Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shut the hell up and SHOOT!



Sorry folks, but it's time to talk about the big, pink, elephant over there in the corner.

I've just watched some of the most fascinating, captivating, horrifying, and unnerving video I've ever seen.

The twin tornadoes that were recorded in Northeast NE, yesterday June 16th and specifically, the one which obliterated the town of Pilger Nebraska, were just jaw dropping incredible.

It seems as though most of the major chase "teams" with their "four wheeled, kevlar clad, hell penetrating, road tools" had the day on this batch of storms. Clearly, in the storm starved world in which they reside in, yesterday was a historic bullseye that will be talked about for years to come, another one of those dates that roll off the tongue in the annals of chasing history.

And man did we see it up close, with many of the "Extreme" chase teams giving us "in your face" views of the moment the undoubtedly EF5 cone began its destructive stroll down the main street of Pilger. And I had to hand it to those for capturing the moment well.

However,

Why is it lately when one of these teams jumps upon and begins to record the destructive forces of a wedge tornado, We hear this:

"Oh my God, oh my God, oh MY God!, OH MY GOD!!!!! Oh please, oh please don't hit that (house, town, barn, whatever happens to be in the way!!!!) OH GOD! I HOPE THE PEOPLE ARE UNDERGROUND! PLEASE DEAR GOD HELP THESE PEOPLE!!!"

I viewed no less than three videos with this type of nonsense as the narrative in them. Feigned, phony, contrived, and sad.

Here's a hint. (And I direct these comments directly at the big boys, The ones out for a payday...)

Shut. The. Hell. Up.

I've been in the business of recorded media since before most of these "extreme" chasers were crapping in their Pampers. and one of the very first lessons you better learn in a hurry if you want to have any chance of having your material treated as anything more than home video, is contained in these four words:

"Shut Up and Shoot."

I don't care what YOU are feeling at that particular moment. Presumably, if you're out there with your shiny new HD camera and POV's on every corner of your vehicle trying to get within an arms reach of an F5 buzz saw, you're out there for a paycheck. And if you can't deliver that moment through your lens without the OH MY GAAAAAAAWWWWWWWDDDDDDD! emotional narration? pack your shit up and go home.

See? regardless of what your sorry, self-promoting ass may think?

You are not the story.

Specifically, I watched a piece of video where the "team" had placed itself on the highway adjacent to the town of Pilger. From there, we see the tornado on the right side of the screen, begin to make its march toward destructive ruin. From the moment the video begins, the storms path is clear. And yet we hear little if any concerned commentary in the "cockpit" of the chase vehicle.

Only after the tornado crosses the highway and begins shredding things do we hear their plaintiff cries hoping that their words will be heard, the storm will lift, and the town will be SAVED!

I call bull$hit.

YOU placed yourself out there to witness the moment, to record the moment, to experience the moment. and now you half halfheartedly exclaim in that very moment (on record I might add) that you wish it weren't happening? Let me clue you in on a few things:

Tornadoes KILL people.

Tornadoes go in directions YOU have no control over.

Tornadoes DESTROY ANYTHING in their path.

Tornadoes CHANGE peoples lives. Never, for the better.

And you hold this knowledge. YOU as a "professional" storm chaser know this.

And nothing will change that fact. It's been happening since you and I hit this earth, and it will continue to happen long after we've left. YOU are not the story! If you do your job correctly and professionally, your lens will provoke the emotions of your viewer.

Not your sorry-assed "Oh help these people so we can feel better about ourselves after we record the destruction of their town, cash in our video, and move on to the next twisting calamity"

If you can't do it without adding your .02? you my friend, need to find another line of work.

Record the moment. Not your mouth.