The Zapruder film is one of the most famous colored footage shot by a civilian in the history of mankind. The person who made the film was named Abraham Zapruder and he was able to capture on film the passing of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade as it drove through the Dealey Plaza situated in Dallas, Texas. He also inadvertently captured on his high-end Bell&Howell camera the assassination of the President.
The Zapruder film is not the only film of JFK’s assassination but it’s considered to be the most complete one due to the fact it was shot from an elevated position and it was also colored. It’s one of the most thoroughly examined pieces of film in American history. It also contains graphic content of the assassination itself which shocked the world. After the assassination there was a massive interest in Zapruder’s film coming from the FBI, the Sercet Service as well as the media. Initially, Zapruder himself got a 6 year deal with Life magazine worth of $150,000 for the rights of the film.
However, this amount was nothing compared to what Zapruder’s heirs received from the US government in 1999. In order for the original film to be stored in the JFK Assassination Records Collection maintained by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), Zapruder’s family received $16 million.