Why I Don’t Run Cameras

Why I Don’t Run Cameras

That’s a pretty hilarious picture, right? Ben Laird took that picture. If it wasn’t for me, it would be a hilarious video too.

There’s an expression in TV, or two expressions in TV that help categorize people. “Behind the camera” and “in front of the camera.”

Someone “Behind the camera”  makes the people you see on tv or in movies look and sound good. Producers, writers, camera operators, directors… they are “behind the camera.” Often their skills are creative, organizational, technical. They aren’t driven to be the centre of attention. They are driven in other ways. I’m not sure what those ways are, because I’m not one of them.

“In front of the camera” are people who you see when watch on TV or film. The ones who enjoy talking, acting, performing. Desperately. Often they are driven by their perceived lack of love in their childhood because of a rigid and religious structure which then shapes their personality into a constant and never ending need to fill the hole where the love should have been with attention, applause, laughter, approval and likes on social media. Ha ha. That’s a good joke, right? Do you like it? Do you? Do you really? I mean, do you? DO YOU LIKE ME OR NOT?!

Anyway, some people fit into the second group.

And sometimes people in the second group make the mistake of thinking they can be in the first group. Like let’s say they come up with an idea that’s really funny for their performance, and instead of then saying, “Hey how about if someone who runs a camera – who has actual skills in running a camera – helped shoot this bit” they say something dumber like, “I can do this bit – and I can run the camera myself – because i’m kind of gifted that way.”

So I had this funny bit for DKL and George Canyon. It happened last week. It was a show about being a Dad and George is a great Dad, has written songs about being a Dad – and Mike (the Executive Producer of the show.) (First Group) said, “What if you asked George what songs he sang to his kids to put them to sleep when they were young?”

Then he sat up, “Oh – wait – what if you had him sing a bit of the song?” Great idea.

And then here comes my thought. I said, “Great idea. And what if I shot a video of him singing the lullaby – but then I panned to the audience AND THEY WERE ALL SOUND ALSEEP?” Funny, right?

And it was a good idea. So on the night of the show, I asked George about his go-to lullaby for putting his kids to sleep. He said “twinkle twinkle” and then I set up the audience. I said, “George will sing this song – I’m going to get my phone and I’ll shoot him starting the song and then move the camera to you… and you guys all pretend you’re sound asleep.” The audience laughed and were into it. George laughed and was into it.

Here’s me shooting the audience as they sleep.

So clearly, it worked, right? It’s a pretty funny picture. Even my co-host Jim Button got in the act. At least I hope it’s an act. 

Well, if you’ve read this carefully, you’ll see the fatal flaw in my plan. Let me review what I said and highlight it for you. I said: “George will sing this song – I’m going to get my phone and  I’ll shoot him starting the song and then I’ll move the camera to you..”

Yeah. I work with camera people. We have camera people at the show. There three professional camera people in the room. THREE!! Ben Laird took the picture of me… with a real camera! But for some reason, I decided I would be doing the video.

And guess what happened?

Not sure if you’ve worked an iPhone camera before, but there is a “photo” setting and a “video” setting. And if you try to shoot a “video” but have your phone on “photo” guess what you get? Yup. You get a really bad photo of George Canyon starting the lullaby.

And that’s it.

And that’s why I’m in front of the camera.

But you still like me, right? RIGHT?!