Broadcast Video Crew – The Stolen iPhone

As a broadcast video crew, many times we have awakened to a phone call from Inside Edition or Extra requesting our services that very same day.

Broadcast Video Crew DP Mark Schulze

DP Mark Schulze on a shoot near the ocean

We are always happy when we are available, because these shoots usually tend to be quite interesting.

Two Unlikely Vigilantes

A few years ago, Inside Edition called us to interview Kenneth Schmidgall and Greg Torkelson, the boys who retrieved Kenny’s stolen iPhone from the thief who led them on a merry chase to three different locations.  Even the Huffington Post covered the story which many people enjoyed because of the obvious vigilante slant, in that creepy thief gets what’s coming to him.

Kenny and Greg’s “excellent adventure” finally ended in fisticuffs on the rocky beach of Torrey Pines, where the thief, who at the first two locations had insisted he did not have the cell phone, finally drew it out of his pocket, exclaiming, “You want your phone?  You want your phone?!” and then tried throwing it into the Pacific Ocean.  Kenny (the owner of the phone) slapped it out of the thief’s hands, and it landed on the beach.  And then the thief landed a punch on Kenny’s face with a smooth round beach rock.  That is when the fist fight commenced.

broadcast video crew interviews Kenneth Schmidgall

Kenneth Schmidgall, owner of stolen iPhone

Interviews & Re-enactments

We videotaped interviews of Kenny and Greg in a hotel suite.  DP Mark Schulze set up some beautiful lighting with a Gobo projector that lent a dramatic mood.

We also shot re-enactments of the boys’ journey all up and down the La Jolla coast, but Inside Edition ended up using Greg’s footage from that day.  Greg happens to be a news stringer and videotaped the events as they happened.  As an editor myself, I would have selected the gritty chase footage rather than the pristine re-enactment footage, simply because that’s how it really went down.

Both Kenny and Greg said that they would not recommend chasing a thief who potentially is carrying a knife or a gun.  But their adrenaline was so amped, they were willing to put their foot down in this instance, to show that it is uncool for people to think they can  just walk away with someone else’s belongings.


Patty Mooney is a Vice President and Video Producer at award-winning San Diego video production company, Crystal Pyramid Productions.