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Ever accidentally get something unwanted in frame?


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#1 Ira Ratner

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:36 AM

When I was working on a print advertising campaign for WCBS-TV News back in the 80s, they were doing a story about gangs in Chinatown. So a still shot showed a building with graffiti that was in...naturallly...Chinese.

So before it went to the engraver (the OLD days), I said, "Gee--shouldn't we show this to someone who speaks Chinese?" This was the kind of thinking that earned me the right to be paid half of everyone else in the place.

The result was that it was a curse so bad that it didn't even have an English translation. (Those naughty Chinese!)

I'm sure you don't make these kinds of mistakes NOW, but do you have any good stories like this? Hopefully one of you guys has a great tale about a woman walking naked by her bedroom window that you didn't notice.

And if you have any famous examples of these kinds of bloopers, I would love to hear them.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:41 AM

I dunno, but I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time tracking carefully-touched-up background plates over microphones that are in shot.

P
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#3 Matthew Buick

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:47 AM

Well, I don't have many shots, but one that srings to mind was of my cat, everytihng was truly perfect, perhaps my best shot yet, DoF, exposure, cat's position, plus it was one a HV30 so image quality wasn't exactly shabby. On viewing the footage I noticed the cat was obscured by a flare from the sun.

BAH!! :angry:

If I'd bought the HC9 I would have got a lens hood free.
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#4 Ira Ratner

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:55 PM

I knew nothing about this famous blooper in North by Northwest until TODAY--and I'm 51, for God's sake:

http://www.slipups.com/items/698.html

A friend at the bar told me about it. So bars are good.
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 03:08 AM

I knew nothing about this famous blooper in North by Northwest until TODAY--and I'm 51, for God's sake:

http://www.slipups.com/items/698.html

A friend at the bar told me about it. So bars are good.

The first time I saw the movie I noticed that. Very distracting. I guess they didn't give extras ear plugs in those days.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 05:50 AM

The first time I saw the movie I noticed that. Very distracting. I guess they didn't give extras ear plugs in those days.


I still haven't noticed it. Pay attention to the action, not the extras Brad!!! ;)

And come on, they let you smoke in hospitals in the '50s, and protective gloves were made of asbestos. You could play with mercury as a kid. Earplugs were the least of their worries back then, especially since they didn't go around with the built-in soundtracks. They had to *work* to play their music, damnit, one 45 at a time. . .

Nowadays, it's like the ST:TNG episode "The Game", where there's this computer game that everyone goes around playing and they're actually secretly being controlled. The TNG guys probably thought it was Gameboy, but it was the iPod!

Seriously though, how many hours of iPod at full blast (I wouldn't know) equals the sound of a blank going off, 4, 5?

Edited by Karl Borowski, 20 September 2008 - 05:51 AM.

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#7 Russell Scott

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 07:32 AM

the funniest I know about is from LOTR.

a drunken extra was not noticed as they filmed a long tracking scene (I forget exactly where). he stumbled down stairs, through ranks of soldiers and generally causing havok. Somehow this was missed until the entire set - an entire town - had been destroyed.
The solution was to track it all into 3d, build the entire set again digitally and matte him out. I seem to remember it cost $3million to fix, but not sure.

It was told in jest but hooo boy was there a lasting was a bitterness
:lol:
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#8 Robert Tagliaferri

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 04:37 PM

I just saw "The Big Lebowski" the other day at a local theatre. Near the very end when they scatter the ashes by the water, there's a guy (maybe a crew member) walking around on a hill in the background just behind where the scene is taking place. It was very noticeable, I'm thinking they somehow got rid of it for the DVD release, as I was watching a restored 35mm print. Also I noticed the car mount reflected in the Dude's glasses while he's driving the car.

There's 'mistakes' like this in almost every movie though, just look at the 'goofs' section of IMDB. People that obsess over things like this drive me nuts though- just enjoy the movie instead of watching the continuity of the actors' drinks between shots. It's a MOVIE!
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#9 Tyler Poppe

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:55 PM

When I was shooting my very first short in film school, for the last shot we had a very elaborate lighting set up so that we could do a very long tracking shot of an actor in a living room. But because we had every light hanging from the ceiling somehow we forgot a 10 foot ladder in the background. A huge mistake, sure, but at the time over 12 crew members all missed it for some reason. It was a very shadowy set.

In post we were luckily able to work it out making the whole scene even more dark, which actually worked out.
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#10 K Borowski

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:34 PM

the funniest I know about is from LOTR.

a drunken extra was not noticed as they filmed a long tracking scene (I forget exactly where). he stumbled down stairs, through ranks of soldiers and generally causing havok. Somehow this was missed until the entire set - an entire town - had been destroyed.
The solution was to track it all into 3d, build the entire set again digitally and matte him out. I seem to remember it cost $3million to fix, but not sure.

It was told in jest but hooo boy was there a lasting was a bitterness
:lol:


Why'd they spend $3 million to fix that? Elves can get drunk three times as easily as humans, after all! ;-)

In seriousness, they should have fixed it, but not to the tune of $3 million, unless he knocked down 500 extras.

There was a flub I heard about, forget which movie, where they didn't get anything unwanted in the frame, per se, but rather the brilliant film loader decided that, on a one-camera shot where they burn a house down, to load the film backwards. One camera shot.

This cost a million dollars because they had to rebuild the house and burn it down again!

Also, I heard of a flub at a processing lab, I think Technicolor, again not sure which movie, but it was a stinker. I think it only got a few hundred release prints ordered, because the film was, well, bad. Because some genius at Technicolor typed in an extra zero on the order form, they made TEN TIMES as many release prints as were ordered. Bet the higher-ups at Technicolor weren't pleased. . .

But yeah, just about every movie has the boom mike guy in at least one car windshield. Stuff like this is just bound to happen,especially when you shoot every shot from multiple angles out of chronological order, often on different days. Even with hundreds of continuity Polaroids, something is bound to slip by.
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#11 Steward

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:54 AM

A story that relates (somewhat) to the topic at hand...

I learned the hard way... that if you don't want something on TV... then don't shoot it.

I was covering a train wreck that happened on a line so far in the countryside, it would have been a 2-3 mile hike. Not much fun when you have to lug 100 pounds of (early) ENG gear. A big break when a sympathetic railroad worker saw our plight, and offered a ride down the rail in a company cart. In exchange, all he asked was not to be identified nor even mentioned that he helped us in our effort to get footage of the massive scene. He told us that if it were to be discovered... he would certainly be called on the carpet, and most likely find himself terminated for ignoring the railroads internal (PR) policies. I agreed to his terms, and thanked him often for his support.

As I said... this was back in my early years... the transition from affiliate photog to "network" cameraman was still twirling around in my head, as we rode the vehicle throught the countryside. For some reason... I picked up the camera and shot several nice shots of the Sun in the trees rolling by, the colors were beautiful... a low angle shot of the wheels rolling on the track... I even stood up and shot the over the cab of the cart as we approached the wreck scene. I don't know what I was thinking... It was some great "nature" type cover. The accident scene was massive... you know, the stuff really made the frames without much thought... As a photog for a local TV station, I would edit the story... There was plenty of video that I could use... I forgot about the earlier stuff I shot on the trip in...I wasn't thinking, and totally forgot that upon returning to town, I would turn over the video to the network editors, who had set up shop in their hotel room... At that point... I'm now completly out of the picture. I'm sitting in the hotel lounge eating or drinking... watching TV... wondering if the guys made their feed in the scheduled uplink window.

Jeeze... life is good...!!!

Anyway... you see where this is going... ??? Imagine my suprise, when watching our news package air on national TV, the story started off with this beautiful cover shot, as train wreck slowly comes into frame... The network reporter is well known for his writing to video skills... If you don't know, rarely, does the network reporter actually make it to the scene... usually, just the photographer, sound man, and a producer are out in the field doing these network pieces... Neither of them mentioned the deal we had made with the train engineer dude... either.

If you don't want anyone to see it... don't shoot it...

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#12 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 02:38 PM

I haphazardly shot a film about 4 years ago, called Journey to the Cesspool, with just a handful of friends both crewing and acting in it. The main "stage" was our Producer/Sound Mixer/Supporting Actor's dingy apartment. He kept his dog on a leash next to the Nagra -- on set was the only place he wouldn't bark! While filming a scene featuring comedic self-abuse, the main actor falls to the floor and hopelessly calls out for a medic? Of course the dog comes on over, into shot, and nudges at our buddy to make sure he is OK! Of the three takes we did, this is the one that made it into the final cut. The dog, of course, was credited as "Medic".
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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 03:28 PM

I think it only got a few hundred release prints ordered, because the film was, well, bad. Because some genius at Technicolor typed in an extra zero on the order form, they made TEN TIMES as many release prints as were ordered.

Actually it works the other way around. If a picture really stinks, they make a huge print order, and open wide before word of mouth kills it. They know they have to make their money the first weekend.

As for stuff in the frame, yeah. I've done a C-stand and a hi-hat that I can remember right now.



-- J.S.
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#14 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:10 PM

You can see Jimmy Muro and his steadicam in the reflection of a glass door in Titanic. There are lots of other examples of this kind of thing, but I can't think of any more right now.
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#15 K Borowski

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:11 AM

You can see Jimmy Muro and his steadicam in the reflection of a glass door in Titanic. There are lots of other examples of this kind of thing, but I can't think of any more right now.


And who says actors get all of the fame! Haha, you just have to be clever about getting yourself into the shot in such a way that it's not obvious when you're shooting it but obvious when the movie's in theatres ;)
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