Editors Note:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mal Under Fire

Mal James in AfghanistanThose of us who gripe about tight deadlines here in the States should immediately cough up our man cards and mail them to Mal James. Then again, I'm not sure where we'd send them, as the Fox News cameraman tends to skitter from one global hot spot to another. Most recently he's been spotted North of Afghanistan's Helmand Province. There, he and correspondent Greg Palkot embedded with U.S. Marines as they chased the Taliban through land that bested even Alexander the Great. Along the way, Mal has ridden a convoy along 'The Desert of Death', marveled at the vanity of Afghanistan’s National Army and burned a wag bag or two. More than anything, Mal and Greg have endured conditions that would make most news crews spill their bowels into their boots. What they went through while simply trying to feed footage back to New York is the stuff of cinema...
The room we found in the compound had been stormed earlier and the dirt floor was covered in broken glass, window frames hang loosely, old rags and a frayed piece of rug were the only things in the room. And old tin box became my workspace out of the wreckage that existed.

First footage sent in and a live shot from the safety of the garden outside, every few minutes another volley of gunfire echoed around, to a bizarre extent you can become immune to the noise, as if it were just the norm.

The next phase for us was to edit a feature length piece for the Evening Primetime broadcast, and sitting in the shell of the room we were piecing together a spot, when all of a sudden there was a loud scream around the compound.

“Fire in the Hold”

What the F--! Every single person suddenly ducks down into a fetal position and puts their fingers in their ears. You close your eyes not sure of what are about to happen.

Boom !!!!
Now what was that you were saying about smelly live trucks?

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