Synopsis by Steve Blackburn
This video documents the career of Arthur Fellig, whose sensationalistic photographs helped to define tabloid and legitimate news photography. By the late '30s, Fellig was freelancing as a news photographer. Specializing in the overnight shift, he quickly earned a reputation for always being one of the first to arrive at a grisly news scene, first to snap a stark flash photo of what newsroom slang labeled "roasts" (fire victims), "dry divers" (people jumping off buildings), or "bottom feeders" (victims of drowning). Going by the nickname of "Weegee," he became famous enough that Life magazine ran a profile on him in 1937. Fellig branched out, photographing New York nightlife and its entertainments. He gained notoriety with his experiments in manipulating photographs, creating, for example, a series of distorted heads of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Picasso, and John F. Kennedy. Over his long career, Fellig immortalized on film dozens of politicians, gangsters, and movie stars.
photojournalist, photographer, photography, newsperson