The Nixon tape

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Elon Soltes visits San Clemente, California, where photographers have been stationed for months trying to capture the ellusive former president Richard Nixon on film. This group of obsessives endures endless hours of boredom as they seemingly futilely wait for their chance to outsmart Nixon 's bodyguards and snap a valuable photograph.

0:00 Color bars and tones. Woman asks speaker box about getting touch with former President Nixon. The speaker tells her to mail something in.

0:47 San Clemente, California. Surfers on the beach talk about what would happen if they encountered Nixon on the beach. A freelance photographer says there are big bucks in a picture of him, so she’s been waiting on the beach for months.

1:18 Man in car talks about waiting for 10 months just to spot Nixon on the road.

1:40 The photographer says she is wearing seaweed so if Nixon is on the beach he will think she’s part of the environment.

2:12 Surfer says that when Nixon and Checkers go for a stroll about 300 people follow him.

2:28 Man in car talks about following Nixon for pictures.

2:45 Photographer says she’s seen people buried in the sand to disguise themselves.

2:57 Man in car gets ready for action based on radio signal.

3:06 Photographer talks about being on the beach.

3:25 Man from car talks about knowing that beach plan wouldn’t work. He says that after tracking for 10 months, he got a hang of Nixon’s habits. He says if he’s out of sight, he won’t be hassled. He says the first time he got down to see Nixon on the beach, he felt greatly relieved just to know he could get there. He gives advice to the cameramen to keep all the equipment under cover. The camera walks through campers over to a group of waiting people. Photographer Fred talks to a menacing secret service agent. Secret service agents chat with photographer before leaving. Photographer misses president.

7:30 Photographer’s wife talks about her husband struggling through boredom to get the pictures.

8:05 Man and wife search through binoculars for President.

8:18 Cameraman is buried in sand up to hi s head. He asks for advice about what to ask. He hilariously captures footage of Nixon and wife’s feet walking by. Great, funny TV.

9:05 Female and male photographers talk about fascination. “Me seeing somebody that nobody else can see.” They talk about taking pictures just to make sure he hasn’t skipped town, to keep tabs on him for the American people.

9:53 Woman photographer from beach decides to stake out right outside Nixon’s residence. Male photographer and friends stake out top of hill to trace Nixon’s car through the city.

11:18 Photographers and cameraman spot Nixon on the road and follow him in their car. They finally catch up to the his car and see the back of his head, and a very shaded, slumping Nixon in the back seat of his car. Nixon smiles and waves. Photographers know they’ll have to go back into hiding after such a tough sting operation.

15:09 End credits. Photographers are camped out at Nixon’s home as he returns home. Nixon does not stop.

16:01 END



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