When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit Oakland just after 5 PM, cameraman Jerry McEowen and I, working for the NBC station in Bay Area, followed the smoke to the collapsed double-decked Cyprus freeway. Jerry was a big, plain, Midwesterner. His shooting was solid plus he was brave and funny. I helped, but this video is Jerry’s work.
As it got dark Jerry and I found my news intern and gave him our tapes — the best same day video from that day. Intern drove it to a waiting helicopter which flew it back to the station where they promptly misplaced the tapes. Didn’t get them on the air that day at all. So when the chance came later I picked the tapes up and brought them home.
One of the pleasures of my professional life was meeting Jerry Lawson, the talented, sweet lead singer of the Persuasions who became a friend. I owe that, and other things, to Phil Lerman who set me to shoot some video of Lawson’s life and work.
Jerry passed away and the documentary about him was finally produced by others, bless them. Check out thepersuasions.com and spend five minutes with Jerry and Talk of the Town working in a recording studio in San Francisco.
Pals Chris and Susan Koch had a production deal with Discovery to make a show, Invention for which lucky me produced a bunch of segments. This one covered the journey of disposed soda bottles to expensive sweater. I shot it in a week of frantic travel, different crew at every stop. Finished shooting in Memphis and spent the afternoon without a camera at Graceland.
Talent for Invention is the wonderful Lucky Severson.
This is the first news package I ever shot with Gary Mercer, first of probably hundreds. We didn’t know each other and by day’s end we were not speaking.
Beginning in 1964, I think I must have done about one million stories at the Berkeley campus. (Phone prompt voice on this piece is Linda Yee’s.)
Live shot with the great Gary Radnich after an A’s playoff game. Rad did sports; I only did color as he points out.
The package was kind of a hijack of Trib columnist Martin Snapp’s idea of sampling tailgate food. Distilled pure local TV news.
As Gary Radnich has noted, my role in covering sports was modest. But I worked in Oakland — think A’s, Raiders, Warriors. So I got the best parts – full-access press passes, free tickets to any game, and enjoyable side-bar pieces like this one. It features the wonderful Janice Huff, then KRON’s weather person, now at WNBC in New York.
Most Wanted capture
I believe because the boss, John Walsh, got there after a personal catastrophe, America’s Most Wanted was one of the best news shops I’ve ever been in. There was also a lovely crew of producers, shooters, editors and writers. Good place to work, and a TV show that made a positive difference in the world.
This a final cut of my 1995 AMW story about the murder of 14-year-old Naomi Mahill and the capture of her killer. I used some recreations from an earlier Most Wanted piece produced by Anthony Batson. The Sacramento video here was shot by Christian Meyers in a sleepless, two-state, 24 hour blitz ending with the Cox arrest.
This is how a TV story looks late in its creation. Of course for air we replaced my scratch with John Walsh’s voice, and worked on the audio track mix considerably.