logo Raj Gibbson - freelance cameraman


So how on earth did an 18 year old school boy from New Zealand go on to be an Emmy Award nominated freelance cameraman?

As a cameraman, it's my job to tell a story, and every story starts somewhere. I guess this one started when I walked into the Hamilton Public Library many years ago and picked up a book describing the techniques of a television cameraman. I was fascinated from the outset and haven't looked back since. Life as a freelance cameraman has proven to be most entertaining.
Amongst other fringe benefits, I've had the chance to meet some great people - "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!" not only gave me a glimpse of life on the other side of the camera, it also went on to win a BAFTA Award and become one of the highlights of my career to date.
One thing the library book forgot to mention was that work as a cameraman is fraught with occupational hazards. Even supposedly tame documentaries can create some interesting moments, and my work on "Bronzed Aussie Gods" is a point in case.
We were enjoying filming on the water - the day was calm and the waves were light. The Palm Beach Women's Surf (Boat Crew) was doing their thing (and very well, I might add) before the Australian National Titles and we were filming from the boat. Suddenly someone yelled, "Sorry about this but you might want to hang on - there's a big one coming!" We crashed into a huge wave and got soaked. Here's a handy hint: if you're intent on getting yourself drowned on the job, there's no better company to do it in than a Women's Surf (Boat Crew).

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An American reality TV show proved to be a health risk of a different sort. After I'd spent the day sprinting up and down the final 300 meters of the course in hot pursuit of the contestants, I was relieved when it came time for the boat ride home. That was fine until a storm hit and lightening touched down on the water. There was no way to shore other than a boat and, yes, you guessed it... the boat was aluminium.
As you may have gathered by my continued presence, I wasn't reduced to a smoking pair of sandals. I made it to shore, and went on to earn an Emmy Award nomination for my work on Survivor Two: The Australian Outback.
After all this time, I still love my work, and I'll always be grateful to that dusty old library book that made it into my hands so many years ago in New Zealand - you can't beat a life as a freelance cameraman!


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