Friday, June 29, 2007

Mistakes- part 3

I was going to title this post- Mistakes- Finale, but I know myself and there will be more mistakes in my future so stay tuned.

What follows is a series of random errors, mistakes and goofs I have made over 20+ years of being a filmmaker. No one was seriously hurt in the process and we all lived to shoot film another day.

1) Someway, somehow I convinced Chicago's big camera rental house to give 20-year old me a crane -for free- for the weekend. This is a huge and expensive piece of gear, and potentially dangerous to operate. Day 1, we got it stuck in the mud. Day 2, when empty it crashed to the ground. Day 3, we had to move the truck it was delivered on outdoors. (We were shooting on a stage and had brought it inside.) We left the windows open, an ice storm ensued and at 6am we are chiseling ice off the front seat, steering wheel and dashboard of the vehicle. At 9:00 it was back at the camera shop no worse for wear.

2) I left a 12 foot by 12 foot silk and metal frame on the ground in a park for two days. How we didn't remember to pick it up is beyond me. When Stephan and I returned gear two days later the man said, "Where's the 12 by?" Without missing a beat Stephan said, "Oh, we returned it to the other place by mistake." We ran out of there and hauled ass back to the suburbs, and there, where we left it two days earlier was our silk.

3) In a big scene in Victimless Crimes- when the bad guy cop comes and interviews our leading lady- there is a big roll of gaffer's tape right in plain sight. It only took me 30 or 40 viewings in the editing room to notice it, yet other people see it right away. I try to pass it off as set decoration, but who has 2-inch roll of gaffers tape sitting in their living room.

4) After a long night shooting a music video I had to get on a plane for L.A. This was pre-internet, pre-cell phone. I walked from the set with about $900 of petty cash in my pocket. The producer, who was from out of town and didn't know me, thought I stole it and for 3 days wanted me arrested.

5) For my student film, The Law of Inertia, I borrowed a Vespa. I convinced a frat boy to loan it to me and not 15 seconds after I took possession, I wiped out and scraped the side. (Scraped me pretty good too, but that's another story.) I copped to the offense and he let me off the hook.

I am sure there are more, these are the goofs that popped into my mind recently.



Mark Leslie Woods said...

Great stories! You should write a book, Peter. I can see one evolving here . . .

Rose said...

I agree! Good stuff.

MoonBros said...

Love the story about the crane... Just HOW in the world did you get it for free?!

We've had our own share of mistakes... We're based in New York City and last August (right before the U.S. Open was to start) we wanted to shoot some scenes on in the park surrounding the tennis stadium. (This was the day before the competition was to start.)

Well, we had all the paperwork, but had NOT requested parking permits (We figured that this wouldn't be a problem since the park has several free parking lots.)

However, due to the heightened security for the U.S. Open, it turned out that the parking lot that we had chosen happened to be occupied as the temporary headquarters of the New York Police Department! Oops...

Well, with a little persuasion, our Production Manager finally got permission for our small skeleton crew to park among the police cruisers...

Joey said...

We used to have a crane until sometime last summer someone who wasn't trained set it up. The way they built it didn't allow the platform to bend, so when the crane was lifted (with people on it) the weight was thrown off and it came crashing down, leaving some crew members with broken ribs. Now all we have is a super jib.