Monday, October 24, 2011
Hernia Sold Separately
I know what you're thinking: someone threw away a perfectly good photog. But I assure you, Rick Portier is far from discarded. In fact, he's hard at work , rewiring some pesky patch panel in the back of that live truck, -- or aiming his new squirt gun at an unsuspecting reporter. Either way, he's finding new ways to thrive in a changing work environment while demonstrating his mastery of a photog fundamental: Flexibility.
That's right, it takes more than a sharp eye and a drifter's wardrobe to succeed behind the lens. You gotta be limber. Circus freak limber. How else are you fit in that cop car cockpit? Or commandeer that golf-cart? Or hold that fancycam over your head while parade float rolls over your toes? I'm not saying you have to be a straight-up contortionist, but if you're gonna roll up on a clotted scrum and expect to get more than a face full of camera battery, you better snap back mosh after mosh.
Of course with point of view cameras and news crews of one, the lost art of the lens jockey will go the way of the test pattern. No more will stations rely on grubby underlings with malleable backs and zero social skills to procure fresh footage. Hey, why hire some guy you wouldn't allow in your home to hang off that speed boat when you can send Newsbreak Barbie and a couple of suction cups? Come to think of it, such a thing might convince even ME to tune in.
Still, I worry about all those pliant news vets out there - the ones who customized their skill sets to fit every newscast. Where they gonna go? I knew one dude - we'll call him Flexy- he could backpedal on his buttocks, hold his breath for the better part of a telethon and grip an entire light kit with his forehead. How are those skills gonna translate to the real world when his trusty TV gig is rendered obsolete by a buxom blonde with camera implants?
Don't bother answering. I'd have to remove this tripod plate from my chin just to write it down.