Cameramen get paid to watch what happens. They set up, pick their shots, monitor audio levels and make sure that everything is captured. They do not say a lot, and usually roll to their own beat.
But occasionally they capture a moment or subject absolutely perfectly -- and not always on film. I was in Dublin last week for an audience, or rather a television interview, with King Brian. Some call him 'BOD', and while the religious invocation is a nod to his ability, Ireland's evergreen centre Brian O'Driscoll is no god.
For a start, he has had to suffer the mortal failing of being injured.
Secondly, his critics are more than happy to tell him that he has failed to deliver an Ireland team on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup.
When O'Driscoll decided to get his shoulder fixed, an operation that meant him sitting out most of this season, there were plenty of people only too happy to predict that their country's rugby saviour was going to become yesterday's man; Lazarus without the bounce-back.
I bet Leinster are chuffed, but not as much as Brian. He had spent two years with his upper body giving him pain, his shoulder struggling to cope with the sport's physical demands. He tried to keep going with strapping, lighter training routines and the quick-fix cortisone injection.
Yet after the World Cup it was clear that he could not carry on with an injury that dated back to the 2009 Lions tour. Physically it is hard to carry injuries into every game; mentally it is horrific... the constant questions about your ability to cope, the fear of when it will go, the knowledge that it will hurt a hell of a lot.
That fear seems to have dissipated, and has been replaced by a hunger to prove he still has what it takes.
"The biggest concern is always complacency," he explains. "It's never a case of thinking about the end goal. It's about the process and I am a big believer in that."
With this in mind, I ask him how he would define success for a club such as Leinster and a player such as himself.
"A successful season is winning the Heineken Cup," he says.
Simple and to the point, and not a crazy ambition given the way the team have been playing. Their performance in December against Bath was as good a passing display as you will see.
Fergus McFadden, Eoin O'Malley and Gordon D'Arcy have excelled in the centre throughout this Heineken Cup campaign and it must be odd to come back to find good friends and backline partners such as Shane Horgan no longer present, their bodies having called for a permanent time-out.
"Shane has been an integral part of Leinster and my life for the last 13 or 14 years," says O'Driscoll (33). "He has always been there in the dressing-room, it will be strange knowing I won't be sitting down beside him.
"Same pre-match routine, very relaxed and a bit of a laugh before we get out on to the pitch. I look around now and I see a lot of guys with noxiously large head-phones and doing their own thing."
But while some players may be stepping aside, others are there to back him up with their experience and stubborn refusal to bow before time's ticking dictatorship.
Brad Thorn, the All Black World Cup-winning second-row, who is 37 and looks as if he has been playing for 50 years, signed for Leinster this season and calls Brian "the young pup". Heavy irony or not, O'Driscoll is looking forward not back.
"Every interview that I do now is 'when am I going to retire?'," he says, adding that both the Lions tour next year and the World Cup in 2015 are real possibilities. "I don't see any reason to put a finite amount of time on my playing days.
"I'm enjoying it. I feel physically good, not carrying the aches and pains that I have been carrying for the past couple of years. I need a bit longer to warm up. But once I get going I am in a good place."
One of the main reasons for this upbeat attitude is how far Leinster have come. They have moved with the times, they have recruited well and are constantly evolving. The arrival of Joe Schmidt as head coach has seen them become the finest passing team left in the tournament.
He has made them all feel like everyone has a chance and that makes for a competitive, happy and positive squad. This has put a spring in O'Driscoll's step and when our interview comes to an end, he practically bounces out of the room.
As he left, I found myself thinking about him as player and man, trying to conjure up a smart comment that best summed him up. While I ruminated, John, the cameraman, came up with the words that I needed. "What a great bloke. But he is proper hard."
That, ultimately, is what sets Brian O'Driscoll apart. He has an easy manner that lets him deal with life's disappointments, and the mental toughness needed to keep coming back a winner. (© Daily Telegraph, London)