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J & S
January 30, 2007

I can't remember who this show was for, I only remember the name of the company that hired us (J & S). The show had a James Bond theme, hence the spiral-portal door thingy with the head sticking through it (that's our Stage Manager, by the way). Unfortunately, the most interesting parts of this show couldn't be caught on camera. Here's the story. First, I was scheduled to run a camera. But then the guy they wanted to be a Tape Operator couldn't do it, and I was the most reliable person on the crew, so I was asked to step up and take his place. It was a 5 day run in Jacksonville, and most of the crew came from Orlando with a few from somewhere up north of Jax. The first day, one of the camera ops couldn't make it, but since he had already arranged that with the scheduler, it was OK. We had another op fill in just for that day. So the correct op came in for the second day, but got lousy reviews. The third and fourth day weren't any better. The client was not happy with his performance or our company's choice of crew members. This camera op was someone I had met once before and we knew a few people in common, so I was friendly with him during the run of the show. On the evening of the fourth day, during a casual conversation, he mentioned to me that he wouldn't be in for the fifth day, and he is sending someone in to take his place. Since he wasn't here for the first day either, I didn't think anything of it, really.

On the morning of the fifth day, I came in early and our Stage Manager and Video Director were already there. The call time for the camera operators came and went and it's starting to get close to showtime. Only one of the 3 scheduled camera ops were there. The V.D. started asking where everyone is. I looked up, surprised, and asked if no one knew that this particular op wasn't coming in. No one knew. We called up our crew chief (who had a later call time since she was doing breakouts and not needed for the general session) to find out what was going on. After much scrambling, we discovered that our company only has an order for 2 camera ops that day, not 3, and the missing op's replacement had arrived ... who was a competent stagehand, but had never run camera before!

Well, the client thought the missing op sucked, but he was supposed to run handheld, which is definately not something a first-timer can pick up on the fly like that. So we were down to 1 camera operator for a 3-camera show. I happened to have a very light cue day that day, I only had one tape roll at the top of the show and at the end during walk-out, so I volunteered to run out after my first cue and pick up the handheld while our sole remaining op covered the long-shot. So I did. I started the record decks, rolled the DVD, stopped it when it was over, threw off my headset, ran out front to the hand-held camera, did the show, made all my house pickups (that the missing op failed to do all week, according to the V.D.), ran backstage again just in time to run the DVD cue at the end of the show, and stop the record decks at the end. Phew! After the break, I did it all again for the afternoon session.

But it doesn't stop there! During the break, 3 of the load-out hands (who were coming from somewhere up north of Jacksonville) called our crew chief to tell her that the drive was too far to make it worthwhile for a 4-hour mini! The chief had a fit and yelled that if the drive wasn't worth it for 4 hours, they should have turned down the gig when they were called, not bailed out 2.5 hours before their call time, cutting our load-out crew in half! So I called up a buddy of mine who lives in Jacksonville and asked if he knew anyone available immediately for a 4-hour load out. He called back after 20 minutes and said he had 3 guys on their way over. Hooray! So twice in one day, I saved the show! And my buddy there in Jax, because he came through for us like that, got picked up by this company as their Jacksonville Crew Chief, since our chief that day was really from Orlando. So my buddy got extra work out of it. But none of that photographs well.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images. Please do not steal these images. If you wish to copy these images, show these images on your own website or link to mine, please ask permission first.

James Bond Portal
Stage Manager & The Portal
James Bond Portal
The LD turns on some lights for the pics
LG James Bond Portal
That's a very trusting SM to stick his head in there and let us shut it!
LG Convention
Look mom, this is the equipment I run!
LG Convention
Robbie & Wendy taking a smoke break
LG Convention
Robbie hides from the camera

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