Videographer was told there would be a ‘surprise’ first kiss

Brian Clark tells me that his video of two female sailors kissing has over 1 million views so far. “I can soundly say that I’ve never produced a video, much less made a photo that has received this much attention,” the Virginian-Pilot videographer writes in an email.

I’d echo what [reporter] Corrine [Reilly] said [in this post], comments have been across the board, however, I haven’t directly received any calls or emails from disgruntled or angry readers/viewers. I have fielded several calls from Seattle from folks asking about purchasing the photo. One gentleman called and said he was a social studies teacher and that he wanted to use this historic photo for classroom instruction.

Is there an interesting back-story to share?

Going into this story we had no idea that this kiss would take place. The public information officer said simply that we should expect a surprise. I was half expecting sailors dressed up as Santa as the ship pulled in. We did get tipped off a bit before that the “first kiss” would be the surprise and it would have national implications.

I think it is important to note that I’m mainly a video producer here at The Pilot. Sometimes we’re short staffed and assignments get tight so I’ll get assigned to do both video and photos. When I learned of the possible national implications, I can tell you I was a bit nervous to be wearing two hats. To be honest, I’m just glad I did my colleagues justice here at The Pilot. I work with an extremely talented photo staff here.

Do you ever predict how an image will be received by readers/viewers?

I suppose with hot button issues I’m always expecting reaction to be across the spectrum. However, I did not predict that it would receive this amount of attention. The video alone stands at over 1-million views in just a few days. Pretty incredible.