What's Plan C?

This is a rule I apply to everything in life.

And I hope in some small way it can bring you some value in yours.

In it’s simplest form ‘Plan C’ is the idea of having three plans (or two backups) for everything you intend to do.

Let me explain…

Plan A — is your intended course of action (and what you hope will happen)

Plan B — is your backup in case that can’t happen.

Plan C — is the backup for your backup.

Plan C It’s arguably the most important of all, it’s the thing you’re 99.99% sure you can make work should absolutely everything else fail.

This idea stems from the common video production procedure of always making three copies of your footage after filming. Lost footage can never be replaced and it’s something that collectively terrifies us all in the industry.

But in making three backup copies, should your your first hard drive fail, you’ve then got two back-up options.

If you only make one copy and that hard drive fails, it’s a difficult one to explain to your client.

To add some value for you aspiring videographers/photographers reading this, it’s good to have three copies, two of which are in separate places. Because if all your hard drives are in one place and that building is robbed, or you spill a drink all over them they could all be irrecoverably damaged. If there’s another copy on a drive in a different location, you’ve still got one safe.

I know that’s often difficult to practically keep in another place, but you can do things like upload your footage to Dropbox or give your parents a hard drive to take to work or keep in their house.

And if in the end your third backup in a different location does fail, no-one can argue that you haven’t done your due diligence.

In my first summer as a freelance videographer, I learned the hard way how important Plan C is.

I’d just started doing camera crane operation, which despite being a really fun job, is also seriously stressful. There’s an unbelievable amount of intricate and vital equipment that goes in to rigging a camera crane to ensure that this difficult job can be made as easy as possible.

Being very nervous ahead of my first specialist job I’d gone out and spent a lot of money on new kit for the crane. New camera batteries, new memory cards and a couple of HDMI cables for my new monitor.

It’s that word “couple” that you will see, soon became my downfall.

After finishing filming at location one of the day, we hurried to central London arriving only with minutes to spare before needing to be rigged and ready to film in location two. Hastily rigging up the camera crane I trapped the first HDMI cable in the crane mechanism, breaking it and thus rendering it useless, and so had to resort to my plan B.

I plugged in the second cable, quickly put up the crane for a quick test run and realised I hadn’t left myself enough slack again bending this brand new cable.

I had no Plan C.

Fortunately enough on this occasion I could still operate the crane using the viewfinder on the camera, it wasn’t ideal and my footage would have certainly been a lot better if I’d had a third backup.

So nowadays before every shoot I’ll think to myself “What’s Plan C?”, going through scenarios where my first and second options for camera’s, audio or other equipment fails and thinking what I’m going to do to still ensure I can get the quality of footage the client needs.

Sure a lot of the time this means I turn up with a car full of kit, 75% of which I might not use. But I can tell you firsthand…

“It’s a much better feeling to have it and not use it, then not have it and need it”

I hope for you in the future, that one day having a Plan C will save the day.

So remember, don’t forget Plan C.

And I wish you every success.


This story was originally posted on www.jacktompkins.co

What I’m Currently Reading…

‘Crushing It’ — by Gary Vaynerchuk — it’s a great one! Check it out here… https://amzn.to/2t13pmR)

About Jack

I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.

Visit www.jacktompkins.co

You can follow me on YouTube where I post weekly vlogs sharing my experience and opinion on content production.

YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/user/jackt18

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Jack Tompkins