I’m not the first person to bring up the plight of the filmer, an issue that deserves collective recognition.
Hours are spent filming ‘that trick’, waiting for the make. During which time the skater will receive various props, congratulatory half warm beers, and a possible break down of the self-doubt they’ve faced during the last hour and a half.
3 hours in… everyone involved is physically exhausted, boards are delambed, and we begin to feel a creeping suspicion that the skater might not ride out of the trick that they’ve been killing themselves for… this is commonly met by a second round of props for the skater.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, a large group will gather round a camera, watch the footage, and erupt in cheers. The filmer will then receive knucks from the half dead, disheveled skater, and a muttered ‘Cheers man, sorry I took so long’… a joint thank you and apology.
Generally, that’s about it.
Hours spent sitting in the cold, countless DV, the looming mix of fear and guilt when the battery starts running low, and the dread that overcomes them when they miss an attempt that was so almost a make… all the filmer has to show for this is a bump on the knuckles and a half hearted thanks. Then everyone’s off to congratulate the man of the moment.
Don’t forget that when everyone else goes home, has a bath and daydreams about the make, wondering if it will be the ender of enders, our filming friend is sat in front of his computer trawling through the footage to capture, or laying in bed trying to work out how he can explain politely that the song you want to use for your section is, in a word, pants.
Let’s not take our lens-men for granted. Or one day, they’ll all be gone. The answer is simple, every now and then, go out and film the filmer.