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Caught on Camera

Caught on Camera is a video created by the FBI's Operational Technology Division to show business owners how their security cameras can aid law enforcement investigations and maybe even help stop a terrorist attack.


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SCENE 1: MOTEL ROOM
FADE IN on super-close-up of TV screen, all snow; after a moment the channel is changed so that we’re receiving a local news broadcast; LOCAL ANCHOR is speaking gravely as, behind him, a still of a recent bomb blast scene looms.
SCENE 1A: LOCAL ANCHOR
Once again, our top story, another bombing, this time of a local transit bus. As authorities scramble to respond to this latest incident…
FLASHBACK
Sequence B is a series of images of hands leaving a backpack on a bus, booted feet moving away, and an overhead, slow motion view of the bus exploding in a large fireball.
LOCAL ANCHOR continued
We’ve learned that law enforcement is following leads to a possible domestic terror group. Police are looking for a man seen getting off of the bus moments before the explosion. The man is described as a Caucasian of average build, approximately 6 feet tall and one hundred seventy-five pounds. The man was wearing a denim jacket.
The bus explodes into a fireball.
Then we return to the motel room to see the bomber working over a very menacing-looking assembly of wires and lights. Perhaps he grunts in laughter at how clueless the news folks seem to be:
LOCAL ANCHOR continued
News Six has learned that authorities have already received claims of responsibility by known domestic terror groups…
…and we’ve begun tracking in tight to the television, until it again fills the frame.
LOCAL ANCHOR continued
…but officials had no comment at this time, saying only that the FBI is following up on all leads and is coordinating with local law enforcement.
News 6 reporter Lisa Vasquez spoke with Special Agent Jacobs, who is leading the investigation.
SCENE 2: HOST SEGUE
CUT TO Exterior, mobile command post. VASQUEZ interviewing ARNOLD “JAKE” JACOBS, a veteran agent, we are in what seems to be a standard, handheld local news look (it’s going to become a tracking shot, but for now it’s stable:)
VASQUEZ
What can you tell us about the investigation?
JACOBS
There’s a great deal of physical evidence and we’re following up on all leads.
VASQUEZ
Do you see any similarities between the earlier bombing and this one?
JACOBS
Not at this time.
VASQUEZ
Do you think that both of the bombings could be the work of a single person?
JACOBS
We can’t say at this time…
(She’s trying to move away, she’s sticking with him)
VASQUEZ
But what about the bomber’s letters to the newspapers? What can you tell us about that?
JACOBS
This is an ongoing investigation and we’re following up on all available resources to bring to justice, those who are responsible. That’s all I can say for now, thank you.
JACOBS crossed under the tape and we track along to stay with him as he reaches ANDREWS, his young female partner, and we shall hear a brief piece of their conversation, as we track slowly past them:
ANDREWS
We’ve got a couple of witnesses say that only one guy got off at this stop, walking with his head down, headed back in the direction the bus came from…
JACOBS
Oh, okay. So south, southeast…
ANDREWS
Right…
JACOBS
Okay, let’s go through all the closed circuit TV potential. There’s a lot of businesses in the area, maybe one of ‘em got something on video.
ANDREWS
They’re checking.
JACOBS
Good…what about forensics?
Jacobs continues to ad lib as the camera moves past them and we come to a stop framed on our Guest Host, Annie Wersching
WERSCHING
As a business owner, you already know that “CCTV”, closed circuit television, can help deter or solve a crime on your premises.
You’re about to see that they can do even more. Your CCTV system might even help solve a terrorist attack.
That is, if it’s up to the task. Basic setup and maintenance problems reduce the performance of many systems.
So, what about yours? Do your cameras provide enough resolution for facial recognition? Are they positioned for a clear view of the subject? Is the lighting adequate to capture clear images both day and night? Is your recorder set up for the best image detail? Are you maintaining and managing your system so that it can do its job when it’s really needed?
We’re gonna show you how to get the most from your CCTV system and that starts with capturing “recognition quality images” , with the detail law enforcement needs to identify the people and events captured by your cameras.
WE NOW SPLIT SCREEN TO THREE IMAGES: ANDREWS at FBI VIDEO LAB, which shrinks to make room for JACOBS and ANDREWS in a convenience store, talking to manager, which in turn shrinks to make way for ANDREWS visiting a local pharmacy or home improvements store and then we return to the VIDEO LAB frame and we expand it until it fills the entire screen.
SCENE 3: FBI LAB
At the moment, ANDREWS is talking to a white-coated technician and JACOBS enters.
JACOBS
Whaddawe have?
ANDREWS
You want the good news or the bad news?
JACOBS
There’s good news?
ANDREWS
We canvassed a pharmacy and they mentioned that someone came in and bought four gallons of FLAMMABLE LIQUID. The cashier thought is was a little weird, and also said the guy paid in cash.
(INTERCUT FOOTAGE OF BOMBER PURCHASING LIQUID AND PAYING IN CASH)
JACOBS
Please tell me there was a camera on his face.
ANDREWS
I’ll get to that. We have another lead. A female who works the cheap motels on Route 60, says she was waiting on someone, and saw a guy matching the description wearing a denim jacket. Also said he had a tattoo on his neck. Said he came in, paid for five nights in cash. Said he didn’t have any ID or credit cards and put another hundred on the counter.
JACOBS
Did we get him on camera?
ANDREWS
No, the system wasn’t running, and as for the pharmacy…
JACOBS
What?
ANDREWS
Well we’re getting to the Bad News part.
JACOBS
What, was the camera off?? Did they run out of tape? What?
ANDREWS
No, we got him at the pharmacy.
JACOBS
So, how is that bad?
TECHNICIAN
It might be easier if we just show him.
TECHNICIAN brings up image on monitor. We see our subject enter the pharmacy but the flare from sunlight on the window makes him unrecognizable.
JACOBS
That’s the pharmacy?
ANDREWS
Yeah. See, the sun is so bright on the doorway…
JACOBS
Yeah I see. No, I don’t see. Wait, where did he go?
TECHNICIAN
The camera is using a low frame rate. Saves on drive space and gives you a better image quality. But, the problem is you might not get any image at all.
JACOBS
Now you see him, now you don’t.
TECHNICIAN
Exactly. Here he is walking down the aisle way and picking out a couple of backpacks. Now, ERT found pieces of backpacks at both scenes consistent with the types sold at this store.
We have a shot which might actually be worth something if a temporary sale display wasn’t almost totally blocking the view; we can perhaps see the barest sliver of someone, maybe one arm and a slight bit of their neck.
JACOBS
This is useless.
TECHNICIAN
We got a really good shot of that sign…
JACOBS
Which does what?
TECHNICIAN
(realizing this observation wasn’t helpful:)
Which does nothing. Here he is at the cash register.
We see a full body shot of the subject but he’s out of focus, unrecognizable.
TECHNICIAN
And that is what we call a focus problem…probably haven’t checked the thing in weeks…
JACOBS
Can you enhance it?
TECHNICIAN
I’m not a wizard, and we’re not on TV, so no. I can enlarge it for you, but without the details…
(He enlarges the image which blurs into a collage of blurry pixels)
JACOBS
(trying to be reasonable rather than upset)
So what we’re seeing is, we would have had him, except for the sun on the door, the display blocking the view, the other camera set up. Someone tell me, is it so hard to get these things set up and useful?
ANDREWS
I mean it’s not that hard…but merchants aren’t thinking about what we might need in law enforcement. They just figure, ‘Hey, I’ve got a camera, I’m covered’. They’re not thinking about image quality.
TECHNICIAN
You know, we see this kind of thing everyday.
JACOBS
What kind of thing? English please.
ANDREWS
Small words.
(Jacobs gives her a look.)
TECHNICIAN
I’ll show you.
SCENE 4: FBI LAB
THEY MOVE TO TABLE on which we see examples of the all equipment about to be discussed
TECHNICIAN
Now to start with, what most people would call “taking a picture” we like to call “capturing an image” or better yet, “capturing video data.” The better the quality of the data, the better the quality of the image,the more you can see and the more you can do with it. Okay so far?
JACOBS
Makes sense.
TECHNICIAN
Now, there’s all kinds of equipment for capturing images. Setting up the best CCTV requires figuring out the best hardware for a business owner’s needs. Now, some hardware is just no good for that no matter what.
(holds up web cam, shows image of them in nearby monitor)
This is a web cam. Check this out.
TECHNICIAN
See? Blurry, out of focus,okay for internet, totally awful if you need quality video. There’s just not enough detail.
We see the image freeze and degrade horribly when it’s enlarged.
TECHNICIAN
We’ve got a capture, but it’s not what we call recognition quality, the resolution is too low.
He is moving down the table, as though shopping, each kind of camera he names is represented:
TECHNICIAN
We got analog, digital, black and white, color…all these cameras use chips and generally speaking, the bigger the chip the better the picture quality,you get better detail, more control of contrast like between very bright and very dim areas…
JACOBS
Like in the pharmacy?
TECHNICIAN
Exactly, hey Andrews, do you mind walking over to the mannequin for me? We’ll bring back our friend the webcam.
LIGHTS BLAZE ON at One end of the room, perhaps there is an 8x10 picture or test pattern on an easel, or perhaps we take a picture of Andrews who steps in front of the camera.
TECHNICIAN
Check this out. Look familiar?
Indeed, we have a flare out exactly like the pharmacy. Maybe even do a side by side look at both?
TECHNICIAN
Okay now watch this. This is a good camera, high resolution. Plenty of dynamic range.
The camera’s image is crisp and sharp and the light seems useful rather than damaging.
The bank of lights brightens, then dims, then brightens, and so on.
TECHNICIAN
See? A camera like this one has no trouble keeping up with shifting conditions. Far superior capture technology. Higher resolution. Better dynamic range. Here, look at ‘em side by side.
We see this view.
JACOBS
There’s no comparison.
TECHNICIAN
Exactly. The minimum camera resolution should be 480 horizontal lines.
ANDREWS
But it’s not just about resolution and range. That camera, the good one, also has a faster lens.
JACOBS
“Faster”?
TECHNICIAN
A faster lens allows more light in. Has a larger maximum aperture opening, which lets more light through to the focal plane of the camera. Now what this does is…it allows for brighter images in dimmer lighting. More light means more depth of field.
TECHNICIAN BRINGS AGENTS TO TRANPARENT MONITOR AND DEMONSTRATES. SHOWS
3D GRAPHIC explaining concepts of aperture opening/camera focal plane, depth of field.
JACOBS
Depth of field?
TECHNICIAN
The more depth of field you have, the more of the scene is in focus.
ANDREWS
You also have to consider focal length.
JACOBS
(struggling:)
Focal length?
ANDREWS
Right. Some cameras zoom in and out, where others have a fixed focal length, it all depends on what you need.
TECHNICIAN
Right, say for anything at a point of transaction, like at a cash register or a toll booth the subjects head should fill at least 15% of the total image in frame giving you the detail you need.
JACOBS
So you’d like the back to school sign to be at zero percent, right?
ANDREWS
Right, lines of sight are always critical. You want to make sure there aren’t any obstructions.
TECHNICIAN
Which is all part of having the right site plan. Now, here is a store blueprint.
RESET
We see a frozen frame of the store.
ANDREWS
Now, this is retail so the key camera spots are transaction points…
JACOBS
Cash registers?
ANDREWS
Right, and entrances and exits.
JACOBS
Do we need both?
ANDREWS
The more the better.
These locations being marked on wireframe diagram.
TECHNICIAN
You’re going to want cameras here…here…here…and here. Now, you’ll have to throw in some extra coverage for restrooms, and the aisles, and other key points.
ANDREWS
Can you show coverage?
The wireframe now includes alternate colored cones or other indicators of the cameras’ range of coverage.
TECHNICIAN
Of course. Hang on. Oh, good overlap.
ANDREWS
Right, you want multiple chances to capture a good image…
We track the following in the diagram:
TECHNICIAN
…Guy comes in here, boom, got him. Guy goes over to get a snack or something, boom, got him again. Guy comes over to check out, boom. Exits the building and, boom.
ANDREWS
Also, the camera height is very important you want to make sure it’s as close to eye level as possible. Otherwise you might lose out to a baseball cap. And with a good site plan you can make sure you don’t have any blind spots.
Maybe a blind spot flashes red in the diagram?
ANDREWS
You can toy around with the camera positions. Do a test recording to make sure you’re getting what you wanted.
Maybe we see, in diagram, the X’s marking camera spots moving slightly and the blind spots narrowing and the vanishing altogether.
We collapse the wire frame and we’re back in the real world.
CUT, SCENE CHANGE
TECHNICIAN
Another big thing here is lighting.
JACOBS
I thought lens speed took care of light problems
ANDREWS
It helps, but it isn’t the whole ball game
JACOBS
Then what kind of camera do we get…
TECHNICIAN
Oh, no, I’m talking about actual lights. Here. Take a look at this.
Show sequence of three still images: register with good lighting in morning, register with area behind counter showing high contrast in afternoon, then light bank added to even out the lighting.
TECHNICIAN
See, the lighting is great in the morning, but by the afternoon the sun’s blowing out the whole frame.
He adds light, the picture improves.
TECHNICIAN
But look, you add an extra bank of lights to fill in during the afternoon and you get more clarity. See, you can balance bright light from one direction with light from another source. You’re adding more light, but it’s from another direction and it helps even things out.
He demonstrates.
ANDREWS
And sometimes if you have bright light through a big window, you have no choice but to, say, tint the window or put up a shade. And if you’re outside, in the street or parking lot you need to set up timers on your artificial lights. You’d rather them coming on a little earlier than a little later.
TECHNICIAN
Take a look at this. This is a gas station we worked with, they were having break-ins at the rear of the building, and they had a good quality camera and lights on a timer but they weren’t keeping up with how much earlier it was getting dark. Chance to see the bad guy and we miss it.
Robber exiting car and pulling on mask, but we can’t make him out.
TECHNICIAN
So they adjust their timer. A few days later, THE SAME guy tries it AGAIN,but this time we got him.
Similar footage, but the light is much better, face very clear.
JACOBS
So I use higher resolution?
TECHNICIAN
Yep.
JACOBS
And…control for the right depth of field and contrast.
TECHNICIAN and ANDREWS
together
Yep.
JACOBS
Then if I put together a site plan with the correct camera coverage, positioning, frames per second, and lighting, and I’m more likely to get a recognition-quality recording.
TECHNICIAN
You got it!
CUT TO Bomber, still working in hotel room, focused, diligent … possibly cut to medium close-up but there is only static and snow where his face ought to be.
CUT TO LAB
JACOBS CELL PHONE RINGS.
ANDREWS
Yeah? We’re on our way.
(hangs up)
The home supply store has some video for us, we can pick it up.
TECHNICIAN
Hang on, there’s a couple things you guys got to know before you can go…
ANDREWS AND JACOBS ON THE MOVE:
JACOBS
I’ll call you when we’re rolling, you can fill me in en route.
SCENE 5: CAR
CUT TO JACOBS AND ANDREWS IN CAR, Andrews is on phone with TECHNICIAN, we’ll cut back and forth between lab and car.
JACOBS
You mean we just can’t grab the tape and bring it back?
TECHNICIAN
Chances are there is no tape. Most systems now a days are fully digital. So, you are going to have to go over the recordings and make sure the video you want is there.
JACOBS
The guy said it was there!
TECHNICIAN
Yeah, but it could be over-recorded by now. So make sure. And, you need to figure out how much footage you need to collect, then make sure you collect in the native file with the proprietary player.
JACOBS
Okay, slow down. Speak English please.
TECHNICIAN
The native file is just the original form of a file. With most digital systems, the specific attributes of the video files are proprietary to the program that created it.
JACOBS
You’re not speaking English yet.
TECHNICIAN
DVR’s use compression to get more space out of their storage. Some compression throws away potential image detail. The native file format is usually the least compressed. Best image, but you usually need specific manufacturer software to play it. A lot of systems export what we like to call ‘open file,’ like .avi. Problem is, they’re usually compressed even further. Which means image quality is reduced.
JACOBS
Whew. I actually understood that.
TECHNICIAN
Good. So get me both formats. One other thing. We’re gonna need to know the output options on the machine to retrieve the video.
JACOBS
Output options?
TECHNICIAN
Yeah. It could be a DVD, CD burner, or USB port...
JACOBS
Okay I’m with you. If we run into anything weird we’ll give you a shout from the store. Otherwise, we’ll call you when we’re inbound.
TECHNICIAN
Okay.
He hangs up; ANDREWS gives him a look.
SCENE 6: STORE OFFICE
CUT TO Interior STORE, ANDREWS AND JACOBS WITH STORE MANAGER
ANDREWS
So this is about ten minutes’ worth, you said?
JACOBS
What’s the video format?
MANAGER
It’s an avi file I think.
JACOBS
Is that the native recording?
MANGER
I’m not sure what it is, but it’s what we have….
JACOBS
Hang on.
ANDREWS
Calling for backup?
JACOBS
You bet your badge…..
TECHNICIAN
Edwards.
JACOBS
Yeah, yeah, we’re here. Now listen, we have the avi file but the fella that’s helping us out is not sure if it’s the native recording or not.
TECHNICIAN
OK. Let me talk to him.
JACOBS
Um, our technician wants to ask you a few questions.
MANAGER
Sure. Hello?
TECHNICIAN
Hi. I need to get some system information.
MANAGER
Sure.
TECHNICIAN
If you can get me a brand name and a model number, then I can figure out the native format.
MANAGER
I don’t see a brand, but the model number is xl 327. ?
CUT TO TECHNICIAN
TECHNICIAN
Yeah, I know it. the native format isn’t AVI, it’s DVR. Does that sound familiar?
MANAGER
No.
TECHNICIAN
Okay, thanks. Would you put Agent Jacobs back on ?
MANAGER HANDING PHONE TO JACOBS, he’s clearly worried that he’s somehow letting them down.
MANAGER
Okay. He wants to talk to you again.
JACOBS
Yeah? Really? Okay.
Sir, we’re gonna need to retrieve the native file in addition to the avi file. Can you do that?
MANAGER
I don’t know how. But the installer may still be here on site. Let me see. Sara. Is the CCTV guy still here?
SARA
Yes.
MANAGER
Can you send him to the office please?
SARAH
Sure, stand by.
MANAGER
Thank you.
ANDREWS
Good. We’re gonna review the avi files while we wait, ok.
MANAGER
Help yourself !
ANDREWS
Thanks. Okay here we go…
That’s weird.
JACOBS
What…
ANDREWS
Lemme check…. yeah, there’s only these FIVE camera views. Just these and that’s it.
JACOBS
Oh, so you’re thinking of getting all the camera views.
ANDREWS
Yeah, why not, I mean I’ve got at least fifteen, sixteen cameras, we should review them all. We could get lucky.
INSTALLER WALKS IN
Hi guys. How can I help you?
ANDREWS
Hi. Yeah. We need video from all the cameras during the time of the incident in the native file format. Can you do that?
INSTALLER
Yeah, sure. No problem. It’ll take a while. Did you want the viewer with that?
ANDREWS
Yeah. And we can wait. Can you throw in the avi’s too?
INSTALLER
Sure.
ANDREWS
Thanks. You never know how many people need fertilizer till you see it like this….
JACOBS
Yeah, I’m thinking about paving my whole yard, save some time….
ANDREWS
You see what we were talking about earlier, with resolution and frames per second.
JACOBS
Yeah, I see that camera there isn’t picking up all the video frames but it’s a tradeoff between camera quality or what we can fit on the drive.
JACOBS
Whoa- whoa! Back it up, back it up about two seconds.
ANDREWS
Okay……
JACOBS
Freeze. Make it bigger. That guy.
ANDREWS
That could be… I mean, that’s a denim jacket… can’t see much else, but…
JACOBS
He was in here you can bet a week’s pay.
ANDREWS
Hey, did you make a site plan?
INSTALLER
Yup. We keep that with the system. It’s right here.
ANDREWS
Thanks.
SCENE 7: FBI LAB
CUT TO LAB, It’s a bit later, they’ve got everything they need from the home supply store. TECHNICIAN has just loaded all the data. ANDREWS is studying the site plan.
ANDREWS
If this site plan is accurate they’ve got pretty good coverage…
JACOBS
We’re looking for Tuesday the fourteenth, around eleven in the morning.
TECHNICIAN
Okay…Here is what that guy wanted to give you, the AVI file, and here…is the native, proprietary format.
The latter is much better.
JACOBS
Wow.
TECHNICIAN
Yup, they lose a ton of resolution when they convert formats.
ANDREWS
Hey guys!
Grab camera four and step through about eleven oh five, I think the guy must have…
TECHNICIAN
Parking lot…..
JACOBS
Good idea, we get a better view.
ANDREWS
There!
TECHNICIAN
That him? By the GREEN car?
JACOBS
I think he’s right. Can you get closer to get a license plate number?
TECHNICIAN
No way. These cams are good but they’re just set up for a wide angle view of the lot. I can’t get the plate, but it looks to me like that’s a GREEN late model 4-door.
JACOBS
I am sick to death of “almost”!
TECHNICIAN
Lemme just see if they…oh yes, Thank you, thank you, thank you!
JACOBS
What?
TECHNICIAN
Look, see this site plan has everything…
SITE PLAN IS SHOWN CLOSE, maybe graphically highlight the info as the tech mentions is.
TECHNICIAN continued
it gives camera positions, resolutions, frames per second, setup, frame size - everything, this is exactly what a site plan is supposed to look like, now we just need….
ANDREWS
Try camera three!
TECHNICIAN
Exactly.
JACOBS
What’s camera three?
TECHNICIAN
It shows a lot of the same area, but slightly different angle but much, much better quality. And more frames per second... gives us more to work with. Let me just…move through…
All three of them are very still.
JACOBS
Bingo!
TECHNICIAN
That’s him!
ANDREWS
There he is!
JACOBS
Got his face…
We’re zooming in very slowly on his face, the image will jump in our view
TECHNICIAN
Nice resolution, and we can get in
Pretty close….
ANDREWS
I think our best bet is camera twelve, behind the register.
New image. Sharp. We recognize him but the image is wide angle. And:
JACOBS
There!
TECHNICIAN
Wait, hold on, hold on…they have a close-up camera….
JACOBS
There’s the tattoo! Right there!
ANDREWS
Yep we’ve got four gallons of bomb making fluid ,the car, the tattoo and his face!
JACOBS
I’m gonna call our guy at the motel. Hello Cal! Yeah, listen up, it’s Jacobs, we’re pretty sure that the guy’s in a GREEN, late model 4-door, we—do you? Sit tight. I’ll get back to you.
Andrews, Get SWAT and the bomb techs to that address!
We have your face!
SCENE 8: TAKE DOWN
We CUT TO Bomber’s room, and we see again the static and snow over the face… but as JACOBS speaks, the snow fills in with an accurate image. He seems surprised, almost as though he’s aware of some new visibility, and that’s when he turns at the sound of the officer knocking… meanwhile we can see the SWAT team in position, ready to move and on JACOB’S screen we hear:
JACOBS
So many ways for the system to fail…
Through the ensuing, we will see the bomb and SWAT team staging, then entering….
JACOBS
The wrong camera…the right camera, used the wrong way…not making the most of your site plan…not getting the most out of your recording equipment…insufficient training of the staff that works with the gear…
But: when the system works…
This line spoken just as they’re taking the bomber down, in crashing, painful, super slow motion….then everything but JACOBS shrinks and she says, simply:
JACOBS
It can make all the difference.
Into the frame steps Annie Wersching
SCENE 9: HOST WRAP
WERSCHING
We hope this video makes a difference in the way you think about and operate YOUR CCTV system.
If you’re gonna do it, do it right – for yourself; for law enforcement; and your community.
For a quick review, along with more details on CCTV operations, set up and maintenance, click on the special features section of this DVD.
I’m Annie Wersching. Thanks for watching.

SCENE 1: MOTEL ROOM
FADE IN on super-close-up of TV screen, all snow; after a moment the channel is changed so that we’re receiving a local news broadcast; LOCAL ANCHOR is speaking gravely as, behind him, a still of a recent bomb blast scene looms.
SCENE 1A: LOCAL ANCHOR
Once again, our top story, another bombing, this time of a local transit bus. As authorities scramble to respond to this latest incident…
FLASHBACK
Sequence B is a series of images of hands leaving a backpack on a bus, booted feet moving away, and an overhead, slow motion view of the bus exploding in a large fireball.
LOCAL ANCHOR continued
We’ve learned that law enforcement is following leads to a possible domestic terror group. Police are looking for a man seen getting off of the bus moments before the explosion. The man is described as a Caucasian of average build, approximately 6 feet tall and one hundred seventy-five pounds. The man was wearing a denim jacket.
The bus explodes into a fireball.
Then we return to the motel room to see the bomber working over a very menacing-looking assembly of wires and lights. Perhaps he grunts in laughter at how clueless the news folks seem to be:
LOCAL ANCHOR continued
News Six has learned that authorities have already received claims of responsibility by known domestic terror groups…
…and we’ve begun tracking in tight to the television, until it again fills the frame.
LOCAL ANCHOR continued
…but officials had no comment at this time, saying only that the FBI is following up on all leads and is coordinating with local law enforcement.
News 6 reporter Lisa Vasquez spoke with Special Agent Jacobs, who is leading the investigation.
SCENE 2: HOST SEGUE
CUT TO Exterior, mobile command post. VASQUEZ interviewing ARNOLD “JAKE” JACOBS, a veteran agent, we are in what seems to be a standard, handheld local news look (it’s going to become a tracking shot, but for now it’s stable:)
VASQUEZ
What can you tell us about the investigation?
JACOBS
There’s a great deal of physical evidence and we’re following up on all leads.
VASQUEZ
Do you see any similarities between the earlier bombing and this one?
JACOBS
Not at this time.
VASQUEZ
Do you think that both of the bombings could be the work of a single person?
JACOBS
We can’t say at this time…
(She’s trying to move away, she’s sticking with him)
VASQUEZ
But what about the bomber’s letters to the newspapers? What can you tell us about that?
JACOBS
This is an ongoing investigation and we’re following up on all available resources to bring to justice, those who are responsible. That’s all I can say for now, thank you.
JACOBS crossed under the tape and we track along to stay with him as he reaches ANDREWS, his young female partner, and we shall hear a brief piece of their conversation, as we track slowly past them:
ANDREWS
We’ve got a couple of witnesses say that only one guy got off at this stop, walking with his head down, headed back in the direction the bus came from…
JACOBS
Oh, okay. So south, southeast…
ANDREWS
Right…
JACOBS
Okay, let’s go through all the closed circuit TV potential. There’s a lot of businesses in the area, maybe one of ‘em got something on video.
ANDREWS
They’re checking.
JACOBS
Good…what about forensics?
Jacobs continues to ad lib as the camera moves past them and we come to a stop framed on our Guest Host, Annie Wersching
WERSCHING
As a business owner, you already know that “CCTV”, closed circuit television, can help deter or solve a crime on your premises.
You’re about to see that they can do even more. Your CCTV system might even help solve a terrorist attack.
That is, if it’s up to the task. Basic setup and maintenance problems reduce the performance of many systems.
So, what about yours? Do your cameras provide enough resolution for facial recognition? Are they positioned for a clear view of the subject? Is the lighting adequate to capture clear images both day and night? Is your recorder set up for the best image detail? Are you maintaining and managing your system so that it can do its job when it’s really needed?
We’re gonna show you how to get the most from your CCTV system and that starts with capturing “recognition quality images” , with the detail law enforcement needs to identify the people and events captured by your cameras.
WE NOW SPLIT SCREEN TO THREE IMAGES: ANDREWS at FBI VIDEO LAB, which shrinks to make room for JACOBS and ANDREWS in a convenience store, talking to manager, which in turn shrinks to make way for ANDREWS visiting a local pharmacy or home improvements store and then we return to the VIDEO LAB frame and we expand it until it fills the entire screen.
SCENE 3: FBI LAB
At the moment, ANDREWS is talking to a white-coated technician and JACOBS enters.
JACOBS
Whaddawe have?
ANDREWS
You want the good news or the bad news?
JACOBS
There’s good news?
ANDREWS
We canvassed a pharmacy and they mentioned that someone came in and bought four gallons of FLAMMABLE LIQUID. The cashier thought is was a little weird, and also said the guy paid in cash.
(INTERCUT FOOTAGE OF BOMBER PURCHASING LIQUID AND PAYING IN CASH)
JACOBS
Please tell me there was a camera on his face.
ANDREWS
I’ll get to that. We have another lead. A female who works the cheap motels on Route 60, says she was waiting on someone, and saw a guy matching the description wearing a denim jacket. Also said he had a tattoo on his neck. Said he came in, paid for five nights in cash. Said he didn’t have any ID or credit cards and put another hundred on the counter.
JACOBS
Did we get him on camera?
ANDREWS
No, the system wasn’t running, and as for the pharmacy…
JACOBS
What?
ANDREWS
Well we’re getting to the Bad News part.
JACOBS
What, was the camera off?? Did they run out of tape? What?
ANDREWS
No, we got him at the pharmacy.
JACOBS
So, how is that bad?
TECHNICIAN
It might be easier if we just show him.
TECHNICIAN brings up image on monitor. We see our subject enter the pharmacy but the flare from sunlight on the window makes him unrecognizable.
JACOBS
That’s the pharmacy?
ANDREWS
Yeah. See, the sun is so bright on the doorway…
JACOBS
Yeah I see. No, I don’t see. Wait, where did he go?
TECHNICIAN
The camera is using a low frame rate. Saves on drive space and gives you a better image quality. But, the problem is you might not get any image at all.
JACOBS
Now you see him, now you don’t.
TECHNICIAN
Exactly. Here he is walking down the aisle way and picking out a couple of backpacks. Now, ERT found pieces of backpacks at both scenes consistent with the types sold at this store.
We have a shot which might actually be worth something if a temporary sale display wasn’t almost totally blocking the view; we can perhaps see the barest sliver of someone, maybe one arm and a slight bit of their neck.
JACOBS
This is useless.
TECHNICIAN
We got a really good shot of that sign…
JACOBS
Which does what?
TECHNICIAN
(realizing this observation wasn’t helpful:)
Which does nothing. Here he is at the cash register.
We see a full body shot of the subject but he’s out of focus, unrecognizable.
TECHNICIAN
And that is what we call a focus problem…probably haven’t checked the thing in weeks…
JACOBS
Can you enhance it?
TECHNICIAN
I’m not a wizard, and we’re not on TV, so no. I can enlarge it for you, but without the details…
(He enlarges the image which blurs into a collage of blurry pixels)
JACOBS
(trying to be reasonable rather than upset)
So what we’re seeing is, we would have had him, except for the sun on the door, the display blocking the view, the other camera set up. Someone tell me, is it so hard to get these things set up and useful?
ANDREWS
I mean it’s not that hard…but merchants aren’t thinking about what we might need in law enforcement. They just figure, ‘Hey, I’ve got a camera, I’m covered’. They’re not thinking about image quality.
TECHNICIAN
You know, we see this kind of thing everyday.
JACOBS
What kind of thing? English please.
ANDREWS
Small words.
(Jacobs gives her a look.)
TECHNICIAN
I’ll show you.
SCENE 4: FBI LAB
THEY MOVE TO TABLE on which we see examples of the all equipment about to be discussed
TECHNICIAN
Now to start with, what most people would call “taking a picture” we like to call “capturing an image” or better yet, “capturing video data.” The better the quality of the data, the better the quality of the image,the more you can see and the more you can do with it. Okay so far?
JACOBS
Makes sense.
TECHNICIAN
Now, there’s all kinds of equipment for capturing images. Setting up the best CCTV requires figuring out the best hardware for a business owner’s needs. Now, some hardware is just no good for that no matter what.
(holds up web cam, shows image of them in nearby monitor)
This is a web cam. Check this out.
TECHNICIAN
See? Blurry, out of focus,okay for internet, totally awful if you need quality video. There’s just not enough detail.
We see the image freeze and degrade horribly when it’s enlarged.
TECHNICIAN
We’ve got a capture, but it’s not what we call recognition quality, the resolution is too low.
He is moving down the table, as though shopping, each kind of camera he names is represented:
TECHNICIAN
We got analog, digital, black and white, color…all these cameras use chips and generally speaking, the bigger the chip the better the picture quality,you get better detail, more control of contrast like between very bright and very dim areas…
JACOBS
Like in the pharmacy?
TECHNICIAN
Exactly, hey Andrews, do you mind walking over to the mannequin for me? We’ll bring back our friend the webcam.
LIGHTS BLAZE ON at One end of the room, perhaps there is an 8x10 picture or test pattern on an easel, or perhaps we take a picture of Andrews who steps in front of the camera.
TECHNICIAN
Check this out. Look familiar?
Indeed, we have a flare out exactly like the pharmacy. Maybe even do a side by side look at both?
TECHNICIAN
Okay now watch this. This is a good camera, high resolution. Plenty of dynamic range.
The camera’s image is crisp and sharp and the light seems useful rather than damaging.
The bank of lights brightens, then dims, then brightens, and so on.
TECHNICIAN
See? A camera like this one has no trouble keeping up with shifting conditions. Far superior capture technology. Higher resolution. Better dynamic range. Here, look at ‘em side by side.
We see this view.
JACOBS
There’s no comparison.
TECHNICIAN
Exactly. The minimum camera resolution should be 480 horizontal lines.
ANDREWS
But it’s not just about resolution and range. That camera, the good one, also has a faster lens.
JACOBS
“Faster”?
TECHNICIAN
A faster lens allows more light in. Has a larger maximum aperture opening, which lets more light through to the focal plane of the camera. Now what this does is…it allows for brighter images in dimmer lighting. More light means more depth of field.
TECHNICIAN BRINGS AGENTS TO TRANPARENT MONITOR AND DEMONSTRATES. SHOWS3D GRAPHIC explaining concepts of aperture opening/camera focal plane, depth of field.
JACOBS
Depth of field?
TECHNICIAN
The more depth of field you have, the more of the scene is in focus.
ANDREWS
You also have to consider focal length.
JACOBS
(struggling:)
Focal length?
ANDREWS
Right. Some cameras zoom in and out, where others have a fixed focal length, it all depends on what you need.
TECHNICIAN
Right, say for anything at a point of transaction, like at a cash register or a toll booth the subjects head should fill at least 15% of the total image in frame giving you the detail you need.
JACOBS
So you’d like the back to school sign to be at zero percent, right?
ANDREWS
Right, lines of sight are always critical. You want to make sure there aren’t any obstructions.
TECHNICIAN
Which is all part of having the right site plan. Now, here is a store blueprint.
RESET
We see a frozen frame of the store.
ANDREWS
Now, this is retail so the key camera spots are transaction points…
JACOBS
Cash registers?
ANDREWS
Right, and entrances and exits.
JACOBS
Do we need both?
ANDREWS
The more the better.
These locations being marked on wireframe diagram.
TECHNICIAN
You’re going to want cameras here…here…here…and here. Now, you’ll have to throw in some extra coverage for restrooms, and the aisles, and other key points.
ANDREWS
Can you show coverage?
The wireframe now includes alternate colored cones or other indicators of the cameras’ range of coverage.
TECHNICIAN
Of course. Hang on. Oh, good overlap.
ANDREWS
Right, you want multiple chances to capture a good image…
We track the following in the diagram:
TECHNICIAN
…Guy comes in here, boom, got him. Guy goes over to get a snack or something, boom, got him again. Guy comes over to check out, boom. Exits the building and, boom.
ANDREWS
Also, the camera height is very important you want to make sure it’s as close to eye level as possible. Otherwise you might lose out to a baseball cap. And with a good site plan you can make sure you don’t have any blind spots.
Maybe a blind spot flashes red in the diagram?
ANDREWS
You can toy around with the camera positions. Do a test recording to make sure you’re getting what you wanted.
Maybe we see, in diagram, the X’s marking camera spots moving slightly and the blind spots narrowing and the vanishing altogether.
We collapse the wire frame and we’re back in the real world.
CUT, SCENE CHANGE
TECHNICIAN
Another big thing here is lighting.
JACOBS
I thought lens speed took care of light problems
ANDREWS
It helps, but it isn’t the whole ball game
JACOBS
Then what kind of camera do we get…
TECHNICIAN
Oh, no, I’m talking about actual lights. Here. Take a look at this.
Show sequence of three still images: register with good lighting in morning, register with area behind counter showing high contrast in afternoon, then light bank added to even out the lighting.
TECHNICIAN
See, the lighting is great in the morning, but by the afternoon the sun’s blowing out the whole frame.
He adds light, the picture improves.
TECHNICIAN
But look, you add an extra bank of lights to fill in during the afternoon and you get more clarity. See, you can balance bright light from one direction with light from another source. You’re adding more light, but it’s from another direction and it helps even things out.
He demonstrates.
ANDREWS
And sometimes if you have bright light through a big window, you have no choice but to, say, tint the window or put up a shade. And if you’re outside, in the street or parking lot you need to set up timers on your artificial lights. You’d rather them coming on a little earlier than a little later.
TECHNICIAN
Take a look at this. This is a gas station we worked with, they were having break-ins at the rear of the building, and they had a good quality camera and lights on a timer but they weren’t keeping up with how much earlier it was getting dark. Chance to see the bad guy and we miss it.
Robber exiting car and pulling on mask, but we can’t make him out.
TECHNICIAN
So they adjust their timer. A few days later, THE SAME guy tries it AGAIN,but this time we got him.
Similar footage, but the light is much better, face very clear.
JACOBS
So I use higher resolution?
TECHNICIAN
Yep.
JACOBS
And…control for the right depth of field and contrast.
TECHNICIAN and ANDREWS
together
Yep.
JACOBS
Then if I put together a site plan with the correct camera coverage, positioning, frames per second, and lighting, and I’m more likely to get a recognition-quality recording.
TECHNICIAN
You got it!
CUT TO Bomber, still working in hotel room, focused, diligent … possibly cut to medium close-up but there is only static and snow where his face ought to be.
CUT TO LAB
JACOBS CELL PHONE RINGS.
ANDREWS
Yeah? We’re on our way.
(hangs up)
The home supply store has some video for us, we can pick it up.
TECHNICIAN
Hang on, there’s a couple things you guys got to know before you can go…
ANDREWS AND JACOBS ON THE MOVE:
JACOBS
I’ll call you when we’re rolling, you can fill me in en route.
SCENE 5: CAR
CUT TO JACOBS AND ANDREWS IN CAR, Andrews is on phone with TECHNICIAN, we’ll cut back and forth between lab and car.
JACOBS
You mean we just can’t grab the tape and bring it back?
TECHNICIAN
Chances are there is no tape. Most systems now a days are fully digital. So, you are going to have to go over the recordings and make sure the video you want is there.
JACOBS
The guy said it was there!
TECHNICIAN
Yeah, but it could be over-recorded by now. So make sure. And, you need to figure out how much footage you need to collect, then make sure you collect in the native file with the proprietary player.
JACOBS
Okay, slow down. Speak English please.
TECHNICIAN
The native file is just the original form of a file. With most digital systems, the specific attributes of the video files are proprietary to the program that created it.
JACOBS
You’re not speaking English yet.
TECHNICIAN
DVR’s use compression to get more space out of their storage. Some compression throws away potential image detail. The native file format is usually the least compressed. Best image, but you usually need specific manufacturer software to play it. A lot of systems export what we like to call ‘open file,’ like .avi. Problem is, they’re usually compressed even further. Which means image quality is reduced.
JACOBS
Whew. I actually understood that.
TECHNICIAN
Good. So get me both formats. One other thing. We’re gonna need to know the output options on the machine to retrieve the video.
JACOBS
Output options?
TECHNICIAN
Yeah. It could be a DVD, CD burner, or USB port...
JACOBS
Okay I’m with you. If we run into anything weird we’ll give you a shout from the store. Otherwise, we’ll call you when we’re inbound.
TECHNICIAN
Okay.
He hangs up; ANDREWS gives him a look.
SCENE 6: STORE OFFICE
CUT TO Interior STORE, ANDREWS AND JACOBS WITH STORE MANAGER
ANDREWS
So this is about ten minutes’ worth, you said?
JACOBS
What’s the video format?
MANAGER
It’s an avi file I think.
JACOBS
Is that the native recording?
MANGER
I’m not sure what it is, but it’s what we have….
JACOBS
Hang on.
ANDREWS
Calling for backup?
JACOBS
You bet your badge…..
TECHNICIAN
Edwards.
JACOBS
Yeah, yeah, we’re here. Now listen, we have the avi file but the fella that’s helping us out is not sure if it’s the native recording or not.
TECHNICIAN
OK. Let me talk to him.
JACOBS
Um, our technician wants to ask you a few questions.
MANAGER
Sure. Hello?
TECHNICIAN
Hi. I need to get some system information.
MANAGER
Sure.
TECHNICIAN
If you can get me a brand name and a model number, then I can figure out the native format.
MANAGER
I don’t see a brand, but the model number is xl 327. ?
CUT TO TECHNICIAN
TECHNICIAN
Yeah, I know it. the native format isn’t AVI, it’s DVR. Does that sound familiar?
MANAGER
No.
TECHNICIAN
Okay, thanks. Would you put Agent Jacobs back on ?
MANAGER HANDING PHONE TO JACOBS, he’s clearly worried that he’s somehow letting them down.
MANAGER
Okay. He wants to talk to you again.
JACOBS
Yeah? Really? Okay.
Sir, we’re gonna need to retrieve the native file in addition to the avi file. Can you do that?
MANAGER
I don’t know how. But the installer may still be here on site. Let me see. Sara. Is the CCTV guy still here?
SARA
Yes.
MANAGER
Can you send him to the office please?
SARAH
Sure, stand by.
MANAGER
Thank you.
ANDREWS
Good. We’re gonna review the avi files while we wait, ok.
MANAGER
Help yourself !
ANDREWS
Thanks. Okay here we go…
That’s weird.
JACOBS
What…
ANDREWS
Lemme check…. yeah, there’s only these FIVE camera views. Just these and that’s it.
JACOBS
Oh, so you’re thinking of getting all the camera views.
ANDREWS
Yeah, why not, I mean I’ve got at least fifteen, sixteen cameras, we should review them all. We could get lucky.
INSTALLER WALKS IN
Hi guys. How can I help you?
ANDREWS
Hi. Yeah. We need video from all the cameras during the time of the incident in the native file format. Can you do that?
INSTALLER
Yeah, sure. No problem. It’ll take a while. Did you want the viewer with that?
ANDREWS
Yeah. And we can wait. Can you throw in the avi’s too?
INSTALLER
Sure.
ANDREWS
Thanks. You never know how many people need fertilizer till you see it like this….
JACOBS
Yeah, I’m thinking about paving my whole yard, save some time….
ANDREWS
You see what we were talking about earlier, with resolution and frames per second.
JACOBS
Yeah, I see that camera there isn’t picking up all the video frames but it’s a tradeoff between camera quality or what we can fit on the drive.
JACOBS
Whoa- whoa! Back it up, back it up about two seconds.
ANDREWS
Okay……
JACOBS
Freeze. Make it bigger. That guy.
ANDREWS
That could be… I mean, that’s a denim jacket… can’t see much else, but…
JACOBS
He was in here you can bet a week’s pay.
ANDREWS
Hey, did you make a site plan?
INSTALLER
Yup. We keep that with the system. It’s right here.
ANDREWS
Thanks.
SCENE 7: FBI LAB
CUT TO LAB, It’s a bit later, they’ve got everything they need from the home supply store. TECHNICIAN has just loaded all the data. ANDREWS is studying the site plan.
ANDREWS
If this site plan is accurate they’ve got pretty good coverage…
JACOBS
We’re looking for Tuesday the fourteenth, around eleven in the morning.
TECHNICIAN
Okay…Here is what that guy wanted to give you, the AVI file, and here…is the native, proprietary format.
The latter is much better.
JACOBS
Wow.
TECHNICIAN
Yup, they lose a ton of resolution when they convert formats.
ANDREWS
Hey guys!
Grab camera four and step through about eleven oh five, I think the guy must have…
TECHNICIAN
Parking lot…..
JACOBS
Good idea, we get a better view.
ANDREWS
There!
TECHNICIAN
That him? By the GREEN car?
JACOBS
I think he’s right. Can you get closer to get a license plate number?
TECHNICIAN
No way. These cams are good but they’re just set up for a wide angle view of the lot. I can’t get the plate, but it looks to me like that’s a GREEN late model 4-door.
JACOBS
I am sick to death of “almost”!
TECHNICIAN
Lemme just see if they…oh yes, Thank you, thank you, thank you!
JACOBS
What?
TECHNICIAN
Look, see this site plan has everything…
SITE PLAN IS SHOWN CLOSE, maybe graphically highlight the info as the tech mentions is.
TECHNICIAN continued
it gives camera positions, resolutions, frames per second, setup, frame size - everything, this is exactly what a site plan is supposed to look like, now we just need….
ANDREWS
Try camera three!
TECHNICIAN
Exactly.
JACOBS
What’s camera three?
TECHNICIAN
It shows a lot of the same area, but slightly different angle but much, much better quality. And more frames per second... gives us more to work with. Let me just…move through…
All three of them are very still.
JACOBS
Bingo!
TECHNICIAN
That’s him!
ANDREWS
There he is!
JACOBS
Got his face…
We’re zooming in very slowly on his face, the image will jump in our view
TECHNICIAN
Nice resolution, and we can get in
Pretty close….
ANDREWS
I think our best bet is camera twelve, behind the register.
New image. Sharp. We recognize him but the image is wide angle. And:
JACOBS
There!
TECHNICIAN
Wait, hold on, hold on…they have a close-up camera….
JACOBS
There’s the tattoo! Right there!
ANDREWS
Yep we’ve got four gallons of bomb making fluid ,the car, the tattoo and his face!
JACOBS
I’m gonna call our guy at the motel. Hello Cal! Yeah, listen up, it’s Jacobs, we’re pretty sure that the guy’s in a GREEN, late model 4-door, we—do you? Sit tight. I’ll get back to you.
Andrews, Get SWAT and the bomb techs to that address!
We have your face!
SCENE 8: TAKE DOWN
We CUT TO Bomber’s room, and we see again the static and snow over the face… but as JACOBS speaks, the snow fills in with an accurate image. He seems surprised, almost as though he’s aware of some new visibility, and that’s when he turns at the sound of the officer knocking… meanwhile we can see the SWAT team in position, ready to move and on JACOB’S screen we hear:
JACOBS
So many ways for the system to fail…
Through the ensuing, we will see the bomb and SWAT team staging, then entering….
JACOBS
The wrong camera…the right camera, used the wrong way…not making the most of your site plan…not getting the most out of your recording equipment…insufficient training of the staff that works with the gear…
But: when the system works…
This line spoken just as they’re taking the bomber down, in crashing, painful, super slow motion….then everything but JACOBS shrinks and she says, simply:
JACOBS
It can make all the difference.
Into the frame steps Annie Wersching
SCENE 9: HOST WRAP
WERSCHING
We hope this video makes a difference in the way you think about and operate YOUR CCTV system.
If you’re gonna do it, do it right – for yourself; for law enforcement; and your community.
For a quick review, along with more details on CCTV operations, set up and maintenance, click on the special features section of this DVD.
I’m Annie Wersching. Thanks for watching.