I set up the camera, twitching with the balance of the tripod to ensure that the video will come out looking balanced. Flicking a glance over to the ladies on the right, May Yee and Carol is standing with Mit, trying to coax her into the mood of saying something for the camera. "Just say what comes to mind," I hear the voice of May saying. Mit, for her part, still looks slightly petrified.
It is a warm morning at Jacob & Rawlins. Not being a usual spot for me, I can nevertheless appreciate the environment and the relative peace and quiet we have here. All the more useful for the occasion: the recording of a video for an upcoming wedding.
"OK, ladies," I announce, grabbing their attention. "Ready to roll."
Mit, still slightly nervous, sits down in front of the camera regardless. "I'm still not sure of what to say," she protest, as if that would make a difference.
No one knows what they ever want to say in front of the camera. Not even me at times, though with time itself, that has gotten better. I still hate acting, however; however bad or inexperienced my directing is, it is still miles better than my acting.
Being behind the camera, then, is a better alternative to being in front of it.
"OK, and we are...go." I raise a thumbs up, indicating that the video is rolling.
Something about the red light, I reason, that shakes people into such nervousness. What could it be? The fear of public re-broadcast of your words? The anal compulsion when it comes to one's looks? The...
...the idea that what you're saying is, for once, being recorded, and kept for posterity?
"People are afraid of cameras and recorders," my lecturer once said. "It is a medium that provides for endless reproduction and preservation of your opinions."
Scary, I suppose, when you think that what you have to say can be recorded forever.
But then again, even records can be erased.