Shooting the news

KCAL-9 news photographer Bryan Frank blogs about his work and life (with his wife) at beFrank. He gives an interesting glimpse at the unpredictable day of a TV news shooter. He wrote on Tuesday about driving to Camp Pendleton for a story about more dead Marines, and being asked how he can do those kinds of stories over and over. "The simple answer is that I believe in what I do. It's gets a little complicated because there's always the fact that I like getting a paycheck, but it feels like I sometimes do accomplish something." He also reflected recently about the hazards of the job and life in L.A.:

My view on the world? It's not a safe place. It's never been a safe place. It's never going to be a safe place. I don't even think it's meant to be safe. To me, it's not a pessimistic view and I don't live in fear. Matter of fact, I often go where sane people wouldn't. I try to lead a cautious life because my experience is often with the worst that could happen.

My assignment today was to work with a reporter on an early morning traffic accident on the 10 Freeway in Upland, California. Four people died and four others were injured. It was caused by a drunk driver and involved three vehicles. Out the door, it's not going to be a happy feel-good story. We do our interviews and shoot what we need. We set up to go live from the parking lot of the Pavillions grocery store just off the freeway on Mountain Avenue in Upland.

We got the usual group dropping by the van (interrupting our work) asking for info and just being nosey about the truck. Just before our live-shot, a guy walks over and starts asking questions. We politely (always start off friendly) asked him to allow us a few minutes to complete our live-shot. He seemed reasonable, but seemed agitated. He mumbles a few things to himself and steps back, but not very far. We do our liveshot with one eye on him and as soon as we're done, he begins to ask to see our media credentials. He demands to know our names and questions our "right" to be set up in the public parking lot. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. . .naw, this guy's a nutcase. The reporter gets in the van and the guy stands at the door demanding we give him our names and show our credentials. Keep in mind we're set up next to our KCAL9 microwave truck with the mast up, camera and lighting gear set and we've just done a liveshot. I know I'm just trying to make sense of a situation that's not ever going to make sense.

The situation intensified and the cops were called. (Link via

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