Cinematographer & Filmmaker
Corey Steib
My Camera Stopped Working, What do I do Now.
by Corey Steib on February 5th, 2017

I have had this happen to me twice on set during my 13 year career so far. You are getting ready to roll the camera and out of no where it just stops and you are freaking out as your mind is going 100 mps. The producer wants to know what's going on and you are trying so hard to figure out why the camera shut down.

Sadly their are no ways to prevent this but their are a few steps that you can fallow in which I have learned early on in my career as a camera assistant. I did my college internship at panavision were I learned the in's and out's of every camera. I encourage you to go spend as much time at a rental house as you can because those camera technicians have heard and seen it all. 

One of the most important things that I have learned was how to narrow down the source of a camera shutdown. Using these tips can help you out in a pinch while on set.   

Shooting on Film

  1. Check the Battery (Throw a fully charged one on just to make sure)
  2. Check the battery cable
  3. Check the gate and film feed to make sure the film did not jam.
  4. Check the fuses inside the camera.
If all else fails then send it back to the rental house as it could be the motherboard inside the camera.

Shooting on Digital

  1. Check the Battery (Throw a fully charged one on just to make sure)
  2. Check the P Tape connector if you have one.
  3. Does the camera feel hot, If so let it sit and cool down.
  4. Check your media to make sure that it has a fast write speed
Weather temperatures play a roll as well in a camera shut down. Some cameras have a fuse and some don't. Make sure that you do not do a firmware update in between the production. It's always best to let the camera sit between 5 to 10 minutes and attempted to start it back up.  These simple steps can help you if you are a solo shooter and or a full production crew. If you are renting then call the rental house asap so that if need be they can overnight you a replacement camera.

Posted in General, Tips    Tagged with My Camera Stopped Working, Panavision, Tips


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