Colin Drummond, the former Producer of TMZ Celebrity News is a leader in the entertainment industry with extensive experience in film production, prominent business connections and a penchant and knack for capturing the everyday actions of fascinating people in the public eye. Drummond is now CEO and founder of a recently launched entertainment news agency dedicated to distributing photographs, video and humanistic news stories about politicians, and celebrities in the Washington, DC arena and worldwide.
Who makes the headlines and how does an entertainment news agency provide up-to-the-minute exclusive video and photos of headlining politicians, celebrities and Tina Turner Celebrates 80th Birthday With Special Video Message For Fans public officials? Dorothy Dutch asked probing questions of Colin Drummond to get to the heart of the paparazzi phenomena. For those of us who unabashedly enjoy flipping through celebrity photo stories on line or off, it can be even more satisfying if we understand the world of the candid camera.
This interview session is aimed at the journalists who give us our daily doses of unethical behavior, celebrity photos, gossip, news articles, and entertainment news even before prime time entertainment shows enter our living rooms. Drummond’s answers offer a surprising eye view of a world behind the candid cameras of the paparazzi.
Dorothy Dutch: Are paparazzi also writers or mainly just photographers?
Colin Drummond: Most are photographers or former photographers who go on to start their own agencies. They work at a day rate (standard pay for a day). This is known as freelancing. It’s better for them because they still own their images or videos. Most paparazzi are freelance photographers who work for agencies who sell their photos and the agency takes a cut. A good agency has a strong sales team and can get photos on T.V. shows, magazines, billboards, and even inside movie marketing material.
DD: What qualifications must a paparazzo have?
CD: A pap has to have workable camera equipment, knowledge of celebrities, know how to take photos, and be able to ask great questions. For equipment they need plenty of camera gear, a fast SLR camera, a few good lens, (very costly) and a HD Video camera.
DD: Can anyone do it?
CD: Yes and No. Anyone can get lucky and capture a great picture by being in the right place at the right time, but doing it day after day requires hard work and dedication to your craft. DD: The paparazzi are perceived as “pests” to be avoided because they will do anything to get a picture. Are they that bad?
CD: Not really. Those who have been in the business for awhile have good relationships with all the celebrities. They usually know how close they can get to someone or who they need to use their long lens on.
DD: Is it true that they will literally provoke a subject into anger in order to get a more candid, unflattering shot and if not, why do you think the paparazzi are so disliked that fights break out?
CD: No. Fights are usually initiated by overzealous bodyguards or hangers on who really don’t understand the business and think they are helping the stars out. There have been times when bodyguards have even been fired for getting too aggressive
DD: What stars and famous people have you photographed who actually enjoy working with the paparazzi?
CD: Hands down, Tom Cruise, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Hugh Jackman, Larry King.
DD: Which celebrities do you know who want to avoid them?
CD: Gwenyth Paltrow, Scarlett Johanson, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Cher, Barbara Streisand DD: Do politicians on the Washington scene resist photographers?
CD: No, at first politicos didn’t understand the paparazzi game in DC, but now they realize they are public figures and since technology has evolved they should try to use it to their advantage.
DD: Is it different following high level political figures than it is to photograph film and television stars?
CD: Yes, they often look at you as if to ask, “Why are you taking my photo on the streets? I’m no celebrity.” But these days all politicians know they have to be visual to appeal to the younger market and to represent their districts. Some are even flattered that their constituents are seeing them in magazines.