• Rob Floutier

Decision to make - Keys (and equipment) locked in the car

Keys locked in the car with 90% of the camera equipment still inside, 30 minutes before the bride is due to walk down the Aisle. This is the headline, now we can rewind a little:

It was the hottest day of the year so far and although a little uncomfortable, I wasn't complaining. The sun can occasionally create some very harsh shadows but predominantly it is the friend of a videographer and it is usually what couples are paying the big bucks for.

The first time filming at this location (Tudor Barn in Burnham), stunning venue, so I arrive around just over an hour before the ceremony is due to start, walk the venue with my camera to scout for good establishing shots. I meet the organiser, Debbie, who generously gives me her time and we walk through the day.

At this point I have my keys stuffed in my tight trouser pocket but they dig into my leg when crouching. So I head back to the onsite carpark, cram them into one of the bags inside the car and close boot.

You could argue (and would probably win) that it is a little daft to leave your car unlocked with expensive gear inside, this may even invalidate the contents insurance. However in my head, I was only going to get a few more establishing shots before getting properly set up, mic up the groom and be ready a good 15 minutes before the bride arrives and does her thing.

The car beeps - I tilt my head a little, pout a little, as I take in what has happened. A little like checking your account balance at a cash machine, I was a little reluctant to try the car doors as I didnt want to address what I thought might have happened. The gravitas of the situation forced me to try all 5 handles one by one, closing my eyes as I try the boot handle, as it remains shut.

I do not think of myself as a particularly anxious person, potentially quite the opposite, I like a challenge. With that said, I dont mind saying that this was an example of one of those situations I found it hard to see as 'a challenge'

My immediate reaction is call my wife (fiance at the time) to see if she can drive my spare key to the venue, but best case scenario she would arrive maybe at the same time as the bride and she was halfway to Milton Keynes at that point.

Honestly I dont like to over dramatize things but I really am sweating at this point, serious sweat. She doesn't pick up - I am cursing her name (non verbally). Next call is to my parents, they are very no nonsense people. As I thought, yep, they say they can help, but by this time they wont arrive until after the bride. I dont have any audio equipment, no second camera, no extra batteries of memory cards, no choice of lenses and it slowly dawns on me.

My decision - Hardly a rocket science idea but one that has practical and financial implications. It was going to be a little ugly but I was going to smash the window. For those that have never smashed a window (and I am hoping that is alot), it is not as easy as you might think.

I used my monopod, in a sort of punch movement. Having failed to break the rear passenger window with my initial attempt, the groomsmen pull up as a large group in a black cab, looking like they were midway through a stag do. Good vibe, lots of smiles and laughter. I had put down the monopod and gave them my best 'nothing to see here' smile.

Whack, the window smashes, very satisfying feeling. I remove the remnants of my window and reach in and grab all my bits from the boot. So it is a bit of a mess, but I will go clear it up later. Having got through that my luck did then shift, perhaps I felt empowered by getting through a difficult situation.

Another lesson (other than the obvious about the keys), getting through difficult situations can lift you to higher than you were before. This is the wedding video shot on that day:

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