In yesterday's comments about found footage films, this question came up:
And finally, do we even NEED to setup the cameraman as a character for a film like this to work? Is it possible to just not explain why there is a camera rolling or who it is? I watch shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation, and there is an implied camera crew around at all times, but never explained, and I never question it as a viewer.
My feeling - in films it is rather necessary because the movie is documenting a particular moment or incident. Cloverfield wouldn't work if the cameraman was handled in the same way as The Office. On the other hand, Christopher Guest movies rarely make an issue of their cameraman. Of course, there's a reason for that.
The difference is that The Office isn't "found footage." It's presented in edited, documentary form. The conceit isn't that we're seeing things as they happen, which is the case in Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project. There, the idea is "here is this raw footage presented in unedited form, showing this inexplicable event unfold right before your eyes.
But what say you? Does the cameraman need to be a character in the film?