For this week’s Shot Composition assignment I needed to pick a simple point and shoot camera from the equipment room. I actually didn’t need to, per se, since I could have borrowed my partner’s camera, but I wanted to see what the fuss was about concerning Rod, the infamous equipment room guy.
Professor Jay, an upbeat and positive guy, maybe the kind of guy who, out of decency wouldn’t bash an old hermit living in the cramped closet room who jealously rents out his equipment to irresponsible and entitled students with such a description. He would probably say something like, “the equipment guys are real great, but Rod just has own way of doing things.”
In my eager, Scooby-Doo mystery solving mind, I had just stumbled upon one of those legendary inter-staff dramas you hear about. I was so intrigued to discover what kind of scary man this Rod would turn out to be.
I decided on Wednesday to reserve a camera for the next day. My palms sweat as my phone began to slip out of my slightly trembling hand. I dialed the number to equipment room.
It seemed to ring forever, and I was slightly relieved thinking it would just go to voicemail. No such luck. A man’s voice answered the phone after a dense silence.
I suddenly felt cold in the middle of a parking lot at noon on a summer day in Miami.
The conversation went by surprisingly smooth. I didn’t ask who it was on the line out of fear for the wrong answer. It was safe to say, however, that this was not the monster I had worried about talking to.
So now it’s Thursday, I have the assignment instructions folded in my hand and have to go to the dragon’s lair without a taste of who I’m up against.
I knock on the macabre double doors. There is sheet with instructions written on it, something to the effect of “Knock and wait. If no one answers your, soul has been spared.” I am fuzzy on the details.
A metallic scraping sound. The bolt on the door tears open. Only one of the doors swivels open. An older man of about sixty years stands in the doorway with a stern expression. His eyes peer into my thoughts.
“Are you here to pick up a camera?”
“Umm. Yes, sir.”
I respond suspiciously to his questions which do not yet seem terrifying. I believe he is only feeling me out.
“Are you Matthew?”
“Yes. I am.”
He looks at me and smiles.
It is a subtle battle of controlled wits we engage in. No one side is willing to give up any vulnerability.
“Which class are you in?”
His seemingly pleasant demeanor is a raging facade! It screams of hidden danger.
“Uh. Umm. Sandhouse,” I shudder at my awkward response. He must sense fear now.
Say something more so he doesn’t realize how dumb I sound, I began to think. I quickly fill the room with a nervous explanation of what the Shot Composition assignment is.
“Is that right, well, this is a video camera. You can take stills with this, but you could just use a regular Point and Shoot.”
“Oh, wow, right. Where do I get that?” I ask.
“You can check it out here.” He turns around picks a camera. “Here, this is a Point and Shoot. All you have to do is point and shoot. Just like the name says.”
Rod quickly fills out the paper work, checks my FIU ID, and then asks me when I can return it. After this, I simply walk out of the equipment room unscathed.
Pretty anti-climactic, I know. There is still time. Even though Rod has helped me out patiently and kindly, my guard is still up.
I would say I conquered the dragon, but it is never this easy. My head now tells me his is a nice man, but I must fight what my head says. Do not turn to the dark. I must trust my first instinct and be prepared for the next battle.