Tim, an overly ambitious first-time filmmaker, has recklessly risked his savings to make a low-budget biblical epic - ‘Moses: Escape from Egypt’. It’s day 15 of this disastrous shoot. Director of Photography, Anna, has walked off in the middle of a take, very upset about something. With his focus on getting the film completed, Tim asks his well-meaning, yet bumbling dad, who’s been busy making the cheese sandwiches, to step in as camera operator. Epic Fail will be comprised wholly of found footage from Tim’s camera, when his dad thinks it’s not recording, but it is. Unbeknownst to everyone, all their valuable takes are missed. After a scene featuring a ludicrously small statue of a golden calf, they begin a dramatic mountainside sequence. Moses, played by Tim, must plead to God to forgive the Israelites. The irony becomes clear: one of the extras had said something offensive to Anna, and Tim needs to make amends. He finally delivers a heartfelt apology, admitting he can’t continue without her. Anna agrees to help Tim finish the film. As they walk back towards the camera, Anna notices it’s recording. Looking down the lens, Tim realises his huge mistake – a totally epic fail!
As much as it pains me to compare a DoP to God, this is who Anna represents in this story. Tim must ask her for forgiveness on behalf of others, in a similar way to how Moses had to plead to God to forgive the Israelites for worshipping a gold statue of a cow (Exodus 32: 31-32). Tim learns directly from the example of Moses, who he is playing in his misguided biblical epic. Moses needed to apologise in order to get God’s help to guide the Israelites to the promised land and Tim needs to get Anna back on board to be able to complete his ridiculously ambitious film. Although the story of Epic Fail isn’t autobiographical, it is partly inspired by some experiences I have had on film shoots, where I have needed to take responsibility for the actions of others. However, I can reassure you that I have thankfully never had the same camera problems as Tim!