Even in the now famous, hilarious and viral video of Seinfeld getting coffee with Barack Obama the cameraman loses focus a couple times. (see 4:15 and how camera person corrects at 4:20).
I don’t know about you, but I have awoke in the middle of the night regretting a focus move I did that didn’t turn out that I can’t ‘fix’ – and the subject was not The U.S. President! Can’t imagine what I’d do if I lost focus of OBAMA & SEINFELD!! I’d consider quitting my chosen profession no doubt (key to do before you get fired!).
But I like to think I’d calm down and remember seeing focus ‘errors’ in the biggest budget pictures (many actually within numerous episodes of “Seinfeld”) and then I’d think “to err is human”.
And what’s more, setting the camera on ‘auto’ focus to avoid any potential focus problems is appealing as it’s a safe, easy strategy. But ‘safe’ and ‘easy’ doesn’t yield the best results.
See, manual focus is where cinematic magic (and disaster) can happen. But as one too-famous-to-name cinematographer said “Go big (and manual) or go home!!”