WHAT DO YOU CALL A CAMERAWOMAN ?



The British correspondents used to call me a "lady cameraman."
I liked that at least as well as my own designation, which is "newspuke." My spellcheck suggests "cameraman" every time I type "camerawoman," so it must have been programmed by a "machoman."

My first job in tv news was called a "lumper", which was slang for "camera assistant" at WHDH, later WCVB-TV, in Boston.
We lumped the equipment. Another female who shoots beta told me about a cushion device she sets the camera on.
It's called the "Steady Bag." "Another ten years in the business, and they'll be calling ME Steady Bag," she joked.

I think the correct term for someone who shoots video for a news program must be a "Mom," because sometimes when I'm on the street with the camera on my shoulder, someone stands in front of me and waves and shouts,
"HI MOM." Don't they know I'm not their Mom?
Well, now that I'm a field producer, I try to give my crews the respect they deserve. I always introduce them if they don't introduce themselves, and I try to remember to refer to them as "my boys," or "my girls." I try not to let gender figure into this. Tom and Dave can be my girls.

While I'm wasting bandwidth, I wonder whether anyone has a good comeback to, "Isn't that camera heavy?" I got tired of telling people how it lightens up on payday, or of politely explaining, "Not really, this is the ladies' model."

Also, what is everyone's favorite reply to "what's going on?" when you're shooting a story that is difficult to explain, and no one really cares anyhow, because they just want to know whether someone famous is coming. I say, "We're shooting a story about the economy." They generally walk away.

Why are you still reading this, when you could be watching Fox's "When Paparazzi Attack."
Your friend, Amy Bowers abtv@swcp.com

Q: Why is a camera crew like a wombat? A: Because it eats roots shoots and leaves.

-- Amy Bowers abtv@swcp.com , September 28, 1997

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