Remember your eldest cousin’s marriage video? The grainy VHS tape you so lovingly spent time ‘tracking’ so the fuzzy lines would disappear? (In the process everybody else but you enjoyed the actual video, but that’s a different story). And it was a matter of pride that you owned a tape of the wedding, and whenever there was a family get-together, all we did was pull out these old tapes and play/rewind/play/…well, you get the idea.
It would be a laugh riot, some of these videos. “Dinesh Video proudly presents” the opening credits would roll – 'Radha Weds Krishna' would follow, giving way to some more tacky zig-zag background stills playing to some instrumental tune you’d heard umpteen times earlier. It was a different matter that this Dinesh guy would’ve ‘proudly’ presented weddings of the entire neighborhood as if one of his own was getting married. Ah, old times.
And today? You see a small production house in every family. Especially in school functions. The moment the little ones get onstage, as if on cue (I don’t think so many people ever got up even for the national anthem), a dozen adults too get up and about on their feet, ready to capture their tiny tots’ mesmerizing steps on the cell phone or handycam. The others would have the backsides of these videographers ‘proudly presented’, but hey, we managed to grab it on video (the actual function, I mean). And the same at weddings, social gatherings, naming ceremonies, house-warming etc.
The archetypal ‘Dinesh’ and folks aren’t totally out of business, you know. We still get to see some of them, tagging alongside rows of guests, thrusting the arclights on nose diggers and animated talkers. But for all the photographic/videographic indulgences of relatives and friends, these ‘professional’ presenters have only gotten smarter (not to mention richer). These days you see cameras swooping down on the newly-weds from overhead ‘dolly’ cameras, sometimes close enough to hear them grumbling about how their faces ache from the constant smiling, but well, all that would go at the editing table, right?
Meanwhile - Hello, Mr. over-enthusiastic friend with the HD cell phone camera, please mind your head – the dolly’s swooping low.