Press Record – document your life

Mark links to lots of useful tools and gizmos but I see a lot of trouble ahead for this camcorder. Record your life? Who’d ever relax or be themselves around you if they knew that a camera was recording them all the time? No doubt I’ll be completely wrong and it’ll change society like mobile phones have changed the way people keep in touch.
And, speaking of which, this Yahoo story about camera phones is interesting. I’ve seen phones with fairly good quality cameras (all things considered), they even had a digital zoom (ok, useless!) but will they replace the extensive control a dedicated camera brings you? For point and shoot purposes, of course!
It’s only been 18 months since camera phones hit the market in a big way and gyms banned them. Plenty of growth left in that market!

The hidden camera story above brought back memories for some members of the Street Photography list! Here’s a great story from John Brownlow:

In my previous incarnation as a documentary film maker, I actually used a hidden (button) camcorder to film covertly on several occasions. It is a very strange experience. To be aware that YOU are the camera is odd. Moreover, you find yourself trying to do all the ‘moves’ smoothly… pan, tilt, rise and fall, crab, dolly in and out… I can only imagine how strange this looks.

This film was made using extensive footage from hidden cameras…

Everybody has forgotten it now but it’s one of my favorites. We sent ‘undercover chefs’ into the kitchens of three of Britain’s top restaurants to film the mistreatment of underlings. It was terrific stuff. There is my favorite ‘doorstep interview’ sequence of all time where we corner one of the bastards in his kitchen, but he manages to lock us INSIDE the kitchen (with the other chefs and a lot of sharp knives…!), then goes and hides in the scullery and refuses to come out. Later we spot him trying to escape by a back door and so pursue him across a ploughed field with the camera crew yelling “we just want you to answer some questions”. The last shot of the film is a guy in a chef’s uniform running away across the mud with the commentary line “So and so declined our request for an interview”.

There was also a good bit where we managed to surprise one of the chefs on the street and interview him. We kept asking him ‘Do you hit your staff’ to which he replied “no…. no… of course not”, and after each ‘no’ we cut in a bit of secret footage we had shot where he smacked one of them upside the head. Great.

The whole thing was probably the most surreal and funny film I ever worked on. We had some great dinners, too. I don’t think it did the restaurants involved any harm at all.

As part of the whole thing I interviewed chef Gordon Ramsay who is now everywhere on British TV. I was astonished to discover that he wore make up in the kitchen while cooking. And that was BEFORE he was on TV.

On 11-Jun-04, at 8:24 AM, wrote:

> If you subscribe to the Photo Blog, you’ll already have seen this short item — — about the wearable camcorder. In addition to its baseball cap or sunglasses clip-on ergonomics, the company says, “the Model 100 differs from other camcorders because of a recording approach Deja View promises will eliminate missed shots.” How can it fail with the aspiring street photographer? I wonder if it has a Leica-like head’s up display? The company’s website is; the banner graphic reminds me a bit of Nicole Kidman in her current, wifely promotional incarnation. While I’m being deliberately facetious with this post, the technology raises some interesting SP related questions in my mind.

John Brownlow
Deep Fried Films, Inc

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