Up at dawn for breakfast served at the hotel. Things are moving a little slowly. We hope to begin shooting ASAP to capture the early morning light.
It is not Friday the 13th. It’s Thursday the 13th. But, by mid-morning I’m convinced that we’ve driven stakes into an ancient burial ground. Or something. Nothing is working today. Video gear that had been “fixed” yesterday doesn’t work today. What was broken yesterday is still broken today. (Did I mention that the video equipment was a bad choice?)
First thing that happens this morning is the “turn right mystery”. Normally when turning an electronic knob (or potentiometer) things increase as the “pot” is turned to the right until the end of the pot’s travel. Not here. Not this morning. Within 20 minutes we have the same problem with power, audio, and video. Somewhere mid scale on three separate devices things increase as turned right then mysteriously drop to zero mid-way. Perhaps we really have driven our ground stakes into an ancient warrior and he’s not happy.
We did begin shooting today. In the middle of the afternoon. The video gear is still no “right”. I;m not sure what we’re actually recording as there isn’t a decent monitor on the job.
The video engineers decide that these “state of the art” cameras need a couple of hours to warm up in the morning. I suggest that tomorrow I’ll leave the room about one hour before dawn with the EIC to help him get things going. After all, I need to keep him on my side as it is obvious that these cameras are going to need all of his help to look good out here in the sun.
Of course the lighting crew traveling from the other hotel 30 minutes away also now has an extended day because the generator operator staying with them has to be on set one hour before dawn.
The producer/director takes a video deck back to his room at the hotel to review footage on the hotel room TV. That’s how bad the production monitors are. He is pleased (probably given the circumstances…) with the images. The producer is now sharing his room with a mouse. Presumably the mouse approved of the footage as well.
Famous quote off the set today came from me: “if the manufacture’s nameplates on your video equipment are of companies that are no longer in business… it might be crap.”