New Videos Show Donald Trump Should (Still) Fire His Video Team

New Videos Show Donald Trump Should (Still) Fire His Video Team

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.

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81 Comments

Ian Meyers's picture

If he wants to improve his image Chump should fire himself

Sean Sauer's picture

Since his entire "team" is built out of nepotism and "loyalty" his video team most likely consists of someones brother's, uncle's cousin's kid who use to work in a deli in White Plains. Sure they don't help but Dump does enough to screw things up that they probably just don't care anymore. Or maybe they are purposefully sabotaging him as part of the "deep state"? LOL! He's a moron and working for morons gets very tiring.

David Penner's picture

He might be a moron but he is still the president, still a billionaire and has a brand with his name that does pretty well.

Michael Holst's picture

I don't know why you're getting downvoted... I don't like him and think your comment is pretty true.

I think people are just frustrated, kinda like when someone cuts you off in traffic and you want to "flip them off" but when you do, they smile and wave. Trump smiles and waves.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Michael Holst's picture

So in your analogy, Trump is the one cutting people off in traffic. I guess I would but upset if someone was being a danger to themselves and the people around them but I don't get what that has to do with the article.

I was offering a possible explanation for the downvotes, comparing the frustration of the scenario, not the activity itself. Of course as President, he could be a danger to himself and just about EVERYONE else but that's another discussion.
I think I'm the only one here but, downvotes annoy the heck out of me. A lot of times, the source of downvoting could be a misunderstanding. I misunderstand people a lot and so I reply to offer a chance for explaining a comment.

While I have your attention, someone wrote that my comments are hateful and nasty, to which you upvoted. It probably won't surprise you, I don't see myself that way. Well...generally. I'm trying. That's all I had to say about that..

Michael Holst's picture

Don't take upvotes and downvotes personally. They mean different things to different people at different moments.

Here are the two rules I try to live by on the internet.
1) Don't get upset and triggered about things before posting.
2) Don't let already upset people make you upset before posting.

I agree that there's a ton of people who are taking the article into two different directions (both equally away from its point) but ultimately we can't let comments influence how we think the majority of readers feel. How many people read it and didn't comment? Usually comment sections are where extreme points of view clash. Being outraged that others are outraged isn't going to help anyone.

It's coming from every direction.

If you scroll down to William Howell's post you'll see what I mean.

Yan Pekar's picture

It is funny to see someone criticising and giving advice on “what president should do”, and saying "he is doing it all wrong". You have never been in his shoes. You have never been in his league (at his level). Does he need a perfect and highest quality video content, taking into account the level of publicity he has? Probably not. I am wondering whether Fstoppers check the content before posting it.

greg tennyson's picture

I think the sentiment is that we are not where near his level and this production quality is inadequate for us, so for him to have this poor of execution is embarrassing.

I'd never release an edit of my client rambling incoherently. Why are they doing it?

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Even a telepromoter app on an iPad could prevent this.

greg tennyson's picture

It's not even entry level work. I suspect it's a still photographer who recently discovered the "record" button on their crop sensor camera they bought at Costco.

David Penner's picture

So you are saying he should be saying whatever someone tells him to say? I'd like to see what previous presidents would have said if they went off script.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

I'm not sure what you're saying here. A teleprompter would help him read a pre-written script that he could approve and have loaded in there so he's not talking off the cuff and fumbling over words.

Ian Meyers's picture

He would have to be able to read for that to work

You really think he can't read? :-/

David Penner's picture

I was starting to get worried. It's been at least a week since they posted anything political. Of course they will say something about it being relevant to this site. I said it once. I'll say it again. Unless they change I won't be purchasing any more tutorials from them.

It is only those commenting whom make these posts political. The article itself isn't. The subject is about the standard of video produced for a client who holds a rather important public position. Quite relevant to Fstoppers don't you think?

Michael Holst's picture

I don't see how video quality has anything to do with politics... "Of course they will say something about it being relevant to this site.".... Because it is.... If anything this is saying that Trump would look better with a better video team. Why would that be wrong?

"I said it once. I'll say it again. Unless they change I won't be purchasing any more tutorials from them." Good for you?...

Tony Clark's picture

It’s as though he doesn’t take advice from qualified individuals. I think this applies to every aspect of his life, he knows everything from video production to global warming to the Saudi’s hit squad and North Korea’s real intentions. Just look at his daughter and son in laws roles in his administration, what are their qualifications?

And you work as a photographer! So?

greg tennyson's picture

..and so we're actually qualified to offer commentary on how bad his video production is.

I was actually referring to his comments regarding non-video related subjects. Photographers aren't necessarily qualified to comment on video but there's nothing wrong with doing so.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

These days companies (well at least news orgs) are making all photographers do video anyway so we have to be experts in both. I actually started out as a video shooter for newspapers and then got asked to do photos, which seems a little backwards but ended up being a good thing for me.

I've been talked to about doing video but have avoided it so far. Personally, I think it's two completely different things, which is not to say someone couldn't do both, and do them well, but I just don't care about video. The other thing being, I will never perfect photography so I'd hate to take on something else, especially given my disinterest.

What difference does it make?

I like to think it's a subversive purposefully shooting in bad light and making bad cuts to provide a negative public image (more than the content itself does).

Michael Holst's picture

It's his own video team... you know that right? Where are you going with your point?

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