The Meenister’s Log
When I ministered in the West Indies, it was the early days of videos at wedding services.
It wasn’t a case of every second guest having a small camcorder – this was the works, the works with icing on the top, and a cherry on top of that…. a real Steven Speilberg/ David Lean/ Ridley Scott/ Cecil B deMille production. There would be a videographer with a massive camera resting on his shoulder or on a tripod, a sound man with mike beam and a lighting technician with one of those huge umbrella things to intensify the light.
And they got in the way – and how! We almost felt as if we were being manipulated into position – stage-managed, quite literally..
The chancel area of the church would be illuminated to dazzling intensity with light diffused from the photographic umbrella.
It was almost painfully bright; then awkwardly dim, when the movie director thought that the prayers and readings were to boring to film, and so cut the lights.
They were here; they were there; they were in the way, so I asked them to shift and give me more space.
Nothing – except a look of pity. They were right up with me on the chancel steps by this time, so,politely, I asked them to move away.
The camera guy was by this time a cigarette-paper’s distance from me – but, now, a third time I turned toward him (there was a hymn being sung at the time) I and as I asked him in more forcible language (not quite of the “industrial strength” that has been deployed before), I tripped over my gown and went clattering into him, his huge camera almost falling off his shoulder.
“There, serves you right, you b****rd!”
If my comment wasn’t heard by the congregation, it certainly would have been afterward on the video tape, and after that, and after that; the sound guy was standing unbeknownst to me on my other side capturing that delightful non-ministerial comment for posterity on the sound track