>Top Shot: Fail

20 Feb

>Watching the first two episodes of the new season of Top Shot and hey, it’s supercool — a shooting game/reality show, what’s not to like?

This: They run a nice disclaimer, “Expert marksmen on a closed course. Do not try this at home.”

On that, I’m callin’ BS on two counts:

1. Other than the rare Hollywood moving chair/falling shooter/ hugely reactive target setup, it’s just various forms of competition-type shooting in fancy dress; not all that unusual or dangerous.

2. If they’re so all-fired safe, why do I keep seeing hand-held camera work from the “hot” side of the firing line while competitors or the host are handling live weapons? Why does the camera keep getting muzzled?

Srsly, you knock that stuff off — or stop telling Me The Home Viewer, “Don’t try this at home.” Bilge. If I had a home range, I’d be trying a lot of the more-fun setups; and when I am at the range — any range! — I don’t handle firearms while folks are on the wrong side of the line. I don’t care what kind of hot-shot Joe Dangerous Cameraman you are, stay back of the line! If you’ve just gotta have that looking-at-’em shot, you go place a mirror when the range is clear, or you set up the camera and leave it.

It’s a cute show. I just wish they’d figure out that cameramen and focus pullers aren’t expendable.

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14 Responses to “>Top Shot: Fail”

  1. Hat Trick 20 February 2011 at 8:28 am #

    >Did you note any angles that were shot from in front of the firing line where the camera was obviously moving? I was thinking that they were using fixed cameras out in front of the shooting positions. It's been a few days since I watched the second episode but I do remember Jay Lim running from station to station with the .38 and muzzling the camera. He was definitely not keeping it pointed down range as the camera was to the side and behind the firing line.

  2. Hat Trick 20 February 2011 at 8:32 am #

    >And the "Don't Try This at Home" is the standard liability disclaimer required by the lawyers so that they'll sign off on airing the show.

  3. Tango Juliet 20 February 2011 at 8:51 am #

    >Well, the pros know how to be unsafe in a safe manner.

  4. Ian Argent 20 February 2011 at 9:45 am #

    >Every time I see them REPEAT that on a title card, I wish they'd use that time to post the 4 rules instead.I've been watching the shots, and all of the "downrange" shots appear to have been by remote. I know in the first season, on two of the challenges, you could see the box the cameras were in (draped in camo mesh both time)

  5. Ian Argent 20 February 2011 at 9:45 am #

    >Though I haven't been paying as much attention this season to the camera angles

  6. BGMiller 20 February 2011 at 10:14 am #

    >I dunno….Any cameraman dumb enough to watch the pretty flashes from the wrong side may in fact be expendable.BGM

  7. Roberta X 20 February 2011 at 10:49 am #

    >Ian, I'd sure like to see the 4 rules get some mention on that show.

  8. og 20 February 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    >This kind of stuff is why the general public think all gunnies are dumb as hammers. I'm with you, the Four should be in a constant scroll under the screen.

  9. Ruth 20 February 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    >haven't gotten around to watching any of this season yet, they're saved on the DVR, but I know last season they did have several contests where the cameras were at fixed positions in boxes on remote out infront of the shooters, you could see them during some of the other camera shots.

  10. Anonymous 21 February 2011 at 1:21 am #

    >They could be using a camera on a jib. Our video guy used one to film Jerry Miculek shooting at our range. Big long arm that reaches 20 to 30 feet or more ahead of the opearator. Camera hangs off the end of it and swivels, tilts, pans with a joy stick. Operator can swing the jib to add more range of motion. Cool to watch a pro run one. Larry Weeks

  11. Roberta X 21 February 2011 at 1:36 am #

    >I had not considered that; it seems like it would be intrusive but perhaps that's it. OTOH, my criteria for reading camera work as "hand-held" include skew (are level line horizontal?) and jitter (do they stay that way?), which a jib is pretty immune to. It looks to me like shoulder-carried camera work. This is dangerous and stupid on the wrong side of the firing line. Even giving the appearance of it is foolish IMO.

  12. Ian Argent 21 February 2011 at 1:45 am #

    >I recall that the first season producers went through some effort to let everyone know that the downrange cameras were unmanned – though primarily through alternate channels (website, interviews, &c). Did they do a "Makigg of…" on TV?

  13. Ted N 22 February 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    >Haven't seen it yet (still in Iraq, but not for long!), but I'd think that'd be a good place for the wire cameras the NFL uses over the field, no idea how much those cost, or what the set up is though.Adding the 4 rules, and making sure the audience knows its a robot or whatever downrange would be really nice too."No, Timmy Teenager, we didn't put live people downrange, and neither should you, no matter how cool the camera shot is. Thank you.".02

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