A few life coincidences have brought David Swift, a native of Hope, to work behind the scenes with comedian and car enthusiast Jay Leno.

Swift, 24, is a camera operator for Jay Leno’s Garage, a weekly web show. The show recently won an Emmy at the 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Special Class — Short-format Nonfiction Programs. This is the first win for the show, which has been nominated twice before. Swift is also the web editor for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

He is the son of Andy and Kathy Swift of Hope and is a 2005 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School.

“Technically I’m not a producer, so I helped to get the Emmy for the producers,” Swift said.

In an official capacity, Swift has been working for the show since the beginning of the year, but unofficially it’s been longer.

“Basically I started holding a boom pole and eventually they started paying me,” he joked.

Jay Leno’s Garage is a web show and Leno reviews cars, but Swift said it doesn’t necessarily have to be a car, it can be anything that is automotive/transportation related.

“Jay says it’s ‘anything that rolls, explodes and makes noise,'” Swift said. Leno does more than 100 reviews a year on the weekly show. In addition to the main vehicle, there is usually a book club, photo gallery and a game.

Swift, whose father is a fire engine mechanic, has always found himself around cars, but said he doesn’t take a huge interest in the cars on the show, simply because he can’t afford them.

“It’s hard to be a dedicated enthusiast when you can’t afford them, but it’s interesting to see the history that drove the innovation,” Swift said.

Leno’s collection does not really have a unifying thread, but Swift said Leno likes cars that are innovative for their time and did things differently.

For example, Leno has a 1909 Baker Electric and there is now a resurgence of electric cars.

“My interest has sort of been around those innovative qualities of the cars,” he said. “But I did get to drive a Lamborghini Murcielago, which was very cool.”

Leno also said the show is about “rolling sculpture.” “Some of the cars that come through the garage are absolutely beautiful and anyone can appreciate that,” Swift said.

Sometimes Swift gets to meet the designers or the engineers of the cars. One car he said that is making waves right now is the Pagani Huayra. He said this car is an example of one man’s vision. The car designer came to the garage and went through the entire car, right down to the last bolt, with Leno.

“This was one man’s vision and this one man is sitting right there,” he said.

Leno and Swift’s paths crossed many times before Swift began working for him. When he was a child, he was with his parents at Universal Studios in Los Angeles on a tram ride and there is a section with a flash flood all around the riders and sprinklers go off.

“It just so happened that as our tram is going through the area, Jay is taping a piece for ‘The Tonight Show,'” Swift said.

Swift’s father yelled to Leno, telling him about a specific motorcycle that he used to have. Leno stopped everything and came over to talk to Swift’s father.

In 2002, the city of Burbank gave Leno a fire engine that had been sitting at the end of the Burbank airport runway for years. At that time, Leno contacted Andy Swift, and he helped Leno get parts for the fire engine.

In 2005, Swift began school at Emerson College in Boston for cinematography. Leno is an Emerson alum. The first semester of his senior year of college (2008), Swift got accepted into a program at the college’s Los Angeles campus. At the same time, Swift’s grandfather died and the family had gone to L.A.

At the end of the trip, the family visited Leno and Swift told him he was living out there and Leno offered him an internship. Swift said as it turned out NBC no longer offered internships, so Leno hired him instead.

That was back on the original “The Tonight Show.” Swift took a full course load in L.A. in addition to working 50 hours a week as a production assistant. In December 2008, it was announced that Leno was going to be doing “The Jay Leno Show.”

Swift went back to Boston and graduated in 2009 and then worked on “The Jay Leno Show.” Eventually the show didn’t work out and some adjustments were made and Swift got the web editor job at “The Tonight Show.”