Bikes and bureaucrats: getting the shot in Beijing


S we approach the fiftieth season. I thought we take a look back at some of the programs memorable stories this year and today, let's hit to China on ABC TV a few months ago, you might have seen foreign correspondents investigation into China's homegrown rubbish crisis and didn't happened with some startling images about China. Correspondent Bill Birtles just at side. Beijing walking between thousands of dumped bicycles will sometimes in China. It's the easiest shots that are the hardest to film and Bill Birtles found out the hard way. But never underestimate the sees Beijing bureau, I'll let Bill till the story in Beijing there up lace military armed police security guards. And even volunteer neighborhood, watch types everywhere, and they have one thing in common when they see a foreigner. And the camera first instinct is to shut us down recently. I tried to film a bike dumping ground. These are the places where local. Governments dumped tens of thousands of share bikes to clear them off city straights. They make for quite the visual shot, and it was a good example of Chinese overproduction and whites with heard of a massive dumping ground on the outer fringe of Beijing tens of thousands of bikes in yellow blue orange green all piled up as far as the I could see we drove up an adjacent road only to find to private security guards guarding the site. They said multiple gods. Took turns to guard the site, including at night worse yet the bike dumping ground is perfect for a drone shot. But when Steve Wang lighter tried to fire up his drone, it wouldn't fly. Beijing government enforces geo blocking on drones in the city. And it turns out this village was right on the periphery and still affected. So we left empty-handed. Having filed to film a single shot. It was not a good day. But a few weeks later we hatched a plan to go back. So it's about five in the morning here on the outskirts of Beijing, and we're on a bit of a covert mission of cameramen Brandt coming and the other Beijing KOMO Steve one with me. Brent how you feeling? Well, it's conditions could be better. But wait mart work in favor. And then it's it's quite early. And it's it's been whether it hasn't been great. So we're hoping the security is of this particular Artis leaving. This is going to make a quick escape a little bit harder for bogged down so to speak. We've got the getaway drive. A he hung Ming. His drive extraordinary. We've got the car. We're ready to go get mugged up here as we moved across the muddy field as quietly as we could power. Neue creek dean the move. The longer village down in that little gap on coming down this from towards the towards. The thing is we got up at three in the morning. It was a two hour drive to get here. We'd already come back empty-handed once before and we really wanted to get this story. I was not taking any chances to have it scuttled by a couple of bleary eyed security guards. As we need the bikes. We sheltered behind some hedges. It's one thing to get some quick shots. It's another to do a proper job of it, including a piece to camera and some aerials if as a Curie God us, so hurt us like county IVA getting the way and ruin everything as I went in -mongst the bikes with Steve one, I rehearsed pasty Hamra one of many dumping ground dotted around just hoped. My voice wouldn't be loud enough to alert the guards as we started punching out pieces to camera brand would to get the shots from the sky. If anyone can get around some technical problems withdrawn, he's the man and Stephen I got out shots the word of the drone taking to the sky. Above us made me realize we were half way towards getting the shots. We need at any point a God could come down and stop us. But it was becoming clear out gang. Able to come back so early in the day had paid off the guards were asleep. And after twenty minutes of uninterrupted filming we got out of there. So mission accomplished are on the way back. Fred you had a few struggles withdrawing, but you got it up there in the end. Yeah. Okay. We live and learn with these things. You know, we didn't go very high, and we didn't go very far. So hopefully, we won't attract any. Issues from doing that. And Steve Young men on the grounds shooting up close. How did that guy? Yeah. This is to be honest quite hard for us. And there is. Security guy, and we have to. Lead fun some pass, and and and get rid of them. So I think yeah, it's but it is perfect. Get everything. Yeah. But this is just a bunch of Boston Gul's in a field. Why why do you think is the security was so difficult to get what should be such an easy shot because this is China? So to be honest, they their job is stub us to fend fan of the place and the shoot at the report the news. And I think this is only job what what what they do. But we got it. Yeah. Yeah. Got it. Doing TV in China can be an uphill battle. Which makes the good days all the more enjoyable this Bill Birtles in Beijing. Because pundits report.

Coming up next