Space Coast: Through the lens of 60 Minutes

60 Minutes cameraman Chris Albert captured scenes from Brevard County, Fla., in the wake of NASA's space shuttle program closing.

This week on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley reported on the closing of NASA's space shuttle program, and the economic suffering in Brevard County, Florida, home to the Kennedy Space Center. Chris Albert, one of the 60 Minutes cameramen assigned to cover the story, roamed the area with his Canon 5D in hand, trying to capture the heart of the story in pictures. We're featuring Chris' work this week as the first in a series of Overtime videos about the filming of 60 Minutes:

The producer said "Go out there, and see what you can see. Try to show what's happened to the people who live here." I spent two days driving around with my camera.

If you're a photographer arriving in a foreign country and you want to show the beauty of the place, the first thing you do is stop at a shop and look at postcards. The local photographers who shoot those know where to go. Sometimes I buy the postcards and say to my driver, "Take me to this place." But if you're in a place like this, there are no postcards of economic destruction. So, you've got to get local people to guide you. You start filming and sometimes they stop to watch you. That's how you start talking to people and find out what's really happening in a place.

I was photographing a motel and I saw a moving truck. I said, "What are you doing?" and the woman said, "I'm leaving. This area's dead." Patches of it were post-apocalyptic. You saw places completely boarded up, and nature was reclaiming them. Grasses were growing up through the concrete everywhere. It's only been a year or so since NASA's space shuttle program was canceled, but it was amazing the damage that had been done already. It looked like these places had been abandoned for years.

For most people I spoke to, they viewed the space industry as a form of patriotism. They told me, If your country isn't out in the lead in terms of space, who are you? They saw it as a matter of national pride. I used these very slow dolly shots where the camera is moving away from the subject, as if to say, "This is the end."

-- Chris Albert, 60 Minutes cameraman, as told to "60 Minutes Overtime"

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