Friday, 18 March 2011

The Invisible (Camera)Man...

It's inevitable that as a news cameraman, you will find yourself standing on the steps to a local courthouse. There's no getting away from the fact that most news stories will either start as a court story, or end up as one. Accepting that fact, I again found myself standing in the pouring rain, waiting for the defendant, the aggrieved, and the law.

Now as any person of the lens lugging persuasion will tell you, if you can get the shots required without a fuss, all the better. Make yourself as inconspicuous as possible, avoid the in yer face confrontation and things should go just dandy. However, court stories can throw curveballs at you that are not expected, such as defendants who would very much like to shove your camera where the sun don't shine. Families who are grieving for lost loved ones and see me as a big intrusion into their private lives, and even mean looking drug dealers who come over to you and ask if they looked good as you filmed them. Yep, strange things happen on court steps. I've been shouted at and threatened by thugs, businessmen, conmen and even grannies, I've stood for hours at a time waiting for the perp to leave the building and find that he left hours ago through the back door. All manner of things have been tried to avoid the public glare of the lens, many to no avail, some to spectacular success.

So it was a relief this morning to turn up at court at 9am sharp, and the defendant to walk up 30 seconds later and ask you if you would like a walking in shot. Music to my ears I tell ya. No shouts, no argy bargy, no thuggery. It doesn't happen this way very often, but when it does, it makes your day knowing that you won't have to chase after him, risk a thumping or fall over your own size 11's in the rush for a 3 or 4 second wobble shot. Today was a good day, all things considered. Except for the bloody rain...

Paul Martin.
Media Attention Ltd.