And with a push of a button, it was gone. Respect. Confidence. Career. It happened so fast that it felt like an out of body experience. Like when Patrick Swayze watched himself get killed in Ghost. I love my Canon D-SLR camera and love how effortless it is to get cinema style footage from it. But there is one drawback to them — digital cards.
I’ve shot a lot of footage with my camera and have gotten used to quickly swapping cards and batteries as it goes through a lot of both. And when you’re on a no-lo budget shoot speed is paramount. Unfortunately, last weekend, quickness and bad habits got the best of me.
After shooting four hours of footage, I went to make a quick battery change, and accidentally formatted my SD card. It was purely instinctual, like I’ve done it a hundred times. For some reason my brain equated swapping a battery with swapping an SD card, and every time I do that I format; a quality I hereby decree as bad!
Well, that’s the bad news. The good news is the director didn’t shoot me, but quickly made a contingency plan. We re-shot the previous four hours in one and a half, while a PA rushed the formatted SD card to a data recovery expert who was actually able to recover all the data. The production was saved despite my attempts to sabotage it (and my career).
The film we shot is for a local theater production called Silent Pictures written by Tommie Trull. The footage is to be used as a flashback / dream sequence of a silent film star. Below is a quick video I edited for myself to get a sense of where I wanted to go with it. The final film is 1920’s style black and white silent film, so I didn’t color correct. I used two songs. The first is Jane Doe by Never Shout Never, and the second song is by Devotchka.