Trust and the Hard Cam

First of all I might have to clarify something for the uninitiated or less experienced. Some of you might be aware of the term “Hard Cam” but if not then let me explain.

The Hard Cam is the main TV camera that you see used for most recorded wrestling events. It is the fixed one that fits the whole ring in from side to side. If you watch WWE then it’s the one that you usually see for wide shots with the entrance ramp on the left. The reason it is important is because as a performer working on a TV product you need to make sure that the main camera gets the best angles for the moves that you are doing and the story that you are telling.

A case in point would be in a match I re-watched recently, a tag match that was coming up towards the finish. In this match one of the wrestlers took a move and was rolling out of the ring on the opposite side to the camera but their opponent grabbed them and threw them back to the floor on the hard cam side.

Now that might seem like the right thing to do, show the crowd the impact of the throw but I felt it actually took me out of enjoying the match for two reasons. Firstly it seemed odd that you would stop someone rolling out of the ring just to throw them out the other side, perhaps if it was the legal man in the tag you might want to keep them in the ring but if you want them out you’d just let them go.

The second reason it broke the suspended disbelief we all aim for is that the wrestler in question then had to move away from the hard cam side of the ring so that they could run back there for a planned spot.

My point here, and it applies to both filmed events and those with a concentration of the crowd on one side of the ring, is that although it is great to concentrate on performing for that side you also need to trust the people you are working with to know what they are doing and where they need to be. Sometimes people are going to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time but unless it makes sense to move them then don’t.

Keeping the suspended disbelief in the crowd is so important. I was told once that it only takes one person to see something and comment on it for 8 others to be taken out of the moment, that’s all the people sat around the person commenting, imagine if one of those 8 says something too… 

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