During my week of work experience at a TV Station, I met and gained a world full of insight from many talents journalists. However, the journalists weren’t the only ones giving me tips of the trade – whilst driving to a location or waiting in between stories many of the camera men also gave me some of their advice. After all a camera man is the one that can make the broadcasting journalists look stunning or awful, just by a matter of different angles.
1 – Do: Remember their name
Out of all the advice I received from a range of camera men – this tip was the one that popped up the most. Yes, as a journalist you may be assigned with 3 different camera men (or women) a day – however this is no excuse to mix them all into one person. Remember their name and remember what they tell you, whether it be about their wife, kids or what they ate for lunch. With this simple respect, there is no doubt that it will create a higher level of respect towards you as a journalist.
2 – Do not: call the camera men ‘your camera man’
Leading on from the previous tip of remembering their name. Do not introduce the camera man as ‘Your camera man’ to somebody you are working with, interviewing or any other situation that would require an introduction. They are not yours to own and just because you are the one in front of the TV, does not mean that you should be more worthy of a proper introduction than them.
3 – Do: Help with equipment
Help, Help, Help! The equipment that needs to be carried along with the camera can sometimes be extensive and if you walk away without even suggesting to help, you will end up with one not very happy camera man. Offer to carry some of the smaller equipment or take the bag full of mics and other necessities and you will find yourself with a much happier camera man. If you are setting up for a live cross or grab, try to help the camera man out – even if it is just setting up the mic. You will find the process will be a lot quicker and you suddenly look stunning on camera, as they had more time to adjust the angle.
4 – Do not: Take out your stress on them
Whether it be another network getting the interview you wanting, or a story turning for the worst – it is not the camera mans fault. If you do decide to take your anger out on them – you will probably end up even more stressed and will have a very annoyed camera man on your hands.
5 – Do: Listen to their ideas
Yes – they may not have studied for 4 years for a journalism degree like you did. However, they have most likely dealt with a more diverse range of journalists them your self. They have experienced all the ways journalists write, edit, handle a story and deal with pressure. They have a very good idea of what they are doing and are definitely worth listening to.