"Deal" Still Being Negotiated; Seems To Involve A Two-Step Process: First, A Soft Republican Capitulation, Then, A Hard Republican Capitulation | Main | Evening Open Thread
July 31, 2011

Presidential Cinematography

Look at this photo. They tried to make Obama seem bigger by placing the camera very low and using a wide angle lens with the camera moved in closer. This has the effect of making the background recede behind him more sharply. Things closer to the camera appear larger. That's also a problem, though, as mere fractions of an inch count for a lot. Notice how large the podium appears. It's enormous. It looks like the podium is the most important thing. And look at his hand. His hand is just a few inches closer to the lens, yet it appears larger than his head.

This shot is the visual equivalent of the infamous Newt Gingrich press release:

The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment's cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip . . . .

For this shot to work, they needed to construct a small podium just for the occasion. Also, with all the visual hocus pocus going on, the touch of moving the camera down somewhere around his belly button was way over the top. Flat-out stupid, really. Finally, they needed to tell him to keep his hands down. Instead, they wound up with a kitschy, distorted-looking mess, like a shot you'd see in a horror film--a shot of the monster.

Below the fold, John Lithgow's dramatic reading of the Gingrich press release.


And for the fun of it, here is the comic strip version of the Gingrich press release.

Added: Note that the photo is taken from video of the speech. It's the actual shot they put on TV.

digg this
posted by rdbrewer at 03:08 PM

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