From the Book of Hart:
The Camera Assistant is wary as someone approaches the sacred machine, as watchful as a mother grizzly bear with her cubs. Yes, someone may touch the camera, may look through the eyepiece, may even change the direction the camera is pointing, but no harm shall befall that wondrous machine while the noble Camera Assistant is standing sentinel. No president, queen, or prime minister ever enjoyed protection as vigilant.
When hungry, the camera in the Assistant’s charge shall be fed – film in magazines on top or on the back, electricity through cables plugged into the back or side, heat when necessary, lenses and filters in front, oil for the mechanism inside. When the camera moves to the next set or location, the Camera Assistant places a casual but resolute hand on the magazine or handle, and walks alongside in a procession of vigilance and confidence.
This delicate precision machine is to be kept safe, warm, and dry at all costs, even when the Camera Assistant may not be. It is not only the potential expense that keeps the Camera Assistant so protective, it is “the job.”