Donald Trump has been on a tear lately on Twitter when it comes to social video. The problem is, he’s doing it all wrong.
Before the pitchforks come out, it should be noted that the advice here is actually what the president should do if he wants to improve his online image, because between low-resolution photos posted all over the place, poor portraiture, and amateur-hour video doctoring, the administration is not doing itself any favors.
A little over a year ago, my colleague Aneesh Kothari posited this in a headline to his article “Should President Trump Fire His Video Team?” In it, filmmaker Josh Enobakhare of Olufemii Tutorials pointed out that Trump had some really awkward cuts in almost all of his videos that resulted in a less-than-professional look. It seems that since that time, the president has taken on stranger video habits.
First, over the summer and into the fall came a series of videos shot on what appears to be a lawn outside the White House. There’s no tripod or microphone used, and Trump appears to ramble without a teleprompter about various issues. This results in some odd phrases such as Hurricane Florence being described as, “the wettest we’ve seen, from the standpoint of water.” Take a look:
Sometimes, it appeared the administration relied on software similar to what your iPhone or Facebook does when it puts together a “best guess” video and serves it up as a highlight reel. Or at least it looks that way from the stock music and seemingly random shots and sounds from this video of Trump’s visit to the U.N. in New York:
Things haven’t gotten better into November, even though he’s now added a teleprompter to the mix, as one can tell from the wandering eyes. Here’s Trump’s Thanksgiving video:
The odd cuts that Kothari’s article talks about remain, and to that, the lighting is poor in that there's a harsh shadow from the lamp and the background drops off extremely quick without an additional light. Microphones still don’t seem to be used, as the sound is a bit hollow. At one point, the video is practically shooting into Trump's ear and cuts off his chin. Someone in the White House definitely knows how to use a boom pole to acquire audio. There’s a photo of that on Trump’s own Twitter feed. At the very least, they should hire one of those folks to run audio.
So with all the video evidence stacked up, the answer to Kothari’s question seems to be a yes. Or at the very least, they should check out the Fstoppers Intro to Video tutorial.
What do you think of Trump’s online videos? Post your thoughts in the comments below.