Rants, Pants and Ultimate on F350

Got a lot to get off my chest today. Unfortunately most of it I can’t print!

Let’s start with something positive and then descend into whining.

Tomorrow I am shooting 3 or 4 corporate interviews for a big LA client. I was hired by recommendation and it wasn’t until a few days ago that we even talked about what I was shooting on. I assumed it was the EX1 and Letus as that is where most of my referrals come from. But it sounded like tapeless scared them so they sort of preferred me to shoot on the F350. Im the end I convinced them this was the way to go but out of curiosity I decided to try and mount the Letus Ultimate on my F350.

I think it worked, hard to tell with just a couple of tests. So I changed the ring from 77 to 82mm for my Canon Lens and it zoomed in and focussed no problems. I need to do some charts to verify as I don’t want to work with new clients with untested gear. Here are some photos of it. We need Hien’s relay really. Where is it Hien?

My Beautiful EX1 is no more. It has been “lost” by UPS. I had to jump through so many hoops for them to admit they had lost it.
It was supposed to be going to Sony Prime Support for firmware upgrades and paint fix. Unfortunately it got lost in their main hub. After some negotiation with Sony, well actually a lot of phone calls they are sending me a loan unit in the meantime. Officially UPS don’t declare something lost for about 8 days after a tracking type thingy is requested to trace it, oh that’s the word! A tracer! Sony Prime Support policy for some odd reason needed proof that the camera was indeed picked up from me for them to believe it was lost. The tracking info saying it was, was not enough, they needed a receipt. I wasn’t given one so I had to really complain fiercely to get them to cough a loan unit up. Thankfully they are sending one and I should have it tomorrow.
I just hate bureaucracy. Everybody has rules, guidelines and policy but it seems more and more it is harder to reach a level of understanding on a personal level. UPS and Sony really should be apologizing profusely for losing my baby. After all this is the camera that shot Piccadilly Furs, Kew Gardens, The Trench, Confession, Dungeness and just about all of my shorts. Now it is no more!
On a different topic I am interested to hear what people’s policies are for job cancellations, both day jobs and long trips. I have my own policy, be curious to hear what other people think.
Other rants are British Midland being unable to make my Debit card work for my flight to Dublin tomorrow night. Another one is my coffee machine going missing for two weeks at the repair shop, they eventually found it. Oh, and my worst gripe is chasing money owed. There is nothing worse than being told money will be in my account next day and it never is. Aaarhgh!!!
OK, pants (underwear to you Yankees). Why do I never have any clean pants?



  1. random responses:

    – surprised you haven’t mounted your letus to your 350 sooner.
    – worried about tapeless? isn’t the 350 tapeless as well?
    (just a disc v SxS)
    – clients are a strange breed, image what we could do without them
    – sorry to hear your #3 is gone. it did live a good life,
    better than most.
    – bureaucracy, i’ll pass on this rant
    – chasing money is the worst, i work with a rather large corporation.
    and it seems i am always ‘supporting’ them net 30 my ass
    – i would think either you don’t do laundry enough, OR you just
    don’t own enough pants. maybe you should go commando
    more often?

  2. Phil
    Regarding cancellations, here’s how I do it.
    On a freelance job such as yours I usually bid a block rate against a fixed amount of time (e.g. $5k against 5×10 hour work days, overage pro rata) and then I ask for a deposit to secure the booking, typically the first day, or either a third or a half, depending on the size of the assignment and the duration of the job. Thereafter I have regular payment intervals set up, essentially in advance of the work being done.
    I usually don’t start working until that deposit has cleared the bank, and usually don’t continue working until the interval payments have similarly cleared.
    The only time I charge at the end of a job is cash on delivery, or maybe a week or two after that if it’s a previous and well known client (or someone big like a US television network or major movie studio, They usually have payment plans and schedules set up already).

    While I try to make the payment schedule not too onerous for the client, the fact remains that I’ve been doing this too long to finance their projects or operations for them.


  3. Hello Phil,
    I feel your pain re chasing cash. I’m spending today doing just that.
    (“Please send invoice again”,”accountant on holiday”)

    On another note, what’s the story with your Dublin talk? Where/when?

    Alan (Dublin)

  4. hello philip, are the brass nuts/ fixings on the side of your letus a personal fix to get rid of the crazy imperial allen bolts?, I would like these also for fixing the letus to the camera end, I lost the imperial allen key on a job in spain and had to file a new one down from a 3mm key, it sure looked pro!

  5. Sounds like my Monday morning , Phil… Make sure you give Sony hell and maybe the link to your website/blog to confirm that you probably influenced the sale of more EX1’s than the entire marketing team at Sony! At least you have a back up EX1 and a rental… As for job cancellations and my similar story that happened monday… Shooting a doco out in Seattle (I live in DC), got to the airport to fly out first thing Monday morning 6am… flight was delayed, then the plane broke, so they switched everyone to a smaller plane, ALL of my gear and luggage was checked in pelican cases that was on board the broken plane which got switched to another plane at another gate, we were bumped from this plane because it was smaller, thus my luggage was on its way to Seattle with me only to be circulating the turnstyle for gear poachers… Frantically I was on the phone with United’s baggage service and they claimed they couldn’t help me get in touch with SEATAC baggage people… frustration and anger set in… by this time it’s noon… with no end in sight, they had kicked us back to the broken plane we had started with and said they were flying in a part from Ohio to get it fixed in 30 minutes… 7 hours later they canceled the flight… Thus, the doco had to be postponed over a month because all of the important interviews were scheduled at 8am-3pm in Seattle the next morning and there were NO flights out there that would get us there in time… We were forced to bag the shoot, canceling rented equipment, hotels, rental car, a PA out in Tacoma, return flights and then had to hope we got my gear etc on the red eye out of seattle back to dc…. compensation was a free roundtrip economy ticket to contiguous 48 states and a $150 voucher… which will probably go to waste because United will be out of business before I can even take advantage of it… Anyway, thank the lord my gear made it back in one piece… I had it delivered to my house the following afternoon and it was all in one piece sans the locks on the pelican’s which TSA had decided to break and not return. PHEW… that’s a rant. I usually don’t cancel jobs unless the situation is such that there’s no possible way to get the job done right… this is one of those cases… otherwise, I try to get it done without fail. Do laundry.


  6. Dear Concerned,

    When a man runs out of underwear he can only last so long before bad things start to happen down there. When that happens, rants happen!

    Seriously the loss of my beloved ex1 is very sad to me. Can’t believe it has gone. We were going to get a civil partnership and everything. Her name was Emily. I miss her.

    Good to have a rant every now and the.

    Currently in British Midland lounge, just made check in for flight for dublin by ten minutes. My job for the US company took longer than planned, as they always do (!) so it was manic to get home, change kit pick up suitcase and race to airport.

    Kubalsky, you are weird. Everyone know when I answer the door butt naked it would be impossible to be shocked, amazed perhaps. Jealous probably, envious? Without a doubt! Burst out laughing? Yep!

    Alex, they are part of the Ultimate. Back Focus and the other one is for the film plane.

    Alan coming to Dublin for doc on Duty Free. Not sure where I will be but I will be at the irish Derby on Sunday if you pop along and look out for me, or call me!

  7. Poor Philip ! Argggh UPS ! I hope you will recover your EX-1.

    Congratulations for the ultimate on the F350 ! Could we see shooting pictures on ExposureRoom ?

    I have a question : I work in France on documentaries with the F350 too. For a cost reason (…) I have to shoot 3 days with a DSR-450. I used it few months ago but I don’t remember : can I use the “same” settings ( cine4 / Hisat / master gamma -30 / Mast. Black -10) like the F350 ? Or do you have preset settings to approach my XDcam Picture ?
    Thanks for your help if you can…

    William – DP & Director in Paris, France.

Leave a Reply