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Getting fed up with...

I am getting fed up with TV cameramen and/or directors of late....

Specifically those commissioned to take pictures in science and technology programmes...

Why? Well anytime we get programmes covering, say, some aspect of electronics, or possibly maths, cameramen seem to go dizzy. The shot pans round to watch the people, or includes a "long-shot" viewing the participants through distant trees, or does some fancy defocus effect. In fact anything but looking at the subject being talked about.

This is partly prompted by the recent programme on Building a Satellite. In some ways it was really good, but the defocussing, zooming, latched-on-noses cameramen were out in force. They mentioned that lots of design effort had gone into it, but not once did we see anyone doing any of the design, let alone the fruits of their efforts. Instead we got lots of shots of people's heads. Admitedly, some of them talking interestingly about their work, but nevertheless, if your sole guide to satellite building was this programme you'd have no chance.

Just for laughs, consider the equivalent for a football game. We start the scene with an interview of one of the stadium staff going to work. They chatter for some time on how they got to be there and then we move on to a long shot of the stadium, with just visible in the centre the ref holding the ball above his head. Just as he releases the ball, the cameraman defocusses and we switch shot to a "talking head"  in the stands, who in turn is watching the game. They are quite interesting for a bit but we still can't see the ball. The shot switches around and - glory of glories - we can now see the pitch. The players are racing around and the ball is going everywhere, but the cameraman apparently gets bored, because before we've a chance to see what happens, the scene changes and we're looking through the bars of a the pitch-side box. Not too bad, except the zoom takes us on to the pitch to follow the head of the goalee, who is standing there watching the ball. A cheer is heard and the goalee looks very happy.

See what I mean?

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