Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Man Responsible...

Out of the blue, on a beach in Bournemouth yesterday, i quite literally bumped into a man with his two daughters. I recognised the face straight away, the name came a few moments later. It was the man who started my career in TV News.

Craig Henderson and Daughters...

 I've been a TV News cameraman now for nearly 16 years. And despite all the bellyaching and moaning i do on a daily basis, i actually love my job. I don't think that i would want to do anything else. To get this grizzled and adept at being in the right place at the right time has taken all of those 16 years to perfect.

There is a reason why i became a hard bitten, sanctimonious old cameraman with a penchant for greasy food, world class whingeing and a good eye for a visual story. You see someone, 16 years ago, gave an unknown bloke with a camera a chance to film the news. That man was a BBC News Editor called Craig Henderson... The very man i had just bumped into.

I have written before about how i started as a news cameraman, and articles about how and why i did what i did, to survive my first few years. But none of it would have happened if it were not for Craig. I like to think he saw in me a future world class documentary film maker that would go on to win Bafta's... or even an Oscar... Yeah right.

What he actually got was a newsman who wanted nothing more than to film the news and get on in his chosen profession and build a successful freelance career. I like to think of myself as a cameraman that can be relied upon to do his level best for those that hire me, and to tell good, visual news stories. I have been freelancing now for nearly 16 years, for the BBC, ITN, SKY, ITV, and many foreign broadcasters, so i must be doing something right.

My freelance career started as a self taught man. No qualifications or TV courses, No recognised camera training course or leg up from an inside friend. My only leg up into the TV News broadcasting industry came from a man who saw something in me that nobody else did. I had been ignored, forgotten and ignored again by every other broadcaster that i approached in my first few months of looking for TV work. After 6 months of rejection letters and indifference i very nearly gave up. But one man at the BBC, Craig Henderson, gave me one days work and a chance to show that i had what it takes to work in this industry that i love to work for, no matter the verbal machinations i deliver on this blog. That one day has turned into the past 16 years...

None of this... the blog, my company Media Attention Ltd, my ever burgeoning camera equipment and my families general well being would not be at the place we are now, if it were not for that one man... who gave a chap a break and started something that for me, shows no sign of ending any time soon.

I gave Craig a hearty handshake, and finally said a proper thank you for doing what he did all of those 16 years ago. One of his Daughters then turned to us and said...

" Dad... That's when i was born..."

Sheesh, She knew how to make two grown men feel very, very old...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

www.media-attention.co.uk

EXTRA... EXTRA...

Another day on the torch camera, and another day getting drenched... The evr popular Olympic Torch Relay weather spot from yours truly... Day 5.