352MC – LED Suit Problems on the Shoot

by alexmasonphotography

The suit was built in the nick of time for various reasons but we had it and it was all working perfectly. We had the tense moment of Chris trying it on and seeing if he could flip in it without it all falling apart and we were in luck. It all stayed together. This boosted our moral and it was even more boosted when we turned on the lights in the dark. It looked fantastic!

We had to stitch on the hands and feet when he had it on in the dark otherwise it wouldn’t work out. We had a battery pack in each foot and one behind his neck.

After getting a couple of close up detail shots of Chris running past the camera in slow motion we decided to go do one of our biggest shots “the money making shots”. As we were setting up, Chris sat down and I looked at him and realised that half of the suit had stopped working. At first I thought it was probably just not turned on and then we all gathered round to realise that it was potentially broken… James fiddled about with it for about 5 minutes whilst I held the torch in place and we came to the conclusion it might have been the batteries. This was a set back enough having to waste over an hour leaving the forest to get more batteries. As James and Josh went to go and get the batteries I made a fire so that Chris and myself could stay warm and try and keep us feeling positive, baring in mind Chris has already done a lot of freerunning today but is now feeling cold as temperature drops and his suit stays thin and cold. The fire seemed to sort him out for a bit and whilst collecting wood for the fire I was beginning to think, how can it be the batteries…? We just put new ones in. I was hoping it was the batteries because that is easy to fix.

After a long hour and a half, James appeared with the batteries and put them in the battery pack. It was the moment of truth. We all gathered round praying that they work… and they didn’t. Bollocks! This was exactly what we didn’t need. I could feel myself getting angry and beginning to lose faith so took a breather. After some perseverance we managed to cut through the plastic casing of the wire and re-wire the two bits of wire which fixed it! Phew! It was still risky though as we had to have Chris jumping around whilst being uncertain that the re-wired wire would stay in one piece. Luckily it did. That wasn’t what I expected to go wrong and I am still amazed now that we managed to get it to work.

We only had one shot at this. We had rented all this equipment and with one single bit of equipment not working, the whole shoot would not have been able to happen to the effect that it did. We only had Chris for that day, his knee was okay, his ankle was okay, the weather was okay and pretty much everything else was. It just takes one thing to go wrong and it really can mess things up. Luckily for us, it was only a temporary thing on the night.