at wrap.


One thing I always do with short ends on the camera is to make an extra label, with the exact length loaded, placed right next to the counter. Focus Pullers (even if told, bless their little hearts) tend to assume that there's a fully loaded mag on the camera, and this extra highly visable label is a good reminder.

The one time I forgot to do this (even though I'd told the Focus Puller it was a short end, bless his little heart) the mag rolled out in the middle of the only perfect take on a complicated, fiddley, macro, chocolate sturring special effect shot.

How would James Cameron have dealt with that ah?
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 07:10 PM

On my feature I just wrapped...right before we started a key sequence we, rolled out the camera if under 100' and short ended if under 300'. Essentially for every key sequence we started with a 1000' load.

The only time I really had to worry was when we where working with a wolf, kinda tough to ask a wolf to re-do a take exactly as he just did it.

As for actors...they're actors, they get paid to do multiple takes part of the job. Big stunts would be an exception of course :D

R,
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#6 Dan Goulder

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 07:23 PM

The only time I really had to worry was when we where working with a wolf, kinda tough to ask a wolf to re-do a take exactly as he just did it.

The same would apply to the middle of a Blue Angels performance. It would probably be easier to control a wolf.
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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:08 PM

The same would apply to the middle of a Blue Angels performance. It would probably be easier to control a wolf.


Didn't they give you a radio so you could ask the lead pilot to do the move over again once you had re-loaded?

Of course in your situation even the time to switch mags would be too long. You would need a second camera on stand-by, loaded and roughly framed. Of course it's no help in the middle of a move by the planes.

Or you have two cameras rolling in a staggered fashion, the second camera starts 500' feet into the roll of the first camera. This way every thing is always covered.

R,
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#8 Dan Goulder

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:23 PM

Or you have two cameras rolling in a staggered fashion, the second camera starts 500' feet into the roll of the first camera. This way every thing is always covered.

Of course, with the proper budget, I'd have three or four crews rolling. Actually, the footage turned out great...all except for that last several seconds worth that nobody's ever going to see... (but will vividly exist only in my memory)
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