Luck, and the end of it

I don’t know if I believe in luck, fate, karma or anything like that. But prior to 5pm yesterday Hellbride had an utterly charmed shoot, and after 5pm yesterday every single bit of bad luck that could possibly drop on our heads did, to such a degree that if it had happened in a TV show you’d have complained at how unrealistic it was.

Short version, (although the long version and extended disco remix will play in my nightmares until my dying day), runs like this; with all cast in full, blood-drenched wedding clothing, we still had an awful lot of the wedding to shoot and limited time. Because my cast and crew are, as I believe I might have previously mentioned, wonderful, they agree to stay for as long as it takes to get the sequence finished. We hunker down for a long evening, but know that we’re getting great stuff in the can.

Suddenly, a mains lead gets pulled taut and snaps out of the back of the HD camera. We don’t realise for several minutes that it has actually broken the connector in the back of the camera, meaning that the camera cannot take power. The battery only has five minutes life left, and cannot be recharged because it charges via the camera, which, in case you missed it, cannot take power. Various options are discussed. Phone calls are made, but we’re into the evening and EVERYWHERE is closed. The nearest stockist of external chargers for our battery type turns out to be several hours away. And here’s the kicker; cast availability after tonight is a huge problem, meaning that we can’t even scrap the shoot and pick up again, because one of our main characters is seriously unavailable from this point on, and tonight was due to be his last one on set.

We have five minutes battery charge left to play with. I can’t even see what our DP Al is framing, because to power the extra screen would use power we can’t afford to lose. And we have to shoot a main character’s final scene as a one-take wonder.

I haven’t even been able to watch the footage back. The camera lies inert, waiting for a charged battery. Our Line Producer Nick is at this very moment making the drive to pick up the external charger, and we’ve delayed the start of this morning’s shooting by three hours.

There was a load more crap besides, but you can wait for the sobbing director’s commentary. And that’s why too much good luck makes me nervous.

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