Monday 25 October 2010

The One Where A Tripod Plate Gives The Kid A Breakdown

Sometimes you really feel like you know yourself. You really have your life, and your mind, figured out. You've dealt with your personal problems, overcome confidence issues-- and life seems like one big bowl of sunshine; a universe full of love and opportunity. It's easy to feel like this when nothing is really happening, and when nothing in particular is going wrong. But then something drastic can happen; like a death, a huge bill, or a small tripod plate going missing.

For those of you that don't know -- a tripod plate is the thing that fixes your camera to the tripod. Okay, you probably all knew that. I have two of these plates, at home; yet they both decided to go missing, leaving me to go completely insane.

It all started last week some time when a guy I know rang me up to ask if I wanted a camera job, as he couldn't do it. My initial thought was "Will this stop me from sitting around watching The West Wing?" which of course it would, but then he mentioned how much I would get paid - so I accepted. Because as much as I ramble on about artistic integrity and the heart of movies, in reality I just want a huge wad of cash.

So I took the job and went back to watching The West Wing and then before you know it today arrives and I'm suddenly very aware that tomorrow I have the shoot. So I go find my equipment. Everything is fine. Apart from the Tripod Plate. Which is missing.

It was actually missing two weeks ago, when I offered to film an audition piece for an actress friend. She thought I was a bit insane when, in between the tripod and the camera I placed a big medical encyclopedia from 1967. Luckily this not only helped stabilize the camera but also enabled me to diagnose her with lumbago. Of course, going out on a professional shoot - it is less acceptable to balance equipment on a medical book, especially as I have a tendency to test people's knowledge of Onychogryphosis.

The plate was missing, but I figured it would be laying around, somewhere. I still believe it is laying around somewhere, probably chilling out and relaxing-- but after a brief, carefree look for it this morning, I suddenly began to go insane. WHERE THE HELL IS THE TRIPOD PLATE? I looked everywhere. Camera bags, in the garage where my old lighting gear is, in my room, in the fridge, in the toaster. Nowhere-- where the hell was it?

Maybe that friend who borrowed my tripod because he was filming a wedding has it? In fact, I was certain he had it. Even though, truthfully; I remember him returning the tripod and the plate, maybe he didn't? Or maybe he did but, when I turned away, stole it back from me. Why would somebody steal a tripod plate when they don't have a tripod or a camera? I don't know, but I was certain he stole it and was ready to phone him up and scream at him just as soon as I took the carpet up to search for the long lost Tripod Plate.

I looked in the same places, again and again. I then text the guy who got me the job to suggest my suddenly genius idea of doing it handheld. He called me back and told me to stop being insane and said "you really need a tripod."
I said "I have one."
And he said "you should use it."
So I said "I will."
And he said "so what's the problem with your tripod?"
And I said "there's no problem with the tripod."
So he said "Why are we having this conversation?"
And I said "because of a tripod plate."
So he said "You don't have one?"
And I said "Actually I have two."
So he asked "What is the problem?"
And I said "I don't know where they are."

I began to panic. What the hell would I do if I didn't find my Tripod Plate? I immediately formulated an emergency plan, but found it hard to concentrate as I took in another episode of The West Wing.

The point of this story, in case you haven't figured it out already; is never, ever, trust a tripod plate.

Care to share?


  1. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)


  2. I really needed a laugh...and a smile... did you find your tripod plate yet? :-) ...

  3. Damn, that is a nail pulling story.

    My guess, plate is watching West Wing in some nondescript bar somewhere.

    I hope, post plate resolution, the job went stunningly and unexpectedly well.

  4. This? This is hilarious.

    If you find my brand new box of Q-Tips that have gone missing with your tripod plate, lemme know, k?


  5. This happens to me all the time, though it happens more so with wallets. I always leave my wallet in one of two places (table by door or table by my bed). For whatever reason it seems to me that the night before I have something important I need to be at promptly my wallet absolutely vanishes. Some horrid magic trick. After a hour or two I start becoming convinced somebody sneaked in and deliberately hid it.

    99% of the time it winds up being in some drawer or cabinet I was looking in and I just put it down there for no discernible reason (stupidity may be one). Hope you found it alright!