Video Producer Horror Stories

Ok. Gear up… it’s time for readers to confess their errors in a public arena – the annals of Videomaker magazine and website for possible entry in our annual “Video Horror Stories”. The rules are simple: tell us in 500 words or less about that time when, as a video producer, things that could go wrong, did go wrong… and how you remedied it, (if the footage was salvageable that is!) Did you show up to the chapel without fresh videotape? How ’bout that time you dropped the camera and broke the viewfinder, but still had to shoot the interview with the CEO of the company that hired you? Don’t forget that time you were stuck in the rain at a high school football game, how did you protect the camera?

This is a fun way to share stories on what went wrong, and, hopefully, how you got the shot anyway, and to show everyone that stuff happens to video producers all the time, we’re just savvy enough to know how to wade through it to get to the other side.

Examples of past stories can be found in the 2006-2008 October issues. Or online at the following “Annual Video Horror Stories” article links: October 2006: October 2007: October 2008.

The Horror Stories feature will run in the October ’09 issue and entries must be received by June 30th for consideration. Entries must be 500 words or less, and must include writer’s address, phone number and email. Not all submissions can be printed, and we reserve the right to edit for grammar, spelling and technical accuracy. So c’mon! What do YOU have to confess to? Time to spill! Send submissions to and write Horror Stories in the subject line.

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Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.


  1. The first ever out of state shoot & one of the biggest productions I ever did for the wrestling show, one wrestler whipped another into the turnbuckles… which happened to be the exact location that I was shooting from. The wrestler tried to flip out of the way and I tried to move. We didnt quite make it…
    His foot caught my arm, which sent the camera flying.
    I heard a crack, followed by a smash… And my favorite camera ever, was dead.
    What happened next you ask? Why I picked it up & continued to shoot with it of course! And now the broken camera footage lives on forever in this very clip:

    And that concludes the story of my first & last $600 camcorder purchase!