Who put the F in the WTF?

This is supposed to be my forum for going off-topic, “sometimes wildly so.” But the past couple of weeks I’ve talked about food and health, wine and health… This week, I just want to give you a good, healthy laugh.

I WARN YOU, THOUGH: If you’re at work or the kids are up, proceed with caution. If you’ve read my What’s with the name? page, you know that I can speak fluent sailor on occasion. But the star of this video blows right past me, carpet bombing with more F-bombs than I’ve ever dropped on the worst night in the kitchen. Nothing sexual or offensive here [unless you’re offended by the F-bomb itself]—just a guy expressing his, shall we say, displeasure over the way things are going during a corporate video shoot.

I can totally sympathize. I work in advertising and have been on some hellacious TV shoots. On one little 10-second TV spot for a bank, for instance, the client-picked talent could not for the life of her nail the line. The director talked to her. As the writer/creative director, I talked to her. We both delivered the line as it should be read—all she had to do was mimic us, for crying out loud, but no dice. Finally, after more than 30 takes, we got something out of her that we all agreed was close enough. Afterwards, the director came to me holding an entire 35mm reel of film, all unusable takes, and asked if I was sure the last take [on a fresh reel] was what we wanted. I said it was. We threw away the entire unprocessed reel of film rather than pay to have it processed.

Sometimes, it’s not just the talent that’s the problem. We did a 30-second spot for a St. Louis restaurant chain once that again required thirty-something takes. The entire commercial was a single shot, with the camera dollying to follow the talent across the set. So in other words, if any one part of a take was bad, the whole thing was unusable. Sometimes, the problem was indeed the talent, one of the chain partners, blowing his lines. Other times, it was a bad camera move, the plate of pasta looking flat or not steaming enough [the restaurant chain’s executive chef kept making plate after plate for us as the shoot progressed], a key prop failing to fall on cue… Unlike the guy in the video below, our client was a great sport about it and kept up the energy. Still, I was glad that since we’d put him through so much, I was able to tell him that we in fact used the very last take.

Okay, without further ado, the video. Either enjoy or consider yourself forewarned.

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One Response to “Who put the F in the WTF?”

  1. Kirsten Says:

    LOL!!!!!! Wow…nothing quite like that has ever happened on any shoots I have been a part of…too funny (or appalling!)

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