Thursday, 18 August 2011

Filming In Dangerous Places... Don't Forget Your Spare Underpants.

I've been a friend of Christian Parkinson now for a couple of years. Mainly conversing all things cameraman via web spaces such as Twitter and various blogs. And i have enjoyed speaking to him whilst he was out in deepest darkest Africa, filming news for the BBC on yet another trip to a war torn dictatorship, whilst i sip my Cafe Latte, and wait for a local interview in a sunny street somewhere in the South of England. Our professional lives could not be more different, except for the fact that we both haul lumps of news gathering equipment about in the search for a gripping picture for the same company.

Christian Parkinson in Harare, Zimbabwe. From

Christian has been the BBC News Cameraman in the South Africa office for a number of years now, travelling to war zones, disaster areas, and witnessing at first hand the Arab Spring in North Africa, Civil War in the Ivory Coast and other such African nations that seem to fall apart at the drop of a hat. Not only Africa, but the middle east is also stamped into his passport with trips to Afghanistan and Iraq. Yep... Chris has been shot at, mortared and threatened by unstable liquored up soldiers the world over and still looks like a youngster fresh out of BBC College. You would have thought that he was six feet six, built like a brick outhouse, lantern jawed, with a duelling scar on the left cheek and blazing blue eyes, topped off with a rugged, slightly battered TV Camera slung all nonchalantly over his shoulder, and an undercurrent of danger when he walks into a bar... But hey, we can't both look like that.

Stay behind the men with weapons... Good advice. From

Anyway... The reason i am writing is that Chris has squeezed all that knowledge of lugging lenses around hot spots into a new E-book. Having read it, i feel like packing my camera kit and a rucksack and heading off to the desert in search of dangerous encounters with militia men and mad dictators. But Chris does that... hence the E-book, which i heartily recommend to any aspiring journalist or cameraman who wants to work in the world of news gathering. Should you wish to travel to dodgy places for whatever reason, such as a gap year, then read this E-book, because the checklists, advice and knowledge contained therein will stand you in good stead for the trip ahead... you don't have to be in the news business to realise that Chris's book is a good starting reference point for anyone travelling in remote areas where danger can lurk unseen, ready to leap up, point an AK47 at you and rob you of your valuables... or worse.

As you read this, Chris is probably up to his neck in Jungle or sand, eating bush meat and getting bitten on his unmentionables by small flies, Whilst i go home tonight and prepare for my next filming trip to London.... Any bit as dangerous in some places at the moment. 

If you wish to download the FREE E-book, please follow this link:  FREE CAMERAMAN EBOOK

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter