Photog Found in Paris: McMan Reluctantly Eating Crow

So, a few weeks back I posted a story about this guy Todd Bieber ( who allegedly found a canister of film while cross country skiing in Prospect Park, NYC. My take was that I suspected the story to be a viral stunt. I also said I’d be the first to take it on the chin if I was wrong.

Well, it would seem that I was wrr..wrr…and that Mr. Bieber has found the shutterbug he was so desperately searching for. Upon being contacted by a friend of the film owner; Mr. Bieber decided it was up to him to get the lost pictures into the rightful hands personally. This entailed a whirlwind trip thru Europe where he tracked down his contact Camille in Paris. By sheer coincidence she just happen to be an extremely attractive French girl. What are the odds?

Lets go to the story provided by Liz Goodwin over at Yahoo News:

A Brooklyn man’s quest to locate the owner of a roll of film he found in the snow in Prospect Park after a blizzard has ended with a reunion in Paris.

Todd Bieber stumbled upon the film canister while cross-country skiing after a 2010 Christmas blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow over the city. Bieber developed the film and was captivated by the photos, which show what he surmised to be out-of-towners taking a snowy and beautiful journey from Central Park across the Brooklyn Bridge to an empty Coney Island amusement park, and then to Prospect Park, where they must have accidentally dropped the film canister.

Bieber’s video about his quest quickly went viral, garnering over a million views. Thousands of people wrote offering tips and advice. Finally, he got the response he was looking for.

It turns out the photos were taken by a French student temporarily studying in America named Camille, whose brother was visiting her in New York when the storm hit. Camille’s ex-roommate wrote to Bieber to say that she thought the photos were taken by Camille because she recognized the block outside her apartment. Bieber then decided to embark on a five-country road trip through Europe to track down Camille and return the photos.

He asked people in Europe who had emailed him about the video if he and his girlfriend could stay with them during their journey. When he finally got to Paris, the meeting with Camille was a little awkward. “We sat and drank tea and awkwardly talked,” Bieber says in the video. “I threw her in this situation and posted photos of her family that ended up all over the Internet.” She joked with Bieber that her family had started calling him the “boy Amelie,” after the quirky character in the eponymous French movie who decides to change the lives of strangers around her.

Thats it you say? Not by a long shot! What professional film maker worth his salt would let such an excursion go by without documenting the entire trip. Lets go to the video:

Bieber tells the Lookout that Camille was happy to have her film back. “But could you imagine waking up one morning and finding out the whole internet is passing around pictures you took of your family on vacation? Her initial reaction was appropriate given the circumstances,” he says.

Bieber also met Camille’s brother, who is pictured in her photos and is an artist. “Thank you for losing the film,” he told them.

Bieber left his own roll of black-and-white film of the trip in Paris for a stranger to find, in hope that someone will track him down and have their own adventure.

OK, I know I’ve been taking shots at this drama for some time now. I have also made no secret of the fact that I have some suspicions, several of which are as follows:

The storyline, the background of Mr. Bieber and the idea that he would just up and fly to Europe. Then there’s the way he made his journey. I’ll stop there but it sounds an awful lot like a Hollywood production to me.

As much as I want to let this go, something just keeps eating away at me. However I am a man of my word.

I apologize to Todd Bieber and all the well meaning people that helped him with his proj…I mean, quest. Sorry Bieber, I couldn’t resist that last one.

For now I’ll accept it as it is and wish all involved the very best….But I’ll be watching….