Friday, 21 December 2012

The Festive Freelancer.

Bah, Humbug, as the saying goes. Festive cheer can only go so far. Turning up at a location to film one in a very long line of Christmas related, Dickensian themed stories can whittle away at a man's reserves of merriment, good cheer and seasons greetings.

Christmas frivolity... Says it all really.

I've seen enough false Santa beards and heard too many Ho Ho Ho's. Mince pies all taste the same and the UK's drink driving laws make it an offence to accept a glass of something heart warming at every location visited. Trying to focus after your 7th glass of egg nog is a difficult trick to pull off, as is driving from one location to another, without getting lifted by the Police, followed by a stiff encounter with a baton, pepper spray and an appointment with a magistrate, sans tea and biscuits.

What i'm trying to say, is that travelling around filming everybody else's good times can make you immune to the Christmas spirit. Trying to explain to a small child why you don't want to eat their home made mince pies without saying you've had a gut full is easier said than done.

No i don't want to wear a Santa hat.

No i don't want tinsel on my TV camera.

And if i hear the Pogues 'Christmas in New York', Chris Rea's 'Driving home for Christmas', or Pop Diva Mariah Carey's 'All i want for Christmas' again, for the 5th time today, i'm gonna reach into my sound bag and proceed to do something unholy to your plastic Rudolph with my Leatherman.

Now i don't want to spoil your moment of glory on the telly, but i saw Christmas yesterday, twice today and probably again tomorrow. For this cameraman, Christmas ain't what it used to be, as there are only so many TV repeats i can watch. 

There are other stories that could be told. The sick and the disabled are at the bottom of the pile. Homeless charities are stuffed to the gills and people around the world are starving and displaced by war.

But do not be down at heart..! The monthly retail statistics are out soon and it appears we are not spending enough on plastic toys and gadgetry, resulting in the multi-nationals having to tighten their belts with bigger Christmas bonuses and higher prices due to strategic profit warnings in the gas and electricity sectors.

Oh, and seeing as it's Christmas, us freelancers and self employed are greeted with hearty cheer and festive merriment by way of a Tax demand from those fine fellows at Her Majesties Revenue And Customs. I will pay my way. And in the new year, i hope we as the press, will vociferously attack and investigate those mult-nationals and Fat Cats who avoid doing so, and the Government which lets it happen.

Yo Ho Ho... and Happy Christmas.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.