View Full Version : Great photogs

08-30-2004, 08:21 PM
What TV show (News only)
has the best stuff?

They say CBS has the best shooters.
Is there any good stuff on cable?

I'm just looking for inspiration.


Baltimore Shooter
08-30-2004, 08:34 PM
Speed Channel's "5th Gear" (Monday nights). Great shooting & editing on that show.


08-30-2004, 09:03 PM
Well, it's not cable, but like you said before, CBS has the best shooters, in my opinion. Particularly CBS Sunday Morning...

08-31-2004, 12:00 AM
I second CBS sunday morning!

Sore Shoulder
08-31-2004, 12:07 AM
I love CBS Sunday Morning.
Frontline is also good.

08-31-2004, 12:44 AM
CBS morning show. PERIOD! Great people stories, to boot...

08-31-2004, 12:51 AM
Originally posted by Sore Shoulder:
I love CBS Sunday Morning.
Frontline is also good. Seconded!

08-31-2004, 12:36 PM
I have grown fond of PBS shows, particularly the Frontline documentaries and/or Nova. But CBS Sunday Morning is great as well.

<senior citizen cameraman>
08-31-2004, 01:37 PM
since this is the WORLD wide web....

i'm pretty partial to the BBC - lots of stuff on sticks, wide lens, digibeta, rarely 3 second sequences etc.

just my $0.2 worth.....

<Jon Stewart>
08-31-2004, 03:55 PM
By far the "Daily Show". Not only is it shot and edited well, but that is also where I get all my election info.

08-31-2004, 05:24 PM
A friend of mine from the Memphis days, Mike
Hernandez,(A WMC alumni for you guys back there who think you can't break out and go further)shoots for CBS Sunday Morning. I ran into him in Detroit during the auto show and the way he described his job, it sounded like the ultimate...They had real time and backing to go and shoot the long pieces you see. But as everyone can also see, they have talent..Mike was the guy who was shooting Dan Rather when he was doing the infamous stand-up in the hurricane.

08-31-2004, 06:40 PM
is there anyone on this message board with
that kind of expertise that wouldn't mind
writting a few short pieces about the
"network" life?


08-31-2004, 08:00 PM
“5th Gear” is ok but I like the show they ripped of “Top Gear” better.

Baltimore Shooter
08-31-2004, 08:39 PM
Sadly, Top Gear doesn't air in the US. Is that a spin off of the Top Gear magazine?


08-31-2004, 09:10 PM
CBS Sunday Morning is the only church I attend.

08-31-2004, 09:23 PM
Let me add my applause to CBS Sunday Morning.

I grew up watching the show without ever knowing just how good it was. Then I rediscovered it about ten years ago, quickly realizing it was what I'd been trying to pull off with my own features all along. Even the passing of Charles Kuralt did nothing to dilute it's powerful storytelling recipe. I enjoy watching it with my klds, and it's sparked more than a few quality conversations. My ten year old even knows what 'nat sound' is, thanks to the placid closing moments featured each week.

I just wish some of my fellow shooters appreciated it more. I've raved about it to some only to received confused looks. I then tell them there's more to savor on TV than the rapid-fire smarm of 'SportCenter', at which point they call me a dinosaur and turn their attention back to the sports page. Glad to hear others here dig it as well.

09-10-2004, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by cameragod:
“5th Gear” is ok but I like the show they ripped of “Top Gear” better. Did you know they're using an IMX PDW-530 XDCam to shoot Top Gear?

The Story (http://www.sonybiz.net/xdcam^/templates/std_page.jsp&OID=146795)

09-11-2004, 09:42 PM
Dalens- this one is for you

Channel 7

09-11-2004, 10:23 PM
Cool. I love Top Gear (http://www.bbc.co.uk/topgear/) it is the best shot show on TV anywhere. I love that the shooting style can change so completely to help the mood of the piece. They really only have one of two things to say Good car, Bad car but they say it so well that you end up watching even if you don’t like cars.
If they ever need a shooter in NZ I’m available!!!

[ September 11, 2004, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: cameragod ]

Darrell Barton
09-11-2004, 10:31 PM
It's been some years since I've shot for SUNDAY MORNING....and here in the hinterland of Oklahoma the show is preempted by a Preacher....but I agree that it may the best television photojournalism there is. With that in mind..here's a little history on the show.

Sunday Morning was, I believe, the brain child of Shad Northshield. I first ran across his work when he was at NBC in the early seventies. I judged a contest and saw a documentary called "Suffer the Little Children"...about children in the conflict of Northern Ireland. I was inspired. It was beautiful and stirring. A man by the name of Chris Callery shot it and I immediatly had two new heros.

When Shad moved to CBS and started Sunday Morning he was recognised as a genius...but to some of the producers on the show he was an evil genius. "Tyrant" was the word I heard used most often. Shad had rules. Rules that could not be broken. One rule was that "no move starts or finishes". In other words...if you pan or zoom....the editor would always take it after it started and get out of it before it ended. I found that a little strange. The other rule involved how interviews were done. Shad wanted the subject to be looking as closely as possible directly into the lens. This meant that when you set it up...the camera lens would be directly over the correspondents head and and to reduce the angle between the correspondent and the subject you had to separate the two by as much as ten to fifteen feet. Worked fine if your subject was fairly TV savvy. Sometimes it didn't. Once I did a piece on an elderly Pima Indian woman who was a potter. She was almost stone deaf. The interview consisted of the correspondent yelling his questions and the woman answering what she thought she heard. The exchange I remember was



Producers who broke the rules were called in front of Shad for an ass chewing and cameramen who broke the rules didn't work for him anymore.

Shad was a recognised ornithologist...(he liked birds). That's the why of how the famous nat sound closers came about. I covered a hurricane once and happened to get a shot from a helicopter of some birds flying. The next day I got a call from the man himself. I was hoping he was going to compliment me on my shooting and offer me work. No. He wanted to know exactly where I was when I shot the birds so he could track their flight patterns. I told him and he hung up.

After he left Sunday Morning he took a spin at producing some 48 Hous pieces. It wasn't his style and he appeared to be very unhappy doing it. He passed away a few years ago but he did leave a great legacy.

09-11-2004, 11:15 PM
THANKS, Darrell (uh, Mr. Barton...SIR) for that awesome chunk of insider history. THAT is exactly what I come to this message board for. I love it when you drop some knowledge on us.

In fact, your very name on my screen triggers a weird photog bootcamp flashback deep in my psyche, and I suddenly find myself sitting at attention. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to drop and do fifty push-ups... :eek:

09-13-2004, 12:56 AM
Wow, Darrell.

Amazing story.

enough said,

09-13-2004, 01:43 AM

Thanks for the great story! I have my 6 iron....when is the train coming by?

David R. Busse
09-13-2004, 01:46 AM
I never met Shad, but I remember him every day with this quote...displayed on my wall.

"It takes great effort to keep your mouth shut. In television, writing
involves keeping your mouth shut more than anything else."

Robert "Shad" Northshield
Executive Producer
CBS "Sunday Morning"

I'll agree that "Sunday Morning" is top-notch televsion, but allow me to chime in for NBC News broadcasts in general in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the likes of Henry Kokojan, Leigh Wilson, Houston Hall, Chris Callery, Dennis Unger, Aaron Fears and others were shooting some of the most solid news pieces ever seen at the network level.

Shad Northshield may have been a brilliant fellow, but his insistence on those silly zooms that neither started nor ended was visual illiteracy that I could never comprehend, and it was all over everything CBS did. You never saw that kind of hokum when these guys (and other top NBC network staffers) were shooting the story. Solid? These were the best of the best...

Houston Hall was perhaps the most solid shooter in the history of TV news and the man never zoomed. He just composed beautiful pictures. Wilson was (and still is) the master of the artful zoom and wrote the book on shooting action sequences, long before many of today's top practitioners were even alive. These guys were at the top of their game when I was making the transition from film to tape (1979-1980) and I always enjoyed their work. Leigh Wilson, as mentioned many times before, was also a teacher and mentor and probably influenced more young "eager beavers" than any other single person in this biz...

[ September 13, 2004, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: David R. Busse ]

Darrell Barton
09-13-2004, 11:40 PM
Dave....You are absolutely right about the NBC shooters. I hope I don't end up as the resident historian on this site but you brought up some names that meant a lot to my career.

Henry Kokajan is an old friend of mine. He was a WW2 vet from Oklahoma. After the war he got a job as a film projectionist in a theatre. At that time it was a union gig. In the late fifties or early sixties he picked up a camera (he was already in the union) and went to work for NBC. He was a natural talent and the fact that he was a gentleman took him a long way. Unlike a lot of network guys....Henry took a strong interest in the NPPA and did some teaching and a lot of learning. In 73 I was a local cameraman on the faculty of the flying short course. At the Dallas stop, I looked out in the audience and saw Henry sitting in the back of the room. He had come to learn and left me wondering what in the hell I knew that I could teach Henry. He is retired and lives in Dallas.

Houston Hall.....when I started in the business that name was the equivilant of Babe Ruth in baseball. Houston was a rich kid from Oklahoma City who talked his parents into buying him a professional film camera when he was in his teens. He did some stringing and then was hired by WKY tv in Oklahoma City around 1960. I can't prove this but I believe that Houston may be the inventor of the sequence as it applies to television news. He was (and is) a master of our craft and an artist to boot. When I went to work at WKY in 69 I spent hours going through archives looking at his old stories. It was time well spent. He went to work at the NBC O and O in Philadelphia and shortly after went to the network. There are 10,000 Houston Hall stories...all of them true and most of them funny. I havn't talked to him for several years but I think he is freelancing in San Francisco.

Leigh Wilson is proof that there is room for an intellectual in this job. (Dave, you know all this stuff) You should properly refer to Leigh as "Dr. Wilson". He has a PHD and is an author of childrens books. I first ran in to him when he took a sabattical from shooting to teach at the University of Missouri. He was the news director at the tv station there and the primary instructor for visual news. During his years there he created a dynasty. I hired as many people as I could (the ones I could afford) from his classes. He didn't just teach cameraman. If you had a list of his students you would find that they are an honor roll of correspondents, producers, executives, and of course photographers. That's just the top of the story...he was and is a great cameraman. I think he is still freelancing in D.C.

Dave, he one you didn't mention was the guy that I think was the very first television news cameraman......Dexter Alley. I'll save that story for later.

09-14-2004, 12:23 AM
again GREAT stories.

Any websites about these great shooters?
Or books that they've written?


David R. Busse
09-14-2004, 12:55 AM
I arrived in LA just months after Dexter Alley retired from NBC.

One of my favorie Houston Hall stories:

Was working a shoot about 22 years ago in Monterey, Calif...political event where we had to follow some guys down a hall...then-Sen. Hiakawa, as I recall. We had two ABC crews there, so I went halfway up stairwell and got wide, high shot of the mayhem. Closeup walking-backward shooters were NBC's Houston Hall and ABC's Minh Van Dang (another great one).

After the scrum was finished, Hall and sound man John Bruni went somewhere and Minh (and soundman Sy Varnen) met me & my partner (Tom Morris, now in Seattle) in the hallway.

Minh looked exhausted. With camera on shoulder, sweat dripping from his forehead, he mopped his brow and quietly said in typical Minh Van Dang broken English:

"F-----g Houston. He king of push and shove."

BTW--I still remember Mr. Barton's first appearance in one of Leigh Wilson's classes at Mizzou...and I believe the now Mrs. Parisot was sitting next to me...long story to be told at a later date. Bottom line...I still remember every frame of every story Barton showed that night, including "Kelly the Boxer" and a tornado aftermath piece that showed me what real spot news was all about.

Darrell Barton
09-15-2004, 02:56 AM
One of my many unfinished projects is a book about the camerapeople who made our craft what it is. For those with the patience...here's a few notes on some of my heroes.

Dexter Alley was the son of Norman Alley...both were newsreel cameramen and both covered WW2 in the pacific. After the war they got a contract to provide "newsreels" for a station in Los Angeles. Later NBC bought the station, Norman retired, and Dexter was hired as the only, at that time, cameraman who worked for a television station. As the network grew and the business grew...Dexter grew with it. The fascinating thing about Dexter was that he was never stagnant. He changed with the times....right up to the time video replaced film. For some reason the union would not let him switch. He was a superb documentarian. He was on the faculty of the Workshop the year I was a student. His documentary "The Navajo Way" was spectacular. He passed away in the early eighties.


In the fifties, a free lance cameraman named Wendell Hoffman took a shoot with CBS. He went to Cuba...posed as a deaf mute peasant...smuggled a Mitchell camera, several magazines of film, and a half dozen wet cell batteries on mule back into the Sangre De Cristo mountains where he and a producer interviewed the leader of a group of bandits. Then he buried the camera and batteries and smuggled the film back to the states. That was the first proof that Fidel Castro existed. He told me once that, when he got back, CBS was so happy that they offered him a staff job anywhere he wanted. He told them that he would like to work out of Manhattan. I think he still lives there. Manhattan Kansas.


Laurence Pierce, a staffer for CBS, was shooting a routine campaign stop in 1972. As the candidate began to wrap up his speech, Laurence took his camera off of the sticks, popped on a fresh magazine, and put the camera on his shoulder. The other cameramen on the platform didn't. After all, the candidate's people had promised them that he wasn't going into the crowd that day. He did. Laurence jumped off the platform, went with into the crowd and was the only one with a camera who saw the man with the pistol fire the shot that paralized George Wallace. I was standing near him a few weeks later when someone asked him if he had been "lucky". He bristled.

"If it had happened the next day, I would have gotten it. If it had happened the next week I would have gotten it." He went on. "When John Kennedy was shot...I was a block away. When Robert Kennedy was shot...I was in the next room. When Martin Luther King was shot...I was drinking a beer in my room. When they assigned me to Wallace, I promised myself that where ever he went...I would be there. I was".

He was.

Laurence was a strange mixture of pugnacious energy (he covered the racial strife in New Orleans with a sawed off pool cue in his left hand) and a southern gentleman. He died in the late seventies.

Buy me a cup of coffee somewhere down the road and I'll tell you about the rest.

09-15-2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by &lt;senior citizen cameraman&gt;:
since this is the WORLD wide web....

i'm pretty partial to the BBC - lots of stuff on sticks, wide lens, digibeta, rarely 3 second sequences etc.

just my $0.2 worth.....

09-15-2004, 12:00 PM
curious who Senior Citizen is... maybe we can start a, uh, mature videoartists assn... ? leigh wilson

09-15-2004, 02:40 PM
I vividly remember meeting Houston Hall when I worked in Wichita, KS back in the late, late 70's. I had recently seen one of his pieces on NBC about the streetcars of San Francisco. I don't remember if there was a correspondent or if it was a photo story on NBC's overnight show (on the air then?). Didn't matter. Awesome shooting. Beautiful images. Sequenced story-telling.

I was flabbergasted when one afternoon a few months later, while covering a Rosslyn Carter visit, I ran into a network crew and lo and behold, this cameraman introduces himself as Houston Hall. I was probably a year into my "career", and if I remember correctly I probably did everything except grab onto his leg, in order to spend a few more minutes visiting with him.

That night, I got called out to cover a hotel fire downtown. I got there a bit late for much of the action, but there was Houston Hall toting around his Ikegami. Turned out it was Rosslyn Carters hotel that had been evacuated because of the fire. He, of course, was sleeping just down the hallway. Got it all. I was working for the NBC station there, so he came over to dub and (try to)feed. If I remember correctly, he had to feed out of the ABC affiliate, (thanks to Larry Hatteberg - another of the best). Later, he mentioned he was hungry for a good breakfast.

One of my best breakfasts ever.

Now, as concerns another giant of our industry ... and food. The lunch served at Dead Coyote Hill, otherwise known as the Barton empire in Edmond, OK. simply can't be beat. One of the tastiest bacon and (home-grown)tomato sandwiches, served up with some of the best story-telling piled on top. And that's just Marilyn Barton. Sometimes Darrell's there, too.

Great memories.

Darrell, write the damn book!

Jerry Hattan

09-16-2004, 02:21 AM
Darrell Barton and Dave Busse


I would spend good money to hear you guys talk. (no 4:2:2 needed)

Should arrange something through b-roll. Special appearance by John DuMontelle (another favourite)

Dave, why don't you share some stories about Cameraman Mike Freedman. Shortly after he passed away, his son Wayne Freedman, a respected reporter/corresponded in San Francisco send me this picture (with permission to web cast the picture) of Mike pioneering the first portable video camera. Handycam it's not....


How about some cool story Mr. Busse? :cool:

Darrell Barton
09-16-2004, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by leighwilson:
curious who Senior Citizen is... maybe we can start a, uh, mature videoartists assn... ? leigh wilson Uhhhh...how about calling it the OFPA?

09-17-2004, 04:40 AM
This thread is excellent. Darrell, I don't drink coffee, but I will just to get some more stories out of you.

<The GRILL Master>
09-17-2004, 11:33 AM

09-17-2004, 01:23 PM
A WMC alumni for you guys back there who think you can't break out and go further)

What is WMC?

Is that a college, I went to Western Maryland College. WMC

[ September 17, 2004, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: FOCUZ ]

09-17-2004, 02:20 PM
Nice thread. There is so much to learn from looking back at the folks who started all this. LetÕs not forget the Europeans who also contributed to this craft. I was lucky enough to be posted in Europe and the Middle East back in the early eighties and got to work side by side with some of the best cameramen over there.

IÕll mention some NBC folks because they are the ones I worked with and learned most from. Personally I felt that they were the top cameramen over there. Ken Ludlow and Brian Calvert were both out of the NBC London bureau and Jaques Robert was out of Paris. For a year while I was working for CNN in the London Bureau (1981), I would run into these guys covering stories all over Europe. Back then CNN was new and I pretty much had to do everything by myself (which for local is standard but for competing with the nets, was very difficult). But these guys I guess took pity on me and would try to help me out on big pressers by saving a spot for my stiks etc.

Eventually NBC hired me and posted me to Beirut where for about 2 (Õ82 ÐÔ84) years all these great cameramen would come into town for a month or so stint (I was there full time). This allowed me to pick their brains, listen to stories and most importantly watch their raw tapes, which I did a lot. You can learn so much from watching the raw tapes. ItÕs where I learned to edit in the camera. These guysÕ tapes were so clean that you could air them as is by just adding an audio track (though that didnÕt happen). It was beautifulÉand this is during and covering war.

These folks were undoubtedly some of the bravest individuals I ever met and had covered turmoil all over the world, the Congo Wars, Vietnam, Iran etc. Though not well known here in the US, the work these guys did was seen nightly in the international coverage the networks used to do (they really donÕt do much of that anymore, except for the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan).

09-17-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by David R. Busse:
... Minh (and soundman Sy Varnen)Minh is such a great guy. He gave me some great advice before I shipped out to Afghanistan for the first time. And Sy Varen,wow, I haven't seen Sy in a long time, but another great guy. After he retired from ABC he freelanced with us at CNN LA just to keep busy. Here I was a young punk photographer working with a true professional veteran soundman. I learned a great deal from him and boy did he have great yarns about the golden era of TV news. David, do you know what Sy is up to these days?

In terms of great photographers though, I use to work at KCBS (when KCBS still cared about their photography) and one guy who was just a flat out great photog was Larry Green. He was a legend there not just because of his great eye but also because of his great wit. Larry didn't have to waste his time talking to me, but he always had time for advice and encouragment. And more than anything, he had time for a good wisecrack. Sadly Larry died in a helicopter crash while working in the Persian Gulf.

Two other great L.A. photographers Jodi Mena formally of KCAL now a suit at Telemundo/NBC(I wouldn't be here were it not for him) and Les Rose another former KCBSer now at CBS. Not just because they are really excellent photographers (who whether they know it or not inspired and taught me) but also they are just great guys.

Darrell Barton
09-17-2004, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by Ken:
Nice thread. LetÕs not forget the Europeans who also contributed to this craft. .

The European cameramen are indeed some of the bravest individuals I've ever met. They are also a lot of fun to hang out with.
I used to play poker with the Ludlow clan. Lost a little money but had a hell of a good time.

David Green, a CBS freelancer, would get my vote for the best and most innovative war shooter I've ever known. He's the guy who put together a fly away sat dish, raced the troops to Kuwait City, and was waiting for them to arrive during the first gulf war. When the correspondent demanded that they stop and wait for the main body of troops David told him..."Two choices...get out of the bloody truck or come with us and get bloody famous!" Naturally, the correspondent took all of the credit after the war. David is now retired and planting flowers in the London suburbs. Damn! He's younger than I am.

Chris Callery, an Irish poet, gentleman, and incredible cameraman...(I think he is the only European ever named NPPA COY) is also retired.

Too young to be in the geezer category but a great friend and a man to keep you alive is Paul Douglas. He is a very large, very intimidating, Black Englishman who is a staffer for CBS London. He's also an easy mark at the poker table but don't tell him I said that. I've worked with him in Bosnia, Kabul, and Baghdad, and I would go back for nothing more than the pleasure of his company.

09-17-2004, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by DaLENS:
What TV show (News only)
has the best stuff?

They say CBS has the best shooters.
Is there any good stuff on cable?

I'm just looking for inspiration.

KBTX.com Steve Hartman's Everybody Has A Story (http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/hartman/main500155.shtml).

09-18-2004, 03:39 PM
Darrell Barton wrote:
David is now retired and planting flowers in the London suburbs. A lot of these guys are now retired. Brian Calvert retired not long after covering the changeover in Russia, where he came a little too close to being killed. Though he had been in some pretty dangerous situations before, I think that last close call made him decide it was now time to live life, not lose it.

Those European crews were a lot of fun as you say. I spent so much time partying with them. It was not unusual for us to travel with 35 to 40 cases. Calvert usualy had more than anyone. He would carry in favorite foods in one case. In another he had all the necessary items to create a great party atmosphere in his hotel room, complete with disco lights, a train set and a dart board. I lost a lot of money to those guys playing darts...but got pretty good at it!

I remember going out to restaurants in Beirut with these guys where we would be having so much fun that we would literally be dancing on the tables. We would often live larger than life during the times things were slow, but as soon as a bomb went off or gunfire started, it was all business and very professional. I became a different person after my years over there...I think for the better.

David Green was a real gentleman and very well respected among all the camera crews, wherever he went. Another NBC guy who was very talented (who died several years ago) was Tony Wasserman out of South Africa. He was also an inspiration for me and lived life to the fullest. I was very sorry when I heard he had died.

Below is a photo of me and group of other network folks on the deck of an aircraft carrier off bierut back in 1982. Note that the camera I'm holding (I am the 3rd cameraman from the left on the bottom row) is an RCA TK76A.
There are also a few more pics of me back then at this site:

David R. Busse
09-19-2004, 02:01 PM
Here are a couple of my favorite Mike Freedman stories that came out at his memorial service last year. For those who don't know the fellow pictured in Ivan's post, Mike was "the" pioneer of hand-held electronic camera work and invented much of what we take for granted in TV sports covarage today, including use of hand-held sideline cameras at football games and the "up close and personal" event coverage at the Olympics.

He also was an accomplished director, winning national Emmys for ABC Sports as a director of Winter Olympics coverage at Grenoble, France.

A great story ocurred before one of his early directorial assignments doing college football. As a hand-held cameraman, Mike loved capturing the color and excitement next to the field between plays...cheerleaders, fans, the agony and excstacy of sidelined players, etc.

He also liked the band programs at halftime.

So before a crucial game where he was to direct, he walked the field watching band practice. As the practice ended, he grabbed a phone and called his boss, Andy Sidaris, and went into a detailed, glowing description of what the Ohio State band planned to do during halftime and how he was going to direct coverage of it with some unique, artsy angles.

Sidaris, the veteran sports director who would go on to become a Hollywood movie director, let Mike go on endlessly describing the halftime show. Freedman finally stopped and said "...what do you think..?"

After a long pause, Sidaris simply said "Touchdowns, Mike. We want to see touchdowns..."

+ = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = +

In the late '60s and early 70s, Mike Freedman and the west coast travelling ABC sports crews were sent all over the world on assignment for Wide World Of Sports. It was a dream job and everyone knew it. Mike Freedman loved to humbly tell of his exploits to those outside of the business.

But on the ABC lot, Mike and others hated braggadocio. If you'd just returned from Switzerland covering downhill skiing, fine...they talked about it in "no big deal" terms like they just made a quick trip to Lake Tahoe. But brashly broadcasting to your fellow employees that you were "just in from Greece..." or "on your way out the door to Acapulco" was considered bad form. Everyone was making those kind of trips.

The same went for discussions of cars and real estate.

In those days many of the fellows were making money unheard of elsewhere, and they were quietly comparing notes on real estate purchases. Many of the sports guys were moving out of the Hollywood/Glendale area and buying places farther out, necessitating longer commutes.

And the discussions often centered around cars and gas mileage.

Mike and a few of the other guys bought Volkswagens and compared notes on their fuel efficiency. Soon there were many VW's in the parking lot.

Then a certain management supervisor heard the discussions and bought something else. He told Freedman and others that the VW's were not as good as the car he'd bought (and I can't remember which car he had). But every day, this guy would broadcast to all who could hear that HIS car was supposed to be the best fuel mizer around.

Freedman had enough of that. With full knowledge of everyone at ABC except, it seems, the fellow with the new car, Freedman snuck out to the paring lot almost every day for THREE months, gas can in hand, and ADDED a gallon or so to this guy's gas tank.

The supervisor began bellowing his car's fuel efficiency to all who could hear, for weeks. "I'm getting 45 miles to the gallon..." Then "Hey you guys ahould buy one of these...I got 65 miles to the gallon this week..." Everyone within the buildings knew the ruse and nobody said a word.

On and on it went, until the guy announced one day he had to drive his wife's car to work because the new super-mileage car had to go to the shop for an oil change and service...which signalled a change in strategy for Mike Freedman.

He now came to work with a suction device, and for the ensuing months, quietly and regularly went out to this hapless fellow's car and SIPHONED a gallon or two from the gas tank.

The car wasn't seen much after that, because the poor fellow had it at the dealer alot...calling the dealer and screaming his gas mileage had gone from 60 miles a gallon to 15 miles, all because of that oil change.

I never heard how the story ended except to say that this supervisor learned to shut his mouth around Mike Freedman...

09-19-2004, 04:01 PM
God bless you Larry,

We all miss working alongside you.
Your wit touched everyone you ever met.

09-26-2004, 03:08 PM
Great post-better memories (damn I am old LOL)--but arent we forgetting Izzy? Posts mention "Sunday Morning" not trying to be coy here, but lets not forget the original was as much Kuralts' show as Northfields--and Kuralt was a true poet and understood great storytelling--and of course as Kuralt went Izzy went--I know he retired recently, Osgood actually had him on set for the goodbye--anyway as great shooters go--Izzy has got to be near the top of anyones list--As for the cp of coffee--it's on me anytime--with just a tip of the bourbon bottle to Kuralt