So in my last article about him, I mentioned that I would like to interview him, leaving my email address for him to respond.
And sure enough, he did respond, but making sure he covered his tracks, emailing me from a spoof address, firstname.lastname@example.org, telling me to contact him through his Vimeo account.
So I sent him a few questions and he responded a few hours later. He didn’t reveal a whole lot and I didn’t expect him to, but then when I sent him a follow-up question, he responded by asking me not to publish the interview.
Hey man. Sorry to do this, but is there any way I can convince you not to post the interview? Call it second thoughts, but I just don’t see these videos as a big deal and don’t want to treat them as one.
So that left me a little undecided as to what I should do. On one hand, I like to maintain trust with my sources but on the other hand, I need to inform my readers.
In this case, he reached out to me after I mentioned I had wanted to interview him. And he had plenty of time to decide whether he wanted to answer the questions. And it was only after a few hours after he sent them to me that he changed his mind.
So in the end, I sided with my readers, which is why I’m publishing the interview in its entirety. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it does provide a little more information than we already had.
And for the record, although I call him the Creepy Cameraman, I say that mostly tongue-in-cheek, just going by the creeped-out expressions on people’s faces that he encounters.
A true creepy cameraman would be inconspicuously recording up women’s skirts or installing hidden cameras in women’s bathrooms as we’ve seen done in the past.
This guy is about as upfront as you can get, which is why he is so funny.
So here goes the Q and A with the Creepy Cameraman or as he likes to call himself, the Surveillance Camera Man.
PINAC: How long have you been doing this?
Creepy Cameraman: Just a couple months.
PINAC: What inspired you to do this?
Creepy Cameraman: It was spontaneous. I was with a friend who wanted to film a social experiment, but we didn’t have audio equipment. I explained how we could only get good audio if we pushed the camera directly into people’s faces. After the first couple of approaches, he couldn’t keep a straight face. It was all me after that.
PINAC: Was the school video the first video?
Creepy Cameraman: Yeah. I took that one several months ago. Didn’t think much of it at the time. A few friends thought it was funny, so I threw it on Vimeo. It lasted a couple of days before someone from the school forced Vimeo to take it down. People have mirrored it on YouTube though.
PINAC: What school was it?
Creepy Cameraman: University of Washington.
PINAC: How old are you?
Creepy Cameraman: Late 20s.
PINAC: Have the cops ever been called on you?
Creepy Cameraman: Many times. I avoid ‘em. Don’t really care about the legalities of what I’m doing, because pretty much everything’s illegal these days. Getting caught is the only crime.
PINAC: What’s the worst confrontation you’ve had over the camera?
Creepy Cameraman: Getting glared at and ignored. Makes a boring video.
PINAC: What kind of camera do you use?
Creepy Cameraman: I don’t want to plug anything. Anyone can do this, anytime. Even with an iPod.
PINAC: How do you remain so calm through it all?
Creepy Cameraman: I don’t overthink it. Taking a video isn’t the most death defying thing I’ve ever done.
PINAC: Why do you insist on remaining anonymous when all it takes is somebody to pull out their own camera and record you?
Creepy Cameraman: A lot of stuff I do is controversial, so my projects are usually anonymous. I don’t see any reason to wave my hands in the air and shout, “Look at me! I’m the Surveillance Camera Man!” If something I do gets a lot of attention, great. But I don’t need to be a celebrity.
PINAC: Has anybody ever done that?
Creepy Cameraman: Sure. I don’t care. They’ll get a boring shot of a guy holding a camera. Can they prove it’s THE surveillance camera man? Probably not. If anyone reading this is feeling mischievous, here’s an idea. Get a shot of yourself holding a camera in public. Circulate the photos online as “Surveillance Camera Man caught in the act”.
PINAC: When are you going to post more videos?
Creepy Cameraman: No idea. I don’t plan this stuff. Right now I’m working on other things.