Friday, 15 March 2013

The Immortal Cameramen...

Beware the Burwood Brothers... Simon and Luke. Any freelance cameraman in the South of England will know them and should fear their presence. They are everywhere. Turn up at any press conference, news gathering or media event and they are not there..? Fear not... One of them will be along in a minute, for they seem to work for every broadcaster there is.

Don't let the smiles fool you... Oh no... there's another one behind me isn't there..?

It's not very often that you find these two in the same room at the same time. When it does happen, things can get a little... Conspiratorial. You just get the feeling that you are being assessed for future assimilation into the Burwood broadcasting dynasty. You see, I think they are interchangeable... I also think they have an underground lair (Or possibly a garage) where they plug in to recharge, swap heads and to build new Burwood cameramen from the likes of me who are kidnapped, broken up and used for spare parts... They seem to be forever working.

I bumped into them yesterday, or they were following me, i don't know which... (I think they are after my right eye for spares) They circled my camera position, and my conspiracy theories kicked in. The knowing winks to each other, the whispering behind you followed by a quick glance in your direction, but maybe i am just paranoid.

When one of them speaks to you, you get a gut feeling that it is a distraction tactic, whilst the other is behind you, fiddling with your camera settings, loosening your tripod leg, stealing your cheese and pickle sandwiches... and measuring up your right leg.

Mostly, they are to be encountered one at a time. Then you can relax... you can keep an eye on one at a time. One Burwood Brother is a piece of cake, but the two of them together induces a fear that i cannot explain.

Has your sound switch mysteriously changed from Mic to line input..? Or has your white balance gone from warm orangey glow to harsh bright blue..? I can't prove anything, and i'm not saying anything for fear of being abducted on returning to my truck. But there's a niggling feeling that you just can't shake off.

In all honesty, they are the nicest, most approachable and helpful lens luggers i have encountered over the years, who will lend you a piece of kit if yours goes tits up, give you tips here and there... and will only give you one dig in the ribs in a press scrum instead of two... that sort of thing.

But beware, even though i jest about these two, there lurks an evil triplet in the form of Hong Dan... a Burwood Broadcast cameraman and soundman ninja, who will unexpectedly appear out of nowhere to give you the heebie jeebies. I think he is their bodyguard, who will initiate righteous vengeance and furious anger on anyone who disrespects the Brothers Burwood. I also think he is the genius who runs the Burwood cameraman spare parts department... Although i could be very wrong about all this.

But I fear for my very life...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

www.media-attention.co.uk