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.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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If he wants to improve his image Chump should fire himself

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.

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.



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.

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..

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.

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.

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?

Even a telepromoter app on an iPad could prevent this.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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?...

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?

..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.

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).

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

I hoped the word "subversive" would have been a tell. Perhaps the people that he employed are disaffected and are showing their displeasure in ways the boss doesn't quite get.

People can do a great job and produce results that are unflattering and yet the employer still approves.

Sounds like shooting yourself in the foot for future work...

You know... I don't really care about him but you guys are the biggest bunch of losers I've seen in a while. Do you guys ever read the things you write? I'm sorry your lives didn't turn out the way you'd hoped but this kind of behavior makes you seem even more pathetic. Grow up!

I love these articles because inevitably there's a bunch of people mad about its existence, as if someone held a gun to their head, made them click and read it.

Yes, I am clearly the emotional one in this situation.

Yes, you are.

I pretty much see this guy writing hateful and nasty comments on almost every single article on this site. What's his deal? Angry man-child, or bored internet troll?

There's nothing wrong with the article. The problem is people like you who can't put aside your emotions to concentrate on issues. You disagree with the president (any president), that's fine. The kinds of sophomoric diatribes you and like minded individuals post is just sad and pathetic.

Can you please point to my "sophomoric diatribe"? I'm not the one who clicked on this article, got mad, called people a bunch of losers and pathetic, and then private messaged someone who didn't interact with me at all to say the same thing.

Please, though, tell me again how I am the emotional one.

You hadn't posted on this article but have done so to similar articles. I PM'd you (perhaps you don't understand what the "private" in private message means) because you voted up or down (I can't remember) in line with your comments on other occasions. Downvotes, without comment are particularly annoying!

I clicked on the article because it seemed to be, and I found it to be the case, related to the President's video team and no reflection on him personally. I got mad because I'm human. Had these comments been directed at President Obama or Hillary Clinton, had she been elected President, I would have been just as mad. These people put their lives on hold and open themselves up to the worst kind of abuse, in service to the country. The lack of respect is maddening!! "Losers and pathetic" is an appropriate description for such ingratitude.

"Emotional" because people like you can't separate your disagreement with the President (Any President) on substance from whatever policy decisions you disagree with, instead choosing to make personal attacks. And yes, I see the hypocrisy of my personal attacks on you and others but at least I make them to your faces (well, your eyes I guess).

Man, if you think Trump - whose greatest accomplishments as president have been enriching himself and his family (while committing multiple felonies) - falls under the category of people who "put their lives on hold and open themselves up to the worst kind of abuse, in service to the country" then that's where we part ways on this matter.

You see? That's exactly what I'm talking about. In 2015, Joe Biden gave a speech at Yale University including this, relating a lesson learned from Mike Mansfield. It's kind of long but worth reading.

"After only four months in the United States Senate, as a 30-year-old kid, I was walking through the Senate floor to go to a meeting with Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. And I witnessed another newly elected senator, the extremely conservative Jesse Helms, excoriating Ted Kennedy and Bob Dole for promoting the precursor of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But I had to see the Leader, so I kept walking.
When I walked into Mansfield’s office, I must have looked as angry as I was. He was in his late ‘70s, lived to be 100. And he looked at me, he said, what’s bothering you, Joe?
I said, that guy, Helms, he has no social redeeming value. He doesn’t care — I really mean it — I was angry. He doesn’t care about people in need. He has a disregard for the disabled.
Majority Leader Mansfield then proceeded to tell me that three years earlier, Jesse and Dot Helms, sitting in their living room in early December before Christmas, reading an ad in the Raleigh Observer, the picture of a young man, 14-years-old with braces on his legs up to both hips, saying, all I want is someone to love me and adopt me. He looked at me and he said, and they adopted him, Joe.
I felt like a fool. He then went on to say, Joe, it’s always appropriate to question another man’s judgment, but never appropriate to question his motives because you simply don’t know his motives.
It happened early in my career fortunately. From that moment on, I tried to look past the caricatures of my colleagues and try to see the whole person. Never once have I questioned another man’s or woman’s motive. And something started to change. If you notice, every time there’s a crisis in the Congress the last eight years, I get sent to the Hill to deal with it. It’s because every one of those men and women up there — whether they like me or not — know that I don’t judge them for what I think they’re thinking.
Because when you question a man’s motive, when you say they’re acting out of greed, they’re in the pocket of an interest group, et cetera, it’s awful hard to reach consensus. It’s awful hard having to reach across the table and shake hands. No matter how bitterly you disagree, though, it is always possible if you question judgment and not motive.
Senator Helms and I continued to have profound political differences, but early on we both became the most powerful members of the Senate running the Foreign Relations Committee, as Chairmen and Ranking Members. But something happened, the mutual defensiveness began to dissipate. And as a result, we began to be able to work together in the interests of the country. And as Chairman and Ranking Member, we passed some of the most significant legislation passed in the last 40 years."

TLDR: Nobody knows why anyone does what they do. Their actions may be wrong but you don't know their motivations.

I never said a single thing about motivations. You did.

But, sure, keep defending the guy who puts kids in cages, defends (and has committed) sexual assault, defends the murder of a journalist, calls the media the "enemy of the people," is a blatant racist, publicly insults everyone he doesn't like including many who formerly worked for him, and is currently considered by federal prosectors to have committed felonious violations of campaign finance laws.

"...if you think Trump - whose greatest accomplishments as president have been enriching himself and his family (while committing multiple felonies) - falls under the category of people who "put their lives on hold and open themselves up to the worst kind of abuse, in service to the country" then that's where we part ways on this matter."
That's not about motivation?

I don't know, and neither do you, that Trump had anything to do with the cages thing. To be fair, the only photos I saw of that were from during the Obama administration.

Whether or not he committed sexual assault has nothing to do with his role as president. I'm not sure what you're referring to in regards to defending it.

He said he wasn't sure if the Saudi Prince was involved. He did NOT defend the murder and, in fact, condemned it.

He called FAKE media the enemy of the people which is NOT to say ALL media. We can disagree about what is fake or not but how can you disagree with the statement? We get our information from the media. If they're lying to us, they ARE our enemy.

I have never heard a single thing to indicate he's a racist and every single person who knows him, and commented on it, has said that's definitely not the case.

His public insults are rather crass but, again, has nothing to do with his job as president, assuming it doesn't hurt his effectiveness and I've not seen anything to indicate it has. That's not to say it hasn't...I just don't know.

I don't really care what anyone thinks, regarding any possible criminality by, well... anyone. We'll see what comes of it. We ARE still a nation that values the presumption of innocence. Well, some of us.

Okay. Panties unbunched. Hissy unfitted. Thanks for your concern and advice. ;-)

"Whether or not he committed sexual assault has nothing to do with his role as president."

wow ok i'm out

In that case, I'm assuming you thought Clinton shouldn't have been President either. I never thought they should have attempted to impeach him. :-/
I once heard a radio commentator argue, people like Clinton and Kennedy (this was long before Trump) made good presidents, precisely because they were the kind of men who could convince women to do what they wanted. He said that same quality allowed them to convince foreign leaders to act against their interests to the benefit of the U.S.
I didn't like it but couldn't find any flaw in his logic.

I could probably rattle off a list of powerful men that could convince women to do what they wanted... That doesn't make them good leaders, whether we're talking about business or politics. It's easy to bend people to your will when you have power and influence. That's the nature of power and influence.

Neither the radio commentator nor I said you need one to do the other. There are a lot of ways to get where you want to go, that being an indicator of one method. To summarize my overall point, I have no interest in an individual's personality as it relates to the job they do. To do so would be to tacitly invite others to similarly judge me and, worse, God to hold my myriad sins against me.


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