Thursday, 12 February 2015

TV News cameraman, pulp fiction and dark crevices.

I guess many of my loyal and regular readers thought i had given up the blog. Not a bit of it. I'm still living the fast, furious and fun filled life of a TV news cameraman with all that the job entails... rubbing shoulders with the great and the good, warm far flung locations, good food and an amiable relationship with my desk bound producers.

The truth is, things took a turn in my personal life with regards to my Son, who as many of you know, is disabled. Don't worry, the turn our lives took was a good one, as my Son is now receiving the care he deserves. As a carer for him for over 15 years, it came as a welcome diversion from trying to work full time as well as being full time carers. I reassure you... All is well. It did however, mean i had to take my eye off the ball writing wise for a few months as things moved at quite a pace, meaning i had to concentrate on a few other, essential parts of life.

So today, i bring you all back down to earth with a bump. As is usual for a TV news cameraman, much of the past few months have been taken up with the usual court cases, health, business and crime stories and one transporter ship which decided it had had enough and took a lie down for a few weeks in a main shipping lane in the Solent.

"Well.." Said the proctologist. "That was certainly inserted with a great vengeance and furious anger..."
 The rain has softened my skin, the harsh winter wind roughed it up again, a hole appeared in my boot and my back reminded me that i'm not as young as i used to be. So all is normal. So normal in fact that this morning, during a filming job outside an inner city school i was reminded of the breadth of human kindness.

Filming school kids as you know can be a tricky situation to find yourself in and most parents don't mind you being there once they know whats going on. Once everyone was happy, children were filmed, vox-pops were recorded and general views lovingly sequenced. I did however, say most parents, and not everyone it seemed, was happy...

Some, thankfully a small minority of one mother in this case, deem themselves as saviours of all children and experts in the law of filming in public places. Apparently, i have no right to film children. I need express permission from parents, even in a public place. I was told that if i pointed my camera anywhere near her children, there would be a distinct possibility i would be going home with an urgent need to visit a proctologist, the need of a newer, cleaner lens wipe and a lie down in a darkened room. Her actual words were...

"If you'se point that fuckin' fing at my kids, i'm gonna shove that camera up yer arse..."

I think you will agree that her grammar, diction and use of the first person pronoun was outstanding. The kids around her were certainly impressed, i was sure. With her skin tight leggings, baggy top, tattoos and scraped back hair she came across as a bastion of the legal profession, as M'Learned new acquaintance followed up her rapier like examination of my legal shortcomings...

"Youse need fuckin' permission to film 'ere..."

It was only a matter of time before i was called a nasty little pervert who liked filming children for sexual gratification, so i told her that all she had to do was to ask me not to film her kids and i would happily oblige, and there was no need to be so testy about it. However, there is just no pleasing some people, as our heroic, newly qualified street lawyer walked away, muttering something about human rights, kiddie fiddlers and something related to my camera and arse... again.

Sometimes... just sometimes, it would be nice if a random aggressive gobshite would learn a more sleek, powerful and impressive way to verbally assault a TV news cameraman... Something like this would be good: Ezekiel 25:17 ( Cameraman Edition. )

"The path of the righteous cameraman is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil producers. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good white balance, shepherds the journo through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his tripod's keeper and the finder of lost B-Roll. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I shove that camera up your arse."

Now that i could listen and adhere to... Alas, i think it is never to be. But it's nice to know isn't it dear reader, that whilst you may have missed my wise words and cunning prose, my sublime, erudite and crisp grasp of the English language, things have largely remained the same in the TV news cameraman world.

So I bid you farewell for now, as i'm off to buy an industrial sized bucket of lube... just in case i have to film there again next week. I can't be doing with all that chafing and anyway, my camera is a bit on the large side.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.