Phil G. Giriodi: A Conversation With The Photojournalist Turned Author

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During my career, I kept Day at a Glance books and jotted down the various assignments and thoughts. Once I became serious about attacking this project, I estimate that it took me about two years of writing, working with my publisher's editors, culling photographs down to a final 30, working with cover and back [cover] graphic designers as well as book design and then the process of working with the publisher on marketing. I cut enough material from the original manuscript to complete another book, but I don't believe that I will do another one.

My photojournalist career spanned about 48 years. Fifteen years in local news in Los Angeles, fifteen years with CBS Television News and 60 Minutes, and about eighteen years with my own video production/post production company in Hawaii.

There were so very many memorable assignments. My most favorite ones were up close and personal with volcanoes such as Kilauea and Mount St. Helens. I came away with heat blisters and a lava scratched cornea while outrunning a rapid lava flow through a neighborhood. I also enjoyed covering shootouts between the cops and barricaded suspects. Both of the aforementioned assignments were extremely challenging.

One of the most challenging assignments was the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) shootout. In those days (1974), the cops and FBI agents didn't restrict us from getting as close to the action as we dared to. (I recently donated my original film of this event to the Newseum in D.C., where it will be displayed with the "FBI Crime Fighting" exhibit.) This also held true with structure fires as well as forest fires. We were on our own.

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