We know their names, we see their hands, we hear their muffled commentary. safariLIVE wouldn’t be the same (or even possible) without the invisible men on the vehicle, the men behind the camera.
Going through the countless comments and questions that viewers have, it’s not uncommon to receive ones about the cameramen. Viewers often praise their work, are concerned about their safety, and wonder how it is possible to get a job that could put you in the same car as James Hendry for six hours a day. (Confession: this has actually never been asked.) With this interest in mind, I sat down with a few of our camera operators, affectionately known as cam-ops, to find out more about the anonymous people that travel with us on safari every day.
Unlike so many occupations, one does not simply fall into wildlife filming; one must actively choose it. As such, I asked them what drew them into this line of work. Wium related that he, as so many aspiring cinéastes can likely relate to, “always wanted to film stuff”. Life simply seemed more interesting through a camera lens. Ferg also dreamed of filming professionally in his youth; after watching Wildlife on One on BBC he couldn’t help but want to explore wild places and share them with the world. It was only after pursuing a more conventional career in an office, what some may say was a “real” job, however, that extreme boredom set in and he decided it was time to revisit his dream.