It’s your worst nightmare on set: you’re about to roll camera when suddenly it shuts off.
You press the power button, you check the cables, and you even try cursing at the thing, but nothing is working. Before you know it, you’re desperate — mashing all the buttons on the side, blowing in crevasses like it’s a nintendo cartridge, and even petting the thing to make it purr, but no dice.
You look towards the sky and the sun is setting and that magic hour is quickly condensing into a magic 10 minute deadline.
So what do you do?
You need to ask for time to address the problem.
The first thing you should do is inform the assistant director that you need time.
If you’re lucky, they can shift some things around and buy you a few minutes which will help you approach the problem in a more methodical way.
Even if there is no time, you need to ask for it.
What this does is create an expectation that there will be lost time — because there probably will be. If you ask for a minute and are told “we don’t have that minute!” at least now you’ve informed someone that, well, it’s just not going to be fixed now.
And with that sobering news, they can start executing their backup plan.
And you can start working your magic.