I worked as a B-camera operator on a no-budget short film. Despite the odds, the producer/director was able to get assistance from the Danish Army. They supplied a PMV and a couple of jeeps and we got to shoot in a military area. So a pretty big operation considering the budget of the production.
The A-camera operator and I shot on a Canon XL1S and a Canon XL1, respectively. We used regular, fresh JVC miniDV tapes.
There is no footage on the 4 tapes we shot on. Only short fragments (no longer than 30 seconds) spread out across the tape that, when played back through both Canon cameras and a third DV camera, are filled with grey bars across the frame (cf. attached grabbed frame). There is almost no sound; only a few noises and a few very crystal clips of audio, though these are clipping.
The A-camera operator and I made sure that the cameras were recording and that the time code was running before we yelled 'speed' to the director.
We had no problems throughout the day. The XL1S had to be cleaned with a cleaning tape at one point, which we did.
? We have been going through what happened throughout the entire day - what we did, the circumstances of the shoot etc. And there seems to be no clear reason why the tapes shouldn't have worked properly. We recorded on the same type of miniDV tape from the very same batch later that night, without altering ANY of the settings on the two cameras, and that footage worked fine.
Could it be some kind og climatic issue or could it be static electricity or something that scrambled the footage? We were shooting in a military area, but the director had done that another time using the very same XL1S at the very same location, and that worked fine.
We would simply like to know the reason why this happened so we can avoid it in the future (of course, we'd like to be able to obtain the footage from the tapes, but that seems unlikely). If you've experienced anything similar or can give os a clue as to what happened, please respond - I'd be most grateful.
Edited by Simon Roel, 30 March 2008 - 07:48 AM.