Lights, Camera, Cleavage: One Cameraman's POV From Top Of The Pops 1969!



"Oh blimey, another day down at the BBC filming a bunch of hormonal and rhythm-challenged teenagers gyrate to the latest Top 40 smashes. If I wasn't up to my teets in debt, what with the wife's retail therapy and Suzie's braces, I'd find myself a new way to support my family. I mean, how many different ways can you shoot the same nondescript pimply-faced kids week in and week out without going mad from the sheer tedium of it all. It's gotten so that I don't even notice 'em anymore.

"Well, what have we got here? Suddenly things at the BBC seem to be looking up. Just when you think you can't take it anymore, something comes along to remind you why you got into this business in the first place. That's right, the artistry. Hey, let's see how close we can zoom in without...losing focus.

"Ah, George in the control room is loving this, I bet. Wonder how much of this actually makes it on-the-air. Definitely need to make sure he sets aside a copy of this for my, ahem, personal records.

"My lord, she is really working it, isn't she? I mean, she either knows that this camera is watching her every move and sees this as her defining moment, or big break, or she really wants to make sure that geeky fellow she's dancing with notices her.

"Honey, he notices you. Hell, if I had my say, all of England would be noticing you in full, stunning detail. Quick, I forget, how far can we zoom in again? Oh, that far, huh? Any closer and we'd be staring at strands of DNA.


"You know, I've heard this song dozens of times and never given it a second thought. Now, anytime I hear it, I will fondly recall this very moment when I, a lowly BBC working stiff, had it all.

"Oh crikey, she looked right at me. And smiled. Should I point my camera elsewhere for fear of appearing too obvious? And miss that gorgeous bounty of porcelain flesh? Not on your life?

"You know, there are guys upstairs with corner offices and expense accounts who make ten times as much as I do, but I wouldn't trade places with a single one of them, Ask me that question when the songs are over and the kids have gone home and I'll tell you different, but, for now, there's no place else I'd rather be than right here.

"I wonder if that lad she's dancing with has an idea how far out of his league he is right now. Still, you've got to hand it to the fella for at least attempting to appear as if he isn't just flat-out staring at her chest.

"She is working her ass off, though. There for a second I thought she'd run out of gas, but then she remembered she had a BBC television camera trained upon her and rightfully kicked it up a notch.

"Aw crap, the song is fading out. If only this song was longer and more dance-oriented."

And that, my friends, is how BBC camera operator Simon Alvin Theodore Lambsbottom invented the extended dance mix.


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