Twelve Photojournalists, One Documentary

Shot over the span of several years, San Francisco State University professor Ken Kobré’s latest documentary Deadline Every Second provides a vivid look at what goes into Associated Press photos of national and international hot spots. Among the AP photographers profiled is SoCal staffer Chris Carlson, who confesses at the beginning of his segment about covering California wildfires that he now makes sure to closes the windows of his car, even when parked far from the flames. That’s because he once came back to his vehicle to find his floor mats burning.

“I think most people take these photographs for granted and don’t realize what goes into making them,” Kobré (pictured) tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “The other issue is how involved these photographers become in the story, and how they must work to stay neutral.”

Following recent east coast showings at D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery and Columbia University journalism school, Kobré’s one-hour film is scheduled to be shown next on May 8 at UCLA, with a Q&A panel featuring Carlson. Then it’s back to San Francisco for a hometown screening May 17.

Kobré says that through an international agent, he has just made his first foreign sale for Deadline Every Second in Turkey. Domestically, he is repping the film himself. The documentary has aired on Long Island PBS affiliate WLIW and may soon possibly hit the airwaves of WNET in New York.

This is the latest in a series of documentaries about photographers made by Kobré, whose photojournalism students have gone on to win many awards, including the Pulitzer. Ten years ago, he crafted a look at the most photographed event in the world – the Cannes Film Festival. Another documentary, released in 2007, profiled the inner workings of Sports Illustrated.

Kobré made Deadline Every Second with the help of San Francisco State professor emeritus John Hewitt. The film is available for purchase at