"Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place." - John Bender, The Breakfast Club
I was out on the front lawn of the crew house before 6AM helping the camera department load their huge camera package into the truck.
To get an idea, this is roughly what they have:
1 Arri 535 Body, in Body case. The case also contains many accessories such as sliding base plates, quick release plates, 12 inch mounting rods, 6 inch mounting rods, a focus whip, battery cables, battery connectors, battery chargers...
I believe they have 8 1000 foot magazines, meaning they hold 1000 feet o film. There are two mags per case, 4 cases in total.
Lenses, a full set of Zeiss Primes, I didn't see a zoom, but its about 8 lenses, each large than your two fists put together.
1 Tall Tripod and 1 Short tripod, each in a case.
2 high hats, which are low mounting plates for the camera.
And the list goes on and on.
We get everything loaded and ship out 10 minutes early! Good stuff. Get to the first of three locations for the day. That's 2 company moves, including our crew of about 30 people, actors, equipment, food, you name it.
The first location is pretty simple, and having talked it over extensively with he DP it was pretty easy to pull a small selection of gear from the truck to accomplish the first 4 shots of the day. Still, though its not a terrible amount of gear, its a lot of hauling things from place to place. And film equipment is caught in the mother of all paradoxes. Film gear has to be portable, there for it needs to be sufficiently light to carry in hand, or on hand carts in large quantities, and ultimately in a large truck with literally TONS of other gear from things as small as thumb tacks and scotch tape to lights that can only be lifted by construction cranes. But, film gear also has to be sturdy and rugged to bear the wear and tear of the average shooting day, and carry heavy, heavy loads and not malfunction and hurt a member of the production.
But, it was a lot of fun, it was really misty and beautiful on the pond we were shooting against. We finished, wrapped up the gear fast, and got to the next location nearly an hour ahead of schedule. Did two shots on the second location, wrapped out fast and landed at the third and final location for the day. Again, really great prep work by the DP, EO and myself made for a relatively fast transition to the heaviest shooting location of the day. We got things going fast, and stayed ahead of everything the schedule had... until the camera broke.
Yes, we live in an imperfect world, and screws fall out, or in this case the camera registration malfunctioned, causing a MASSIVE jam in the film gate, and the camera seized up. I've seen cameras jam before and seen them fixed within minutes. This was another story. When it was relayed to me that the camera had jammed, I thought "No big deal" after waiting for 45 minutes for the camera to be fixed it really hit me that we had hit a wall.
A new camera was immediately dispatched from the rental house in NJ (mind you we are shooting in NC) and will arrive by plane tomorrow morning. We lost 3 hours of our day, and everything had been going great. So, we have a hard, but short day tomorrow since we absolutely have to wrap out this location tomorrow night at 7pm in order to make our 7 AM Call Time. In essence we're going to have a tough day, but it'll be a ton of fun. The important thing is that no one freaked out, everyone handled the bad news very well, and we worked around it. We'll figure it out and succeed no matter what, and this film is gonna be really funny, so I'm still rocking and rolling with excitement.
Now to play cards with the camera and lighting teams before crashing on my mattress. Be well.