Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Video Shoot… and Why My Other Jobs Aren't Always as Glamourous as You Might Think...

Den Shoot.jpg
 
Sometimes you just can't win.
 
You know it's going to be an "interesting" post when I open with that line, don't you?  Admit it.  :-)
 
I really truly love what I do!!!  I tell  people all of the time that most days I feel like I have to pinch myself to truly believe that I am "livin' the dream" and not just having a dream that I will wake up from.  My life is so full of blessings that I am tremendously grateful for and I appreciate the wonderful opportunities that I have.
 
However, sometimes things can get just a little crazy in my world and when things don't go quite according to plan I like to share them with you here.  I think it's human nature to feel that many folks have a bit of a "golden touch" in life where things almost always go their way.  Lest you think I'm one of those people, read on for all the details!  :-)
 
I have about 2 1/2 full time jobs.  I have my dental practice which keeps me occupied 32 hours per week Monday through Thursday.  I'm Technology Editor for Dental Products Report magazine where I write my "Technology Evangelist" column as well as edit some columns and do other work.  I also lecture at lots of meetings, consult with companies on devcies and techniques, and test all types of products.
 
One of the other things I get to do is video work (the photo above is from a sound stage in Chicago where I was working on a project for Catapult University).  Which is often a lot more time consuming than you'd think and really a lot more work than I ever thought. 
 
Today's post is the story of a video shoot for Dental Products Report and how the logistics of things like this can be so doggone difficult sometimes.
 
In early December I had a conference call to plan some upcoming work with DPR.  One of the projects was to shoot a video for an advertiser.  It was a fairly straightforward project and the best part for me was no travel.  The video crew would come to me and we would shoot in my office.  I really love my "other jobs", but the travel part is the hardest part.  So… needless to say I was thrilled that this could all be accomplished quickly & easily without me ever setting foot in an airport.
 
We scheduled the morning of December 21st to shoot.  My last day in the office for 2012 would be the 20th so I was looking forward to a low stress shoot.  Well, weather moved in on December 20th and the video crew, based in Los Angeles, could not fly into my beloved home town.  They showed up at LAX only to be told there was no way to get to KC.  A flurry of emails followed (we were really trying to wrap this project as soon as we could) and we finally decided that everyone's schedules would again align on Thursday December 27th.
 
As luck would have it, a major winter storm was barreling across the continental US on Wednesday the 26th and, despite the fact that Kansas City was clear and beautiful, the connection cities for the video crew were not so lucky.  The crew once again went to LAX and waited for most of the day only to finally be told, once again, that there was no way they were going to get to Kansas City that day.
 
Another torrent of emails ensued and we finally worked out that Friday January 4th would be the next targeted shoot date.  The idea was to meet at my office at 10:00 a.m. and be done by 3:00 p.m. at the latest.  I arrived at 9:30 to do some administrative catching up from the previous day and straightened up my desk a bit.
 
At 9:55 the video crew showed up with a bit of a problem.  It seemed their flight from LAX was a 2 hop trip with a layover in Denver.  Somehow the suitcases with clothes made the connection, but the large bag with the video equipment did not.  The airline had tracked the bag and had it on the first flight out of Denver Friday morning and it would be landing at KCI at 11:30.  The crew would drive to KCI (about 45 minutes each way) grab the bag & then return.
 
At about 12 noon, I received a call from the video crew.  It seems the flight from Denver to KC had been canceled.  Now the equipment was due to arrive to 2:30 p.m.  I had an appointment I couldn't miss at 2:15 so I left the office to make the appointment and would return to meet the crew.
 
We were finally at the office with everything we needed at 3:30 (yup, 5 1/2 hours after we were supposed to start and 30 minutes after the latest time we should have wrapped).
 
The camera was setup on the tripod, checked, etc.  Then the lighting stands were assembled and plugged in.  About 3-5 minutes after turning on the lights (we had checked the camera lighting levels and other things already) there was a sound like a gunshot and one of the high intensity special videographer bulbs literally exploded.  Shards of glass rained down.  We spent the next several minutes picking up/cleaning up glass.  While in the "clean up" phase there was another pop and the second light fried out.  At least this one stayed in one piece and we just had to deal with a bulb that was charred black but still intact.
 
Our final solution was to point 3 dental track lights at the area where we were planning to shoot.  They provided enough illumination that the crew was able to get the camera to compensate for it.  I personally find that aspect of things ironic and more than a bit funny.  I'm a huge fan of LED lights that attach to my surgical telescopes.  Having a "nose light" is much easy and more efficient than using a track light.  Over the years I've done some testing a track lights for some manufacturers and that was why we had state of the art lights that could compensate for the lost professional Klieg lights.  Just a really lucky break for us...
 
After that, it seemed that the curse had been lifted and we actually completed the shoot with no more delays or disasters.  However, until the actual footage is edited and the project marked "totally completed" I won't rest easy.  This has just been way too crazy of a situation to ever think of it as being done… at least until it *is* done.
 
It was dark outside by the time I changed my clothes and headed home.  I'll let you know when the video gets released.  It will probably be much more fun to watch since you now have the inside story!

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