Created By: Psyclone on July 15, 2012 Last Edited By: Tuckerscreator on March 7, 2013

Gotta Keep Filming

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Trope
In films you generally want to see as much of the "important stuff" as possible (dependent on things like context, mood budget, etc). So it's natural that the Found Footage genre is no exception.

Unfortunately, said genre introduces a problem: the genre implies that the camera man is an actual character in the work's universe as opposed to a camera man calmly working in a film shoot. This means that there are a number of situations where said character makes a choice between an entertaining shot for the audience or his own self preservation.

Most of the times he inexplicably (at least from an in-universe perspective) he/she chooses the latter. Monster on your tail? Keep the camera pointed at them even if it slows you down. Everything going to hell around you? Gotta keep the camera lined up. Cornered by the monsters? God forbid you throw something to distract them, like say the camera you are holding. Given this sort of behavior, it's no wonder that it often leads to the characters' deaths.

Examples (Needs cleanup):

  • Hud in Cloverfield, who upon coming face to face with the monster, as well as its parasitic larvae, proceeds to keep FILMING IT instead of running away.
Community Feedback Replies: 25
  • July 15, 2012
    Psyclone
    • Averted in Marble Hornets where at one point Jay, after being confronted with the Operator actually DROPS the camera and runs. The camera is then mysteriously returned to him...
  • July 15, 2012
    TBTabby
    In Michigan Report From Hell, you play as a cameraman covering paranormal happenings, and can choose whether to invoke this trope or not.
  • July 15, 2012
    SharleeD
    Sometimes Lampshaded and justified when others accuse the camera-wielder of using it as a crutch: if they'd filming what's happening, it distances them from the trauma, making it seem like something they're watching on TV rather than participating in directly.
  • July 15, 2012
    Ghilz
    It's common for a character to actually ask the other to stop filming, though the other will usually decline saying it needs to be chronicled or he's doing it for the art.
  • July 15, 2012
    NightNymph
    ^^ An example of this type can be found in the "Ghostfacers" episode of Supernatural. Dean asks the camerawoman for the Ghostfacers if watching all of the "horror" from behind the camera makes her feel better, and she nods and agrees that yes, it does. Dean therefore continues to address her through the camera and explains to Sam that it makes the camera people feel better to continue filming.

    I wish I knew more details for this one...

    Real Life Example:

    During 9/11, there was a cameraman filming as a cloud of dust from one of the falling towers rolled down the street. Instead of getting out of its way or taking shelter, he wiped the dust off the camera lens and continued filming.
  • July 16, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Abyss. Both averted and played straight during the tidal wave sequence. A TV reporter and his cameraman are filming the giant artificial tidal wave. The camera man does the sensible thing and runs away. The Intrepid Reporter picks up the camera and continues filming.
    • Starship Troopers. During the invasion of Klendathu a reporter and cameraman go along with the Mobile Infantry. The cameraman keeps on filming even though MI are being killed left and right around him and the rest of the MI are retreating. He films the death of his reporter partner and Rico's combat with a Bug.
  • July 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the Tangent Comics version of Wonder Woman a news cameraman named "Ambush Bug" keeps on filming this alien "woman" who comes to Earth to "wonder," until he gets transported into space.

    EDIT: Apparently he doesn't like that link; go to http://fourhman.com/ambushbug/1998.htm to see it.
  • July 16, 2012
    Bluecatcinema
    Diaryofthe Dead is made of this.
  • July 16, 2012
    Generality
    As a couple of the examples show, this may be one sign of the Intrepid Reporter.

    Parodied in the South Park two-parter "Pandemic", in which Stan's dad keeps filming the monsters (oversized guinea pigs and other cute animals), no matter how "startled" he becomes. Everyone else is a bit confused by his behaviour. At the end, it turns out he had the lens cap on the whole time.
  • July 16, 2012
    blueranger
    • This is addressed in The Blair Witch Project where Josh yells at Heather "why are you still making movies?" and she replies "it's all I have".
    • To clarify the Diary Of The Dead example, one scene has Tracy being chased by a zombie and yet Jason does not drop the camera to help her with the excuse that he's panicking and doesn't know what to do. They use the excuse of filming in the movie because they intend to document what's happening.
  • July 21, 2012
    Psyclone
    bump
  • July 21, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Would someone else exhorting the cameraman to keep rolling count? I'm thinking of Carl Denham addressing his cameraman in King Kong.
  • July 21, 2012
    orangejuicer
    REC invokes this trope front and center. The protagonist actually says to the camera guy, "Pablo, no dejes de grabar, por tu puta madre!" which translates to "Pablo, don't stop recording, for (profane reasons)!"
  • July 22, 2012
    Psyclone
    bump
  • August 3, 2012
    Psyclone
    bump
  • August 3, 2012
    partner555
    In one of the Godzilla films, one of the characters gets up close to Godzilla to film it for the news company he works for, and almost got stepped on for his troubles but managed to get the footage anyway.

    Can't remember more specific details though.
  • March 6, 2013
    Psyclone
    bump
  • March 6, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    ^It's something like 'Pablo, don't stop recording, you son of a bitch!' (as close as it gets in English any case, contextually speaking. Literally speaking, she's insulting Pablo's mother directly).

    The first Godzilla movie had some radio reporters continuously narrating about the rampage of Godzilla up until the monster wrecked the building they were on... and they actually went and mentioned that (and that they couldn't escape) to the audience.

    The movie '15 Minutes' could be an example as well. One of the two psychopaths running around New York is an amateur cameraman recording the whole rampage for fame's sake (and delivering the occasional tape to the news). He keeps on doing this throughout the film-even recording his own Suicide By Cop and taking care as he dies to make a dramatic final take with Liberty Island on the background and him taking his final breaths.
  • March 6, 2013
    dakta
    May be an example of Truth In Television.

    Another example situation would be when the camera operator is killed and another character picks up the camera and keeps filming. Particularly when they have expressed no interest in the filming whatsoever, or have told the camera operator at some point that they're an idiot for filming.
  • March 6, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    It is an example of Truth In Television. Many TV reports and 'reality' clipshows (like 'World's Most Shocking Videos') have many instances of people continuing to record even as out-of-control cars are coming towards them or tornadoes are about an inch away.
  • March 6, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    In Babylon 5, Lt. Keffer manages to track a Shadow Battlecrab in hyperspace, and dies in the process of filming footage of it, which ends up on the ISN network after being beamed out in a final data packet before his Starfury is destroyed by the Shadow vessel.
  • March 6, 2013
    MrBluesky
    Could also be titled "Are You Getting This?" after the stock line delivered by every intrepid reporter to his/her beleaguered cameraperson.
  • March 7, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Could work... problem is that there's at least one guy over here that has it hard about using No New Stock Phrases even when it really could be useful (sure, not all Tropes would have stock phrase titles, but there's some who would have them-if anything, because they're the notable phrase for that trope).

  • March 7, 2013
    claudiadonovan
    In Chronicle, there's a scene in which the three central characters come across an object underground and things start to happen (one character's nose begins to bleed, there's a loud screeching noise, and panic between the characters begins to increase) and the character with a camera continues to film instead of running away. Also, there's a scene in the film where the same character is trapped in a storm in the sky and is filming.
  • Live Action TV
    • In the well-known H.R. Pufnstuf episode "The Stand-In", Pufnstuf's movie star sister Shirlee visits Living Island, bringing her film crew along with her, giving Pufnstuf the idea of filming a movie as a diversion for Witchiepoo, while Jimmy sneaks into her castle and try to escape on her Vroom Broom. It doesn't go according to plan, and as Jimmy slips out of the castle, Shirlee's director was filming the entire time, and instructs Jimmy to go back for another take because he, "Needs more action!"
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