Bad Camera Work

4 mins read

Watch any basketball broadcast on ABC, TNT or ESPN and you can’t escape watching camera angles that make you wonder, “WTF was that for?” You know the ones I’m talking about. The fat 50 year old who finally decides to get up from his seat and pump his fist like he’s the one who hit the fadeaway three to send the game into OT. Or the little cute white kid with the painted face who’s the reason I just missed what happened on the previous two plays. Let’s not mention focusing on the semi-hot chick just to keep those of us with ADD in check.

But screw all that. Here are my five favorite worthless shots:

5. Index finger in the air making the #1 sign: What does this exactly mean and why is the camera zoomed in so that all you can see is the finger and nothing else? Just because somebody hits a jumper in the second quarter doesn’t mean they’re “#1” of anything. What exactly is the broadcast trying to convey?

4. Focusing on the game from the view of the fans in the upper deck: Yes, we know the building is full. Yes, we know people are sitting in bad seats. Yes, we even know that the camera has the ability to film the court from a far distance. What does this add to a telecast?

3. Camera on relative who inspired player: It’s usually a mother who raised 13 kids while the father ran away with a stripper. Truly inspiring but little do we care, especially if you’re watching it at a bar with no volume.

2. Jack Nicholson Cam: Nobody needs to see this especially with all the other celebrities at Laker games. Plus, he’s always got the “Shining” look on him. Any camera time devoted to him should be granted to Vanessa Bryant. Also, didn’t Jack show up at the Clippers playoff games? What kind of “hardcore” Laker fan starts supporting the other team in town as soon as his team gets eliminated. Deception and treachery I say!

All of the above also applies to Penny Marshall whose attire never fails to remind me of why women shouldn’t dress like men, especially towards the sunset of their lives. Camera time devoted to Marshall can be better used by showing viewers the varying shades of gray in the Staples Center walls.

1. Focus on nothing but the players dull eyes in hopes he displays a true meaningful emotion such as that of desire, inspiration or passion. This almost always fails unless the player in question is Jordan. Even Kobe’s eyes at the height of drama convey little but cockiness and pretense even though it is positively known that he does truly care about the result. The problem with this approach is that once this practice is applied on a player say such as Darius Miles, it is destined to fail and achieve the opposite effect as intended since all that is being conveyed in said eyes is, “I really don’t care since either way I’m going to be going home to a mansion”.

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