Saturday, July 12, 2008

The DellDog Does NoHo Part 2 -or- Why I'd Never Succeed As A Paparazzo

As it was, I'd been watching the camera crew for weeks now. Pulling into my favorite waiting spot about a month ago, I was a bit suprised to find several semis, a catering truck, lots of lighting equipment, and a host of filmmaker roadies milling about a nearby building. All the filming appeared to be happening inside the building, a stone's throw away from me.

Part of me felt like an intruder, and I gave pause to consider parking elsewhere; however, knowing I had taken up temporary residence in a public area, and the overriding sense of 'I was here first' kicked in. Not to mention my overall sense of safety of the immediate area. So, I stayed, and for many weeks, we co-habitated the curbside beautifully.

Tonight when we'd wheeled up, I took note that things seemed different. Equipment had moved. There was a bus I'd never seen before, parked just a pace away. There were a ton of people, more than usual, milling about . . .my spidey senses told me something was up.

I determined to pay it no mind, when we exited the vehicle and began our walk. Even though several of the camera crew greeted the baby and I, and even gave an acknowledging nod to Dell as he trotted beside us, we didn't seem to be in the way. Besides, I was headed one street over, so, what was the harm in passing through?

In retrospect, I'm SO GLAD I parked on that side of the street this time! As I stated previously, upon our return, we discovered a new intesity of activity going on. As for the crowds that existed, they had multiplied. And the bus? It now had a driver.

People were shouting directives at one another. Security men were closing off the area. The boom camera . . .

The boom camera???

Yes, the boom camera was now levitating over the street, and the cameraman was seated nicely, ready and waiting for the 'Action" to commence!

What seemed most intriguing to me, however, was a small group of people, huddled together, wriggling and writhing with a sense of anticipation greater than anyone else on set. It took me almost no time at all to identify these folk: they were the paparazzi.

It was the first time I actually wondered about the film. The presence of the paparazzi told me that someone, at least somewhat famous was interred, hidden behind the walls of the nearby structure.

For the briefest of moments, I felt a flutter of excitement myself . . .*I* could get some photos, too! Quickly snapping the one above, I thought: "Wow! I'll bet the paparazzi aren't used to having their picture taken!" and began to pan the greater area, looking for my next shot.
That's when it happened. The bus, previously stationary on the corner, now roared to life! I heard a cacophany of voices, all prepping the area for action! I froze, suddenly feeling very small and out of place, and, once again, an intruder.
As for the gaggle of paparazzi? They continued to lunge forward, as crewmen held them at bay. Soon, though, large security people began herding the photo-hungry group back . . .
back . . .
back . . .
and back even further, until . . .
My little car was surrounded!
Now, my constitution was weak with absolute embarrassment at my little [but mighty] Canon PowerShot S2 IS held gingerly in my hands, inside my vehicle, waiting for a shot of my very own. Compared to their monster lenses, mine was a wuss. A wave of fight or flight washed over me. I wanted to get outta dodge quick!
But wait! These guys didn't seem to mind the absolute frenzy over capturing that perfect shot uninvited!
That's when I did it. I lifted up my lens, and, standing on the knowledge that I had a mission to document the DellDog in NoHo, I quickly snapped a shot through the nose-smeared glass the Dell had decorated.
As quickly as I took it, I sequestered my camera under my seat. Reminding myself to breathe . . .breathe . . .breathe . . .
Just *what* was I afraid of, anyway? Nobody, and I mean nobody took any notoice of me. The only place where I would get yelled at would be if I were to traverse in front of the action. (Which, by now, had begun, as a tall blonde stepped out of the building, and loaded onto the bus at the faux bus stop they had created . . .)
Someone yelled, and the bus began to back up, to return to it's previous position. The throng of paparazzi buzzed, and a new member was added to their army. This unabashed photographer was even brazen enough to wheel in front of my car, thus parking in the RED ZONE and successfully blocked me in, at my spot on the curb.
I looked at the clock: 7:29. Israel's class would soon be dismissing, and I found myself trapped. Trapped like a rat.
I didn't want to go, after all, I had only taken TWO pictures - of . . .of . . .no one in particular - and yet I couldn't wait to get out of there all at the same time.
Watching normal traffic flow through the street as they reset for another take, I determined I'd be nice, and carefully backed up in my paralell parking spot, preparing to make a u-turn . . .and then, a bee-line outta there!
I've discovered something new about myself.
No matter how much I love taking pictures, I have an innate sense of respect for those situations or people who might not wish to be photographed.
Or, am I crazy, and need a crash course on how to be aggressive when faced with the opportunity extraordinaire??
I'll let you decide, Choosers. Rail me, nail me, chide me, confide in me . . .it's ok. I can take it. I blew it and I know it.
to be continued . . .

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