Monday, 16 December 2013

TV Cameraman And The X Factor Fandango.

Greeting dear readers, and this week i would like to tell you about my brush with celebrity, the bright lights of a London theatre, streets paved with gold and a very weak, nay, tenuous link to the X Factor.

Rhydian Roberts... Making it on his own.

Having been booked by ITV a few days before, my briefing sheet contained the tantalising words "X Factor' along with 'Finalist' 'London recording studio' and 'Rhydian.' Hang on, i hear you say.... 'Who's Rhydian..?' Come on pop pickers, you remember the X Factor final of 2007 don't you..? Rhydian... platinum blonde hair... opera / show tunes singer extraordinaire... runner up...

So, it turned out that i was not to be sharing champagne cocktails and a sofa with Simon Cowell, nor had i been booked to film the latest in a long, long line of showbiz wannabe warblers at his Bond villain hideaway in the Caribbean whilst having my earlobe gently nibbled by Sinitta,* as she runs her fingers through my hair and... (Ahem, sorry... Did i type that out loud..?)

No... Instead, i was to head to a small unknown recording studio at the stage door entrance to the Palace Theatre, just off a wet and cold Greek Street, London, take a rickety Victorian era lift to the 4th floor, and try not to trip on the loose, frayed carpet. Oh the glamour of it all...

'So, where's all the under dressed, giggling blonde groupies..?' i thought to myself as i imagined a sordid, drug fuelled orgy of rock music inspired debauchery going on in the recording studio. Surely everyone who has ever entered the X Factor gets this treatment for the rest of their lives, courtesy of Mr Cowell's capacious bank accounts..? No..?

No... No they don't.

And anyway, Rhydian has been beavering away with his own management making his 5th studio album of rock opera style tunes with a voice that makes your chest vibrate in it's intensity. It was a real pleasure to see and hear him at work. His days in the bright but all too fleeting hot lights of the X Factor juggernaut are far, far behind him and he now finds himself as one of the very few who have made a career in good music that see thousands of others floundering in the intense pressure of modern manufactured pap... sorry, i mean pop.

Instead of a spotty limp haired youth in the grip of the ever expanding Cowell cack machine, i found myself with an assured 30ish man with the voice, charisma and friendliness of a genuinely good singer with his own niche and the ability to make his mark in the world of music. Not only that, the three hours we spent filming were made easy thanks to his relaxed and friendly manner. Whatever i asked of him, he obliged. I could even say we got along very well.

It may have been a small recording studio in a back street of London rather than a sun drenched exotic beach villa with the lovely Sinitta, but it was a good days filming non the less.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

*The author would like to reassure his Wife that the Sinitta ear nibbling thing was for comedic effect only...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Story Of A New Journalist On His First Day.

A well dressed man entered the new TV news station* and soon realised that he was lost. Having climbed yet another set of stairs he looked over a nearby balcony and saw a man walking below.

"Excuse me..?" Said the man, "Can you help me, i seem to be a little lost. I promised the senior news producer that i would meet him here today and i'm already late."

Little did he know, room 54B had other uses...

 The man below stopped, looked up and said, "You are on the second floor in the East wing, next to the edit suites. If you go to room 54B in the West wing, next to the coffee machine on the fourth floor, you will see him there."

"You must be a TV news cameraman." Said the man on the balcony.

"I am indeed, how did you know?" Said the man below.

"Well," He replied, "Everything you just told me is factually correct, concise and to the point. However i have no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, i am still lost. Frankly, you've not been of much help to me at all and you have delayed me even further from my meeting with the boss."

"Ahh," Replied the cameraman. "You must be the new TV news reporter?"

"I am the new reporter, how did you know that?" He said.

"Well," Said the cameraman, "You don't know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to what you think is a lofty position by walking around with no clue as to where to go. You have made a promise which you cannot keep and you expect people you see below you to help you out of your predicament. The fact is, you're lost, in trouble and with no idea what to do about it... But somehow, it is now the cameraman's fault."

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.  *This story may contain traces of bullshit.