Power cables running from four diesel, truck sized generators into a 20,000 square foot ballroom.
You think professional photographers are insane about back-up and the need to prevent failure at all costs? I recently did a corporate show in a splendid new hotel that was still working out a few kinks. I am good friends with the production company that turned a bare exhibition space into a high tech wonderland for a week. Acres of computer controlled, color shifting LED accent lights. Computer controlled moving lights. Hundreds of pedestals with tech products and demos as far as the eye could see.
They did due diligence months ago to make sure that the hotel was wired with enough juice to handle everything but that was all...........theoretical. The day before doors opened they brought up all the lights and in a few minutes the exhibition space went dark. Everything shut down. The hotel worked on it. The production company immediately got on the phone and arranged an alternate source of power. No questions asked. No prayerful hoping. All business. All on. All the time.
Turned out to be a programming glitch and the hotel ended up having more than enough power on tap. But the generators stayed in place. Just in case. The production company's motto? "When the credits roll make sure that heads don't." And that motto is trademarked. They don't have shows go down. It doesn't happen.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions over the years, are at stake thru reputation and word of mouth.
Next time someone tells you that you don't go on a job without mission critical back-up please remember how the big boys roll and save yourself from that possible career ending failure. Pack twice as much as you need. Make sure it works. Get ready for Murphy's Law.