First, in case of monster attack, make sure you are holding a camcorder. Do not let go of it for a second. Do not turn it off for any reason. A monster is knocking a bridge out from under you? Keep filming. A monster is chasing you through a subway tunnel with almost zero illumination? Keep filming.
• Future generations will depend on your videotape as a record of this historic event. They will demand realism, authenticity. But that might look a little suspicious if you actually film it straight on, with a steady hand, as people do with tornadoes and such. So jiggle the camera as much as possible, so the image is a migraine-inducing blur.
• Better still: tilt the camera at a 60-degree angle, so everything looks like it's about to go sledding to the opposite side of the frame. Nobody actually uses a camcorder this way—unless they're filming The Third Man
in their backyard—but it creates the appearance of spontaneity.
• Should you be directly confronted by a monster—one that resembles, say, a cross between the slithery whatsit from The Host
and lovable comic-strip character Ziggy—keep filming. If it sweeps you up in its barge-sized mandibles and chomps you around several stories off the ground, don't panic. Make sure to fall so your mangled form will be perfectly framed within the viewfinder.
• Try to load your camera with a previously used tape that will provide ironic counterpoint when watched later, in juxtaposition with the monster footage. It is good to prepare now by filming yourself saying things such as, "This really is a good day," or, "I've never been so happy!"
This public-service announcement has been brought to you by the motion picture Cloverfield