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Posts from the ‘Cameraman tales’ Category

Cameraman tales: Breakdown in Bahrain

In 1978, I went with a crew to Bahrain to make a documentary film about the island state.

The cameraman was John Barnard.  John was an Australian resident in London.  He was one of the best.

John hired his equipment from Samuelson’s, the main item being an Arriflex camera. Read more

300 not out

Two hundred articles ago, I wrote that “I hope that we have enough material to provide another hundred articles.”  This Friday’s article, a podcast on my friend and colleague Paul Wyand, will be my three hundredth article. Read more

Cameraman tales – Felix Yiaxis

In the later seventies, Felix Yiaxis, UPITN’s staff cameraman based in Cyprus, was posted to Cairo as cameraman.  Previously, Osman Mahmoud Osman had been the retained cameraman who was employed on the basis of providing a set number of stories from Egypt each month.  He was paid for each story.  Osman had asked for more money, not having had a raise in many years.  Kenneth Coyte refused and Osman stopped work. Read more

Cameraman tales: Ed Vankan – Stanleyville massacre 1964

In the early sixties, Ed Vankan was a UPMT/UPIN cameraman.  He was sent to the former Belgian Congo to cover the fighting between Belgian forces, Congolese political groups and mercenaries who attached themselves to all sides.  While in the area, he contributed written reports to UPI.  One can only assume that he wrote his report during a lull in the fighting, if there was one. Read more

Cameraman tales: Anon – Salisbury

Our anonymous cameraman was first of all a freelance cameraman based in the west country and working for UPIN.  When UDI was declared in Rhodesia (Now Zimbabwe) in November 1965, he was taken on staff and posted to Salisbury (now Harare) with an Auricon Sound camera and an Arriflex “silent” camera.

He was set up there with accommodation and a car.  When needed, he was to find his own sound man locally where there was a sizeable film unit. Read more

Cameraman tales: Flying Enterprise and David Samuelson

Between the end of December 1952 and early January 1953, the world witnessed an ongoing drama on the high seas.  “The Flying Enterprise” was an American Liberty ship crossing the Atlantic from west to east.  In heavy seas, its cargo shifted and caused the ship to have an uncontrollable list.  Rescue vessels arrived on the scene and Captain Carlsen ordered the crew to abandon ship.  He stayed on board trying to steer the vessel.

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Cameraman tales: Jan Borg Tlatelolco massacre 1968

Ten days before the Mexico Olympics, in Mexico City on October 2, 1968, UPITN’s man, Jan Borg, had managed to get up on the balcony of an apartment building overlooking the Three Cultures Square (Plaza de las Tres Culturas) from which student leaders would address thousands of protesters, continuing their protest against the Mexican Government of President Gustavo Diáz Ordaz.  Halfway through the first speech a green vary light was fired from the roof of the Foreign Ministry next door. Immediately heavily armed soldiers from the army stormed into the square and immediately opened fire on the crowd.

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Cameraman tales: Jan Borg – Mission to Moscow

The 50th anniversary of the Russian October revolution. November 7 1967.

A week  before the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Jan Borg was sent to Moscow to cover the great news event.  The coverage had been planned more than a year earlier.  Reservations had been made in the top floor corner suite, with balcony, at the luxurious National Hotel. Read more

Cameraman tales: Harry Lehrer and his camera

12 June 1961, Harry Lehrer, a staff cameraman at ABV2 wrote me a letter which, in part said:

“… John, I believe, has already told you that I am no longer at the mercy of the A.B.C. for I had an unfortunate mishap when doing a film on yachting, I fell into the water, and being a Saturday evening when I returned to the studios I did not advise anyone of the accident.  Consequent to this, the powers that be deemed me to have been negligent and, as a result, and after a short period of suspension, I was given the bullet.  As we are auxiliary staff there was just nothing one could do to stop the injustice, so I am now freelancing”. Read more

Cameraman tales: Jan Borg

UPITN cameraman Jan Borg was normally based in his home city of Oslo.  However, in 1968, he was absent, abroad, for 310 days.

The following is one of the reasons that he was away from home. It started on January 21 when an US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed in the sea ice in North Star Bay  some 12 km west of Thule Air Base, Greenland. Read more