Friday, 19 October 2012

Awkward situations for a news cameraman: Part 1.

I placed my camera on it's tripod at a respectful distance. I wanted to film the group of people in front of me, but didn't want them to know i was specifically filming them. Or for what purpose. As they sat and unpacked their takeaway burgers and fries, cokes and side orders, i rolled.

As the Death Star approached, i switched to using 'The Force'.

Trying to film them anonymously was hard. As they faced each other across a large wooden outside table, faces managed to pop into my viewfinder. Big, large, round faces. The faces kept pushing more fries into the holes at the front, along with about a third of a burger in one bite, washed down with sugary goodness. I concentrated at their midriffs. cracks of arses revealed themselves in large quantity. Bellies protruded from underneath too tight T-Shirts. Bingo wings flapped.

Are we getting bigger..? Are we killing ourselves with fatty foods and sugary beverages..? This is why i was filming. The news has taken upon itself to see, to find the truth, however much it wobbles. My task was to find the overweight amongst us, and film them eating their dinner without revealing their true identity for fear of national embarrassment on the nightly bulletin.

As i focussed in on another gargantuan burger mastication scene i looked up, they were looking at me as i was filming them. One, then two, until finally, the whole family were staring in my direction. I could see them talking about me with general nods in my direction, between mouthfuls of prime beef and potato. I was going to have to explain myself.

As they finished their meal the larger of the two men aimed his not inconsiderable frame in my direction. His bulk getting larger as he filled my vision with girth not seen since the Death Star made its first appearance.

Death Star: "Wotcha filmin' mate..?"

His wide neck glistened with a film of sweat, brightening the colours of the union jack tattoo just below his collar. I wasn't going to lie to the gentleman, as he blocked out the sun, ready to destroy the feeble planet with his overwhelming might.

Feeble Planet: "Oh, nothin' much, just a film for the news about fast food and the dietary need of the British nation as a whole, with an emphasis on glandular over expansion within the general patronage of said establishments."

Death Star: "Oh, right. You weren't filmin' us woz ya..?"

Feeble Planet: "No.. no.. no.. just, y'know, general burger joint scenes..."

Death Star: "Nice camera..."

Feeble Planet: "Thanks."

With that, he turned as nimble as an oil tanker, and rejoined his family, who by now had eaten his fries and finished his coke. My luck was seemingly coming to an end and not wishing to push it further i packed up and left the scene in search of another. My encounter with the Death Star a mere fleeting threat of annihilation.

The news watching public would not be aware of the bravery of this particular rebel of the news alliance, and the dark protruding secrets of the Death Stars exterior would be broadcast for this sector of the galaxy to watch.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.