I worked with a colleague last week on a shoot for his new client. Someone new to the world of video production. The shoot went great. He directed and would be editing the final pieces. I did the lighting and shot lifestyle scenes in a new construction home. The client was very excited about the video. Then she insisted on helping us load out of the house.
In my defense, all of the breakable/valuable things were already put away- and we needed to get out of there as our production window was about to close.
In her defense, she was begging to help with something…anything. She must have felt guilty watching us work last last few hours while lugging her phone around.
We let her carry some stingers. She went back in and grabbed the gel kit and laid it down next to my truck. The wind came up. The gel kit was not zipped. It was facing the wrong way. Poof.
In an instant, I heard the crinkle of gel everywhere. I looked up and saw pieces of quarter blue, 216, 1/2 CTO, minus green, Tough Opal and others violently populating the neighborhood. I managed to get about half of it under control and from out under other vehicles. The other half was generating a substantial lead when the client reappeared with a light stand. She gasped and started chasing the CTO that was headed down range. By now, the airborne correction gels were across the cul de sac and headed toward a newly poured foundation.
When she got close to grabbing the first piece, I had already progressed through all of the stages of guilt management and had come to peace with the matter. I had lost around $20-30 bucks in materials and could easily replace them from other rolls I have in inventory. I yelled for her to “let it go.” She could not hear me. The combination of wind noise and the sharp crinkle a gel makes while scraping across a driveway was just too much. The client kept chasing.
Eventually she made it back with a single piece of CTO and very lengthy and out of breath apology. I felt so bad for her. She thought she had broken and lost several hundred, if not thousands of dollars worth of my equipment. She was not prepared to write that check. I tried to console her that it was much less and not worth the concern. Her look back was a 50/50 mix of relief and pure disgust for not stopping her sooner. Hard to tell which. Hell of a way to introduce someone to production.